Kevin Ware's horrific leg break during one of the most closely watched US college basketball games of the year reduced his teammates and coach to tears.
"The bone's six inches out of his leg and all he's yelling is, 'Win the game, win the game'," said University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who wiped away tears as national television quickly backed away from showing replays of Ware's horrific fall at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.
"I've not seen that in my life."
Ware shot to one of the top worldwide trending topics on Twitter and video of the injury was posted on YouTube.
Louisville guard Ware's right leg bent in such an awkward, frightening angle that CBS stopped showing replays, as team officials confirmed the leg was broken in two places.
Louisville star Russ Smith heard the break and Chane Behanan, Ware's closest friend, said he could not believe what was happening.
"The bone was literally out. I saw white, it was literally out," said Behanan, who collapsed on his hands and knees at the sight and looked as if he was going to be sick.
Ware in hospital holding NCAA Regional Championship trophy with coach Rick Pitino, left, and ex-Louisville assistant coach Richard Pitino
"I've never seen anything like that," Behanan said. "I don't remember the last time I cried."
Dr Frederick Azar, a spokesman for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, said Ware "jumped pretty far horizontally and vertically, and he landed with a twist", which puts so much torsion and stress on the bones they could have just snapped.
Ware's team went on to surge past opponents Duke 85-63 to win one of just four spots in the race to the national finals of the NCAA tournament.
And less than 24 hours after suffering the gruesome fracture, Ware was already up and getting around his hospital room on crutches.