UNC Basketball: Bacot leads Tar Heels back to win column

Armando Bacot did Armando Bacot things on Tuesday night, as the UNC basketball program picked up their fourth victory of the season.

Was it pretty? Absolutely not.

Will we take the victory? You bet we will!

The UNC basketball program picked up a 19-point victory over UNC Asheville on Tuesday night, but the score doesn’t indicate how the Tar Heels played in this one. Hubert Davis’ squad turned the ball over a season-high 18 times and benefitted from a poor shooting performance overall from their opponent.

After a two-game losing streak, the Tar Heels will definitely take the win. With a full week before their next game — a rather big one against Michigan — North Carolina will look to fix some of the early-season issues they’ve struggled with.

Although we can point to all the negatives from Tuesday’s contest, we have to give credit to our “Tar Heel of the Game” recipient. For the first time this season, a player has earned the award multiple times.

That player is none other than junior big man Armando Bacot.

To be completely honest with you all, I really don’t want to envision this Tar Heels team without Bacot’s presence. If you’ve watched any North Carolina basketball this season, you know that the offense runs better when Bacot serves as the focal point.

Last season, the Tar Heels had too many post-up players. This year, Bacot is essentially the only “true big,” so when he’s off the court, he is definitely missed.

Against the Bulldogs, Bacot essentially dominated the post. He scored 22 points on 8-of-14 shooting and hauled in seven rebounds. It was also encouraging to see Bacot, who has struggled at the free throw line this season, knock down six of his seven attempts for the game.

It’s still very early in the Hubert Davis era, and the UNC basketball program is working through some early-season struggles in an attempt to be the team everyone expects them to be. However, one thing is certain: The Tar Heels need Bacot to consistently perform at a high level in order to be successful this season.

In case you missed any of our previous “Tar Heel of the Game” recipients, following Bacot’s two, Caleb Love, R.J. Davis, Brady Manek and Dawson Garcia each have one. We’ll have a little break from UNC basketball, but check back next week to see which Tar Heel earns the Player of the Game honors for their upcoming contest against Michigan.

Continue to follow the Keeping It Heel team for all the latest news and updates surrounding the UNC basketball program.