UNC Basketball: Tyler Hansbrough and Gerald Henderson reunited

CHAPEL HILL, NC - MARCH 08: Gerald Henderson
CHAPEL HILL, NC - MARCH 08: Gerald Henderson /

Former ACC rivals reunite 10 years after ‘bloody nose’ game

The storied rivalry between Duke and North Carolina, particularly on the hardwood, has long been considered the greatest in the history of college basketball.

One could point to a number of players, coaches, individual games or moments involved in the rivalry’s rich history, but few are as memorable as the events that happened in the closing seconds of a game that took place in Chapel Hill more than a decade ago.

More from Tar Heels in the Pros

With North Carolina in control of the game and the clock winding down, Tar Heels’ power forward Tyler Hansbrough rebounded a missed free throw and attempted a quick put back in a lane crowded with Duke defenders.

As Hansbrough made his move upward, Duke freshman Gerald Henderson attempted to block the shot (sort of), but missed the ball altogether. Henderson’s elbow came down on Hansbrough’s face, immediately drawing blood and forcing the latter to hit the ground in pain.

Players from both squads surrounded their respective teammates, and the sold out North Carolina crowd immediately went into a frenzy. After a few moments lying face down on the court, Hansbrough quickly hopped up, showing obvious objection to the previous play.

With less than 20 seconds remaining in the game, Hansbrough left the court to tend to his bloody nose. And after a lengthy deliberation between referees, Henderson would be ejected from the game.

Hansbrough would go on to become one of the most decorated players in college basketball history, a consensus first team All-American three times and National Player of the Year in 2008.

Henderson had a nice career at Duke, too, leading the Blue Devils in scoring as a junior and being named first team All-ACC.

Ten years removed from the unforgettable event that forever linked the two players, Hansbrough and Henderson will reunite to launch their own podcast.

"“Me and Tyler – mainly because of me – have a unique history, having something that will never be forgotten about,” Henderson told The News & Observer. “Tyler went up, shot faked or whatever, he got all our guys in the air and I came down on him,” Henderson continued. “I wasn’t trying to hurt him or anything like that. It just turned out way worse than what I intended.”"

The weekly program, which begins on Thursday and will be dubbed “Tobacco Road”, will focus on the programs’ long and heated rivalry. The podcast will feature players, coaches and other guests who have close ties to the programs.

This is a collaboration that few fans would have anticipated seeing, even a decade after the aforementioned events.

"“It’s going to grab some attention,” Hansbrough said. “But both of us are actively involved with our programs. It’s kind of unique, because usually you don’t bring both crowds together unless we’re playing.”"

The podcast will be released on Thursdays via iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher.