Shots, opportunities, Armando Bacot: It’s hard to tell what the Tar Heels missed the most on Wednesday night.
No. 6 Ohio State handled the seventh-ranked North Carolina men’s basketball team in a 74-49 drubbing as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, limiting UNC to 27.4 percent shooting in the team’s worst home loss in the Roy Williams era.
Just as concerning: with the first-year Bacot exiting in the first half with a sprained ankle – he could be out “a while,” according to his head coach – the Tar Heel front line was outrebounded 48-32 on the night.
It was enough to leave Williams without explanation.
“As evident from the game,” the Hall of Famer said, “I have no answers.”
Sans Bacot, North Carolina relied on Garrison Brooks and Justin Pierce, plus reserves Brandon Huffman (seven minutes) and Walker Miller (six).
On this particular night, it wasn’t enough. Not nearly.
And while the 69-year-old Williams was loath to make excuses – “We can’t feel sorry for ourselves,” he said. “It’s part of the game.” – it was hard not to wonder how Bacot, coming off of a career-high 23-point outing against Oregon, would have changed the game against the Buckeyes.
“He was starting to really turn a corner for us,” Pierce said. “He’s been good all year, but he was starting to become the player I know he can be. He dominated that Oregon game. He was the best player on the floor.