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Kevin Ware got to see the Midwest Regional trophy, is in good spirits

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The injury that Kevin Ware suffered on Sunday night was graphic and horrifying and one of the worst things that I’ve ever witnessed on a basketball court.

Injuries like this happen every now and then. Three years ago, Texas A&M’s Derrick Roland broke his leg in a game at Washington. Football players and soccer players and rugby players have legs get snapped from time to time. But what made Ware’s injury so powerful was a combination of two things:

– First of all, he was laying on the court on national television in the biggest game of the season to date with his tibia snapped in half, the bone sticking through his skin and his foot hanging on solely by his skin and his muscle. I’m seen feet dangling; I’ve never seen the bone protruding from the skin like that. It’s horrifying.

– More importantly, it was the reaction of Ware’s teammates that was so moving. Russ Smith and Chane Behanan were sobbing. Players on the bench vomited. Rick Pitino was wiping away tears. And when the game was over, Behanan and Siva both put on Ware’s jersey. It was powerful.

Ware had a successful, two-hour surgery late last night.

Pitino and his son Richard, a former Louisville assistant and the current head coach at Florida International, visited Ware in the hospital last night and early Monday morning.

They brought the Midwest Regional Championship trophy with them.

“He was very excited about it,” the elder Pitino said on the Final Four teleconference. But when they tried to take the trophy back, Ware said to them, “It’s staying with me.”

Ware’s parents are at the hospital with him, and he’s apparently in good spirits. He’s becoming a really easy kid to root for. And, Pitino confirmed, he will be in Atlanta with the team for the Final Four.

source:

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: