Beautiful Ugly


Photo by Robert Willett, N&O

That was beautiful. Watching Tyler Hansbrough pump/run/flail/dance/skip to midcourt after his game-winning fadeaway baseline jumper fell through with under a second to play yesterday was wonderful. It was joyous, cathartic, Psycho, awkward, and absolutely the purest outpouring of genuine exuberance you’ll see. There was no restraint for decorum’s sake. It was just a release of joy and emotion from the most intense player in college basketball. In fact, Tyler’s ugly/beautiful celebration was a lot like the game yesterday.

Compare the image of Tyler’s celebration with the fist-pumping/jumping/cool of Michael Jordan’s celebration after hitting the famous game winner against Utah. Michael was excited, to be sure, but still restrained enough to not lose his coolness. That contrast is somewhat like the comparison of 2005’s Tar Heels to this year’s version. 2005 had a supremely skilled and experienced bunch who, when they put forth 100% effort, were unstoppable. While this team has looked good this year, they’ve not had an unbeatable air about them. But they bring it. This team fights through injury, grinds out games, and wills itself to victories (and advances to the ACC final, something the ’05 team failed to do).

This team can win ugly. It is tough. It is beautiful.


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