INDIANAPOLIS - If you saw it, you can't unsee it.
The injury to Louisville basketball guard Kevin Ware instantly changed the dynamic of what was supposed to be a Sunday afternoon of competitive fun at Lucas Oil Stadium.
IMAGES: UL regroups after Ware injury
Sure, the competition went on, and it was spirited, but a pall hung over the stadium for the rest of the game.
A morose quietness overtook the stadium immediately after the play in which Ware, a sophomore, jumped to contest a three-point shot and fell awkwardly, breaking his leg in two places.
Though the shot of the event shown live and in one replay on CBS was wide, the seriousness of the injury was easy to see, so much so that those who were watching from home winced, at least, or became physically ill, at worst.
In the stadium, there were looks of horror on the faces of both Ware's teammates, coach Rick Pitino and those in the stands.
Some Duke players openly wept, and coach Mike Krzyzewski looked as though he, too, would burst into tears at any moment.
At that moment, the game was completely secondary to thoughts for Ware, a young man who had become a key cog to the Cardinals' postseason run.
CBS wisely chose to not show the injury again, and commentators Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg let the images of the reaction tell the story.
Ultimately, athletes are fragile. Though their bodies are fine-tuned machines in some ways, they are still prone to injury, and what happened to Ware was a stark reminder about how quickly it can end.
It may seem unimaginable to some, but doctors say the prognosis for Ware will ultimately be good, that he should be able to return from the injury as though it never happened.
It will take time and rehabilitation, but modern medicine has the skillset to make it happen, and athletes like Ware have the will to come back stronger than ever.