Louisville guard Kevin Ware had successful surgery on his broken right leg Sunday night.
Now his basketball teammates and coaches are waiting to find out when the sophomore will return to campus Tuesday and whether he can travel with them later this week to the NCAA Final Four in Atlanta.
Ware sustained a fracture in the first half of Sunday's Midwest Regional final when he landed awkwardly after trying to contest a 3-point shot, breaking his leg in two places.
Ware has played a key role in the Cardinals' second straight Final Four run, scoring 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting in 25 minutes in the regional semifinal win over Oregon, and on Sunday he was the primary motivator. Before leaving the court, he called his teammates over to prod them to win the game and not worry about him, a message he continued to express at halftime.
Louisville, the top overall seed in the tourney, missed four of its next five shots but regained its composure to take a 35-32 halftime lead and went on to an 85-63 victory.
''We won this for him,'' Pitino said. ''We were all choked up with emotion for him. We'll get him back to normal. We've got great doctors, great trainers. We talked about it every timeout, 'Get Kevin home.''
After the injury, the reaction on Twitter and Reddit was swift, wide reaching and prolonged.
Twitter hashtags "PrayforWare" and "KevinWare" were still trending worldwide nearly three hours after the play, well after Louisville won the game and secured a Final Four appearance. On Reddit, one of a handful of posts about the play hit the popular site's front page.
Sentiments for Ware came from all over the sports and entertainment world. Simultaneously, everyday fans compared the incident with other famous sports injuries and traded less-gruesome ways to share the news, including pictures and video of emotional reactions from players and coaches.
Joe Theismann, the former Washington Redskins quarterback, immediately reminded Twitter users of the 1985 injury on Monday Night Football that ended his career.
"Watching Duke/ Louisville my heart goes out to Kevin Ware," Theismann tweeted.
Sports network ESPN sent a message from its (at)ESPN Twitter account that was retweeted more than 17,000 times in less than 30 minutes: "Our thoughts go out to Louisville's Kevin Ware. Hate to see that happen to any athlete. Here's to a speedy recovery."
After two initial replays, CBS stopped showing footage Sunday of the injury. CBS showed the replay twice in slow motion, although not with a close-up of Ware landing. The network also never showed a close-up of the injury.
CBS then concentrated on reaction shots of players and fans.
CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said that because of the graphic nature of the injury, the network decided not to show it after the original replays. "We did not zoom in on the injury when he was taken off," McManus said. "We did not try to highlight it. I think we did the right thing."