For Louisville‘s team , this NCAA Tournament run has been bittersweet. They are the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament and find themselves playing for the national title on Monday evening in Atlanta against the Michigan Wolverines.
You may be saying, ‘how can that possibly be bittersweet?’. Well, losing a teammate and brother in Kevin Ware to a devastating broken leg didn’t help their mojo. Or did it?
The Cardinals had a 23-20 lead over the Duke Blue Devils in their Elite Eight matchup last weekend when it happened. He remained calm, called his teammates over and told them something that has been resonating with them ever since — he told them he would be okay and to win the game for him, and his emotional teammates took that to heart.
They went on to beat down Duke by 22 points and advance to their second straight Final Four.
This team looks to have been on a mission since that gruesome injury that left his teammates rattled, yet motivated. They faced Wichita State in the Final Four and, after facing a 12-point second-half deficit, realized what they were there for. They were on a mission to win the title for Ware in his hometown, Atlanta.
Although Michigan looks to be an underdog and what many consider a ‘team of destiny’, they stand no chance against a team dedicated to winning a title for their brother. You saw a team come together after that fateful injury and a brotherhood came to the surface.
This Louisville team is not only talented and scary good, but they are as close as any team to step on a basketball court in the entire nation.
The Ware injury has been a blessing in disguise for the Cardinals and that will be evident Monday night in Atlanta.