It was 10 years ago this season that North Carolina’s Tyler Hansbrough went down with a bloody nose after being hit during a flagrant foul by Duke’s Gerald Henderson in Chapel Hill on March 4, 2007. Henderson was ejected and UNC won, 86-72.
Here’s our story, originally published on March 5, 2007, on what happened during and after the foul.
The Duke men’s basketball team has to endure one more twist to an already difficult season.
The 14th-ranked Blue Devils’ regular-season finale had a unpleasant finish when freshman Gerald Henderson was ejected from the loss to No. 8 North Carolina after he flagrantly fouled UNC sophomore Tyler Hansbrough in the game’s final seconds.
Hansbrough grabbed an offensive rebound and was going back up for a score when Henderson elevated to try to block the shot with 14.5 seconds left in the game.
Looking at the replay, Henderson, on his way down, appeared to strike Hansbrough in the nose with his right forearm.
“Tyler went up, shot faked or whatever, he got all our guys in the air and I came down on him, “ Henderson said. “I wasn’t trying to hurt him or anything like that. It just turned out way worse than what I intended.”
Hansbrough fell to the court and was face down for a minute before getting up with his nose bleeding down his face. He then walked off the court.
The flagrant foul called on Henderson also carries an automatic one-game suspension.
He will miss the opening-round game Thursday at the ACC Tournament against N.C. State.
“By rule, this is a flagrant foul for combative and confrontational action. It is ruled a fight, “ ACC officials Les Jones, Karl Hess and Jamie Luckie said in a joint statement. “By rule, it is an automatic ejection. By NCAA rule, [Henderson] must sit out the next game.”
Hansbrough did not speak to reporters after the game. A UNC spokesman said team doctors were treating him and would not make him available for interviews.
Coach Roy Williams said Hansbrough’s nose was not broken.
Hansbrough returned to the court five minutes after the incident, with gauze shoved up his nose, to hear UNC seniors Reyshawn Terry, Dewey Burke and Wes Miller give their farewell speeches.
Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said he would accept whatever judgment the ACC handed down.
“We’ll take all responsibility, but if there’s any way what [Henderson] did was intentional, it’s crazy, “ he said after viewing CBS replays of the foul. “He was moving away after going up to block. ... He didn’t extend anything. It’s unfortunate. ... I feel badly for Tyler, and we apologize. ... We’ll go with what was called. I feel badly that it happened.”
Krzyzewski questioned whether Hansbrough and Henderson should have been on the court with UNC leading 84-72.
“Unfortunately, we probably both should have had walk-ons in, “ Krzyzewski said.
Williams said he was trying to get Hansbrough out of the game.
“If you go back and look, Michael Copeland was at the scorer’s table because I was trying to get Tyler out of the game, “ he said. “It was not my fault that Tyler got the offensive rebound and somebody else missed that sucker. But that is enough said about that junk.”
Henderson was asked after the game if he would apologize to Hansbrough and Williams for what happened, and he said he hadn’t yet had the chance to do so.
No. 8 UNC at No. 18 Duke
When: 8 p.m., Thursday.
Site: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham.
TV: ESPN (Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas). Internet live-stream: WatchESPN app. Radio: 106.1-WTKK; SiriusXM channel 84