Sunday, March 04, 2007

Duke and North Carolina, Blue blood? I think not.

I think it's safe to say no matter how much you love your team and no matter how high a player's loyalty is to their team, they don't actually "bleed" their team's colors. Hate to break it to you, but I don't believe Sandy Koufax bled "Dodger Blue" and I certainly don't bleed Atlanta Brave red...well technically I do bleed red...but you know what I mean. Anyways if we learned anything from Sunday's Duke-Carolina game it is Tyler Hansbrough doesn't bleed Carolina Blue.

Tyler Hansbrough received a bloody nose at the hands of Duke guard, Gerald Henderson. With just 14 seconds left of a North Carolina, 86-72 win, when Bobby Frasor missed a free-throw, Tyler Hansbrough went up to retrieve the rebound and when he came down, Gerald Henderson's forearm landed right on the bridge of Hansbrough's nose splitting it open. Hansbrough landed hard onto the ground and covered his face, when he stood up blood was pouring from the gash and Hansbrough was fuming. He was desperately trying to fight his way to Henderson but he was held back buy a couple of teammates. After reviewing the tape, officials rejected Henderson and because of the NCAA rule, he will miss the next Blue Devil's game which happens to be the start of the ACC Championship next Thursday against North Carolina State.

The only real question that is left is, was the the foul intentional. In my opinion it most certainly was. Henderson along with the rest of the Duke team was obviously upset with their embarrassing 14-point loss and rightfully so, but what Henderson did was probably unnecessarily. But of course, Henderson thought differently.

"I was not intentionally trying to hurt anybody," Henderson said. "Obviously, it was a foul. I was not trying to hurt or hit the kid."

And not surprisingly, Duke Head Coach, Mike Krzyzewski didn't agree with the punishment. He said that he would like for the ACC office to take another look at the play and they should be expecting a call from people over at Duke. Of course he is just saying this because Henderson is one of his best players and that's what coaches do, right? They neglect the obvious that Henderson intended to hurt Hansbrough and when he succeeded he has to act shocked and probably come up with some bullshit on how Henderson just tapped into some childhood memory where he was beaten up at the playground for being different.

"We'll take all responsibility, but if there's any way Gerald Henderson did that intentionally, that's crazy," Krzyzewski said. "That's not the way he plays and not the way we play. ... I feel badly for Tyler and what happened, but there was no intent."

"The game was over before that," he said. "I mean the outcome of the game, let's put it that way. That's unfortunate, too, that those people were in the game in that play. Maybe this wouldn't have happened."

Now where have I heard that excuse from, oh yeah, it's the same damn thing Isiah Thomas said in defense of his player that started the Brawl at Madison Square Garden. And if Hansbrough hadn't been held back it's likely that we would've seen a similar situation. In response to Coach K's quote, Carolina's coach, Roy Williams wasn't happy with what took place on the court and Coach K's reasoning for his player's action.

"I don't understand that," Williams responded, when told of Krzyzewski's barb.

Playing starters at garbage time, he was told.

"Gerald was in," Williams said, although Henderson did not start. "I mean, both teams had 'em in. Anybody else got any questions?"

So with all that said, North Carolina won their 4th game against Duke out of the last five and regained the top spot upon the ACC rankings and a first round bye something the Dukies don't have the luxury of.

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