PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas – In Thursday's 73-64 loss to Michigan, Armando Bacot played the second-least minutes of any game this season: 22.
The first-year forward went three for 10 from the field against the Wolverines and had season lows in both offensive and defensive rebounds, excluding the injury-shortened three-minute outing he had against UNCW.
But on Friday, it was the young Bacot who led the No. 6 North Carolina men’s basketball team to a 78-74 victory over the No. 11 Oregon Ducks in the third-place game of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.`
The six-foot-10 newbie dominated in just about every category that he could. He posted a career-high 23 points — which he achieved by sinking seven of nine field goal attempts and going nine for 10 from the free throw line — to go along with 12 rebounds and six blocks. It all came in 31 minutes on the court, the most he’s ever played as a Tar Heel.
“Yesterday, I felt like I got my butt whooped,” Bacot said. “I feel like the main reason why is because I wasn’t really listening to what Coach was telling me. Today, coming into the game, I knew I just had to make everything simple.”