Sunday, March 04, 2007


Diane and I had the privilege of going to the UNC-Duke game and had a great time being together and watching the Heels win. However, I have not experienced mass anger like there was in the Dean Dome after Tyler Hansbrough was bloodied by Gerald Henderson.

There was a moment where I thought things could get ugly, and I wondered if the refs would just get Duke off the court and call it with 14 seconds left. No one threw anything, no one went on the court. But the place was boiling. I felt bad for Henderson - he's just an 18-year-old kid, getting booed off the court and probably being called who knows what. And it was disappointing to feel like the mood at the end was more anger than celebration.

But this has now supplanted the "Bloody Montross Game" of 1992 as the game that UNC fans will remember and point to when thinking of this rivalry.
Incidentally, I have watched about 10 replays of the hit, and while I don't think Henderson was aiming for Tyler's face, he was coming in to commit an aggressive and hard foul after starting the play at the foul-line extended part of the court, and he was bringing his arm down hard, not swatting at the ball and not simply falling into Tyler.

I was disappointed by Coach K's implication that the injury was partly Roy William's fault for having Tyler still in the game with UNC up 11 or 13 and 14 seconds to go. 1) Coach K was calling timeout after his team scored to cut the lead to 13 with 50 seconds left. Certainly not giving up. 2) A sub had been waiting at the table for Tyler when Bobby Frasor was at the line, and Fraso simply missed the foul shot and Tyler got the rebound, setting up his ill-fated free-throw. See this article for more.


Sean said...

i sent you an email of congratulations on this win before i saw your coverage over here. i see now it was mixed with anger. but hopefully the win outweighs it ;-)

justin smith said...

I hope it doesn't mess up his grill.

He sure is pretty.

He kinda reminds me of Donnie Wahlberg from NKOTB (don't act like you don't know what that stands for) only less manly.

Chris said...

You were certainly more diplomatic in discussing your feelings on the events than I was.

All the same, it was my first experience being part of a bloodthirsty mob too, and I'm not sure it's something I want to repeat.

Marshall said...

Justin - I would reply with some witty retort about how the NC State coach looks remarkably like a bowling ball in a red jacket, but I will hold off and enjoy our conference title and the #1 seed in the ACC tourney that comes with it.

Marshall said...

Chris - yeah, that crowd was very scary wasn't it.

I guess that it matters which blue you like prefer as to how you view the foul, but I just can't see how you could say it wasn't intentional. I have had one Duke fan call Tyler a crybaby in a conversation with me (did anyone hear that he also got hit in the mouth so hard that he is going to have to have a root canal after the season). Henderson is not a dirty player, and he did not mean for it to end that badly. But if you look at photos on tarheelblue.come from the game (photo gallery 2), it seems clear to me that he knew some of what he was doing.

Ashleigh said...

I'm so glad you don't think it was entirely unintentional. There are actually some students I've talked with that do! My thoughts are that whether he meant to wack him so hard from the beginning or he truly was at first going for the ball, somewhere in there, things did turn intentional. The replays just looked way too violent for the hit to be entirely accidental. And for goodness sakes, he's an athlete; you'd think he'd have more control over his arm than that!

I send a collective "argh!" of jealousy from my fellow students that didn't get Duke tickets. But I'm happy for you that you got to be there for the intense rivalry. :o)

btw, more blessings-related postings are up and coming-- it seems God just won't shut up about it, and that's a good thing.

Brooklynne Travis said...

Marshall, I wish that Miles and I had known that you all were at that game. We were too! We have the bashing on video tape... Miles was taping Halleigh at her first Carolina- Duke game and panned to the court just in time to see Tyler bashed in the face. shhhh, don't tell the NCAA that we had a video camera at the game.