It has to be a Duke/North Carolina thing, right?
What else can explain the inexplicable sight of Mike Dunleavy's hard foul on Tyler Hansbrough in the second half of the Indiana Pacers win over the Milwaukee Bucks? The former Dukie decided not to let his former Tar Heel teammate try to score through contact and instead slammed him in the head with both arms. Dunleavy was charged with a flagrant foul and then both players picked up a technical when Hansbrough made a casual WTF inquiry.
Maybe it was a subconscious visceral reaction by Dunleavy from his Tobacco Road rivalry days. Maybe he was thinking about all of the errant elbows and shoulders he took from Hansbrough during practice with the Pacers. Maybe he just wanted to show Frank Vogel that he could indeed play smashmouth basketball by literally smashing Hansbrough in the mouth.
Whatever the reason, Hansbrough was not amused and took exception to the play, as Mike Wells reports.
"To be honest with you it felt like he hit me with two elbows straight to my face," Hansbrough, still upset, said after the game. "I'm not sure. My cheeks are hurting me pretty good and my teeth."
Hansbrough and Dunleavy were given double techicals moments later when they were talking during a free throw attempt.
"I was angry and wanted an explanation for the foul," he said. "We were just talking it out and the refs thought we were saying other stuff."