When seemingly everything halted late Sunday afternoon during the NCAA men's basketball Midwest regional final in Indianapolis, few understood what Kevin Ware, the man down on the floor for Louisville, was going through.
Former Cardinals running back Michael Bush was one of the few, having suffered a broken right leg in the 2006 season opener that ended his college career and sent him from a projected first-round NFL draft destiny all the way down to the fourth round, where he was taken by the Oakland Raiders with the 100th overall selection.
Bush could not hide his emotions while watching the Louisville-Duke contest — which the Cardinals won, 85-63, to clinch their second straight Final Four berth — as the Chicago Bear fired off on Twitter, saying that he cried watching Ware.
I can't even get myself together. I don't even wanna watch the rest of this game. His life just change
— Michael Bush (@michaelbush29) March 31, 2013
Ware had surgery Sunday night to re-set a broken bone in his right leg and had a rod inserted into his tibia, and he is expected to accompany the team Wednesday to his hometown of Atlanta, the site of the Final Four.
Team trainer Fred Hina told coach Rick Pitino that Ware suffered the same injury as Bush, who entered the 2006 season as a Heisman Trophy candidate before going down on a routine tackle against rival Kentucky.
Bush — who, through the Bears, declined an interview request from ESPN.com, saying that he wants to keep the focus on Ware — spoke with Ware by phone on Monday morning. Bush finished his Louisville career with 2,508 yards and 41 touchdowns. He returned to the field in 2008, and he has amassed 4,015 total yards and 27 total touchdowns during the past five seasons with the Raiders and Bears.