Sunday evening, 8th ranked North Carolina emerged victorious over the 14th ranked Duke, 86-72. The latest result of college basketball's nastiest rivalry left Duke with their largest margin of defeat all season and North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough with blood streaming down his face. The injury came with 14.5 seconds left, when Hansbrough leaped for a layup. After the ball left his hand, he was struck in the face by Gerald Henderson's right elbow.
In a statement released after the game, the three officials ruled the foul, "as combative and confrontational action" and said such a foul is "ruled a fight... By rule, it is an automatic ejection. By NCAA rule, (Henderson) must sit out the next game."
CBS analyst Billy Packer repeatedly said the foul was not flagrant on the air. After watching numerous replays, I think while Henderson might not have been targeting Hansbrough���s nose with his elbow, he was definitely going for much harder of a foul than necessary. Everyone is entitled their own view, but you have to wonder what he had in mind with his team down 14 and only 18 seconds to go in the game.
Do you think this was an intentional cheap shot?
Either way, it���s a good example of why it is important to keep your emotions in check at the end of a game that isn���t turning out the way you wanted to. One thing is for sure, the Duke vs. North Carolina rivalry just stepped up another notch.