Naturally, the radio broadcasters for opposing basketball teams see the same game or a particular play through different-colored lenses.
We culled the slightly different takes of the Duke and UNC broadcast teams on a play early in the second half of North Carolina’s 101-87 victory over Duke on Wednesday night. Duke's Kyle Singler and UNC’s Tyler Hansbrough were fighting for the ball on the floor when Singler caught Hansbrough on the side of the head with his right elbow and was called for a technical foul.
Here’s a segment of the call from Duke play-by-play announcer Bob Harris, John Roth and Matthew Laurance as they unravel what happened, followed by the way UNC play-by-play man Woody Durham and Eric Montross saw it:
Roth: Well, [Singler’s] elbow definitely went up and knocked Hansbrough in the cheek that time as they were going for the ball, and so that’s the call. Physically, it happened. I’m not sure that he was trying to hit anybody, but physically, his elbow went up and hit Hansbrough in the face.
Harris: Well, we’ve seen that happen before in this situation.
Roth: And Greg Paulus trying to discuss it as one of the captains on the floor right now, with [official] Mike Wood.
Harris: I heard [official] Tony Greene say a jump ball and then a foul, I believe. Matthew, is that correct?
Laurance: Yeah, I think he said jump ball and then a dead-ball foul. I don’t know how this is going to shake out, though.
Harris: Well, the dead-ball foul means there’s no shots, ’cause it was on the floor. The held ball is going to be Duke ball out of bounds, should be, unless they’re calling it a flagrant foul.
Roth: And the officials calling Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams together at midcourt right now to discuss this, so once again ... it was a tie-up down there, and it looked like, as they were going for that ball, Kyle swung his arm around, and his elbow did connect with Tyler Hansbrough in the cheek, and now we’re going to see what the ...
Harris: Well, Hansbrough was on his back, and I think that was a reaction to Hansbrough coming over [Singler’s] back. I think it’s contact from both, and so you let it go. I mean, my gosh, they’re scrambling for a loose ball. We’ve seen a lot worse.
Montross: It looks like Singler got into the fray on the floor, and it didn’t look intentional, but he did catch Hansbrough with a pretty good elbow to the side of the face. That’s what it looks like on replay.
Durham: Well, we’re sorry you don't have the privilege of watching replay, but as Eric pointed out, we’ll explain it to you when we do have [the information] as best we can.
Montross: You know, there was a big to-do last evening talking about incidental contact, flagrant contact ...
Durham: OK, I think here’s what happened: We had a tie-up for a jump ball, and then came the foul.
Montross: I would agree.
Durham: Now, you know [from] the crowd reaction, that’s what it is. Mike Krzyzewski’s got a little bit of a sneer, trying to make it a smile, but it’s a little bit of a sneer like he can’t believe it. [Official] Tony Greene’s trying to lay it all out for the veteran Duke coach, and Roy Williams has come down now to join the conversation, because these officials really aren’t supposed to talk to one coach without talking to both coaches. So both coaches are listening right now as Tony Greene explains what happened. ... (Durham initially believes the foul is on Duke’s Jon Scheyer, and the announcers, including Jones Angell, straighten that out.)
Montross: And that’s the whole thing about the elbow and the way the elbow is being called this year. Any kind of waving is a violation, whether there’s contact or not. Any kind of flagrant motion of the elbow that makes contact is a flagrant foul or a technical foul, and any kind of clearing out with an elbow is an automatic foul, so that’s why this was so critical to the referees to catch it.
-- Roger van der Horst