Armando Bacot desires to lead UNC basketball to wins in his final Duke rivalry series

Senior forward Armando Bacot is looking to make a huge impact for the UNC basketball program in his final two matchups against the Duke Blue Devils.

North Carolina v Duke
North Carolina v Duke / Grant Halverson/GettyImages

Armando Bacot is having a strong fifth and final season with the UNC basketball program. The 6-foot-11 forward is averaging 13.4 points and 10 rebounds per game so far for the Tar Heels.

Needless to say, the UNC basketball program will need Bacot to have a huge impact in his final two contests against their arch-rival Duke.

Bacot has been a part of several memorable games between these two storied programs. He scored 12 points and pulled in seven rebounds in an overtime thriller his freshman year, where the Tar Heels lost 98-96. After taking a commanding nine-point lead into halftime, the Tar Heels allowed No. 7 Duke to climb back into the game and force overtime. Tied at 96, Wendell Moore Jr. cleaned up a Tre Jones missed jump shot and put it back with two seconds remaining. The Blue Devils would go on to win the game 98-96.

He then led the Tar Heels into Cameron IndoorSstadium on March 5, 2022, in Mike Krzyzewski's final home game of his career. Bacot was the leading scorer with 23 points and also pulled in 7 rebounds to help the UNC basketball program knock off the No. 4-ranked Blue Devils by a score of 94-81. The dagger came from a vicious Bacot slam off of a beautiful Caleb Love pass to seal the deal.

The two teams would meet less than a month later in one of the biggest games of the season. The Tar Heels would be taking on their biggest rival for the third time that season and the first time in the final four in the rivalry's history. Bacot only managed to score 11 points but pulled in 21 rebounds on a hurt ankle to propel North Carolina to the 81-77 win and advance to the national championship. The win ended Coach K's legendary career for good.

The UNC basketball program will need a big game from their veteran against their rival. His defense has largely improved this season, but the Tar Heels will need his relentless rebounding and timely scoring to get the job done against the Blue Devils on Saturday night.

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