I was in the third row of the risers, like 15 feet from the incident, and I’ll never forget the feeling I felt and the feeling of those around me. It was a simultaneous mix of outrage, shock, concern and unbridled hatred, all encapsulated in a mass of sweaty, exhausted students. I’ve also never been more shocked by the look in players’ eyes. The TV replays and YouTube videos really don’t do Tyler Hansbrough’s expression justice. He looked, quite literally, like he would have killed Gerald Henderson if he had the opportunity. He resembled a man possessed. It was like the sight of his own blood triggered some kind of primal, naturalistic urge to just obliterate whatever caused it.
When Henderson was escorted off the court into the locker room, the students in the risers spewed this torrent of vitriolic slurs the likes of which I’d never heard, and probably never will again.