UNC Basketball big man among Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Midseason Top 10 finalists

Armando Bacot of the UNC basketball program is one of the midseason finalists for the annual Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award.

North Carolina v NC State
North Carolina v NC State / Lance King/GettyImages
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The UNC basketball program has been well-represented on midseason award watch lists, as both RJ Davis and Harrison Ingram earned honors earlier in the week.

The Tar Heels capped off the work week by adding another, as Armando Bacot has been named one of the midseason finalists for the annual Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award.

Named after Class of 1995 Hall of Famer and three-time NCAA Champion Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the annual honor recognizes the top center in Division I men's college basketball.

Although he takes plenty of criticism from the UNC basketball program's fan base, Bacot is still one of the elite centers in all of college basketball. In his fifth (and final season) at North Carolina, Bacot's numbers have took a bit of a dip, but his importance to the Tar Heels success is still very much evident.

Heading into the Tar Heels rivalry matchup with Duke, Bacot is averaging 13.4 points and 9.9 rebounds per game. He's been even better at the Dean Smith Center, averaging 15.2 points and 10.7 boards over 12 games played in Chapel Hill this season.

His defense has also improved drastically, as he's been a very viable shot blocker in the middle. The Tar Heels as a whole have been better on the defensive side of the ball, as Bacot has played a huge role in that improvement.

There's another familiar name for UNC basketball fans on the list, as former Tar Heel Dawson Garcia has earned a spot as well. Fans remember how Garcia spent less than a half of season in Chapel Hill before transferring to Minnesota.

2024 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Award Candidates
Johni Broome, Auburn
Armando Bacot, North Carolina
PJ Hall, Clemson
Zach Edey, Purdue
Ryan Kalkbrenner, Creighton
Joel Soriano, St. John's
Hunter Dickinson, Kansas
Donovan Clingan, UConn
Dawson Garcia, Minnesota
Branden Carlson, Utah*
Players can play their way onto and off the list at any point in the 2023-24 season.

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