UNC Basketball: Bacot stars in Season 5: The Finale

Mar 4, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Armando Bacot (5) before the game at Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 4, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Armando Bacot (5) before the game at Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /

Our UNC basketball player previews conclude with none other than Armando Bacot, who is set to compete in his final season as a Tar Heel. 

This is it.

The final season of Armando Bacot’s journey with the UNC basketball is set to begin, as the Richmond, Virginia native is taking full advantage of his “COVID year.”

I mean, do you blame him?!

Not only does he get to play one more season with a program that he truly loves, but he gets to finish his degree while also serving as one of the poster boys for the NIL within the college athletics world.

Oh, and he still has plenty of records to chase, including getting his No. 5 placed in the rafters of the Dean Smith Center.

Last season didn’t go as Bacot, or the UNC basketball program as a whole, hoped it would, which was a huge factor in his return to Chapel Hill. The fifth-year senior hopes to re-write the narrative, ending his collegiate career in style.

2022-2023 Season In Review

Bacot dealt with various injuries throughout the 2022-2023 season, but he battled through and was still a consistent force for the Tar Heels.

For the second straight season, Bacot averaged a double-double, as he became North Carolina’s all-time leader in double-doubles and rebounds in the process.

Bacot earned third-team All-America honors from the Associated Press, USBWA, Sporting News, and College Hoops Today, and finished in the top three in voting for the ACC Player of the Year for the second year in a row. He became the 19th Tar Heel to earn multiple first-team All-ACC honors and was the first UNC basketball player to repeat as first-team All-ACC since Tyler Hansbrough accomplished the feat.

The Tar Heels’ big man led the ACC in rebounding, offensive boards, and double-doubles, and finished fifth in field goal percentage and 11th in scoring.

To put it into perspective, you can talk for days about the accomplishments Bacot put together during his true senior season as a Tar Heel.

What to Expect in 2023-2024

Bacot should benefit from this new-look Tar Heels’ squad, as this team features plenty of players who can knock down shots from deep. If the Tar Heels can shoot the ball consistently, Bacot will have much more room to operate with, as he’s proven to be a dominant force in the paint when he has space and isn’t being double-teamed.

The main thing for Bacot will be health. North Carolina must keep him healthy throughout, as more depth should allow Hubert Davis not to have to put such a big minute load on him (as we’ve seen over the past two seasons).

Expect Bacot to continue being a double-double machine while scoring at a high level.

Bold Prediction

Armando Bacot will win the ACC Player of the Year Award.

Why is this important?

Well, Bacot has stated he wants his number honored at the Dean Smith Center, and in order for that to happen, he has to meet at least one of the criteria in place.

Winning this award accomplishes just that.

Knowing Bacot, he will find a way to have his legacy at North Carolina secured, as he’s proven he deserves a spot among the greats who have played for the UNC basketball program.

Next. Experienced transfer who is expected to make big impact. dark

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