Tyler Hansbrough broke the all-time ACC scoring mark on Thursday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to gain control of yet another record during his illustrious career. How did Hansbrough react after knocking down the record-breaking free throw with 15:43 remaining in the first half? It was business as usual for the senior from Poplar Bluff, Missouri.
Hansbrough was only three points away from breaking J.J. Redick's record going into the game against Radford, so it was almost a foregone conclusion that the hard-nosed power forward would eclipse the record early in the game.
A powder blue sea of Tar Heel faithful rose to their feet to congratulate Hansbrough on his incredible record-breaking career. Even several teammates clapped excitedly on the bench as he swished in the free throw. Hansbrough just ran back down the court, ready to keep playing.
Tyler Hansbrough has passed some legendary names on his way to the top of the ACC scoring mountain. Most recently, J.J. Redick lit up the box score with his outside range and shoot first, ask questions later mentality. Fellow Tar Heel Phil Ford scored 2,290 points and ranks second in the Tar Heel record book, and No. 10 all-time in the ACC.
Just as impressive is NC State's superstar David Thompson and his No. 9 overall ranking with 2,309 career points and consistent domination of the ACC in the mid '70s.
Though a Tar Heel would not normally be found in the company of a Blue Devil, Hansbrough shares history with several Dukies. Christian Laettner and Mike Gminski are ranked sixth and seventh respectively on the all-time list, and longtime Duke assistant Johnny Dawkins ranks third all-time.
While Hansbrough has publicly recognized that all of his individual accomplishments are a great honor, this blue-collar player with unmatched intensity has his eyes on the real prize: a National Championship. If he can lead his Tar Heels to the title, we will undoubtedly see some celebration from Hansbrough, but until then expect nothing but unparalleled focus and intensity from this All-American.