Historic Bacot effort leads UNC past Virginia

UNC’s Armando Bacot had a history-making performance with 29 points and 21 rebounds at home in a 74-58 blowout of Virginia. (1/8) “He was fantastic – the best game he’s played in his college career,” UNC coach Hubert Davis said of Bacot. “I didn’t really how fantastic he was until I saw the stat sheet. We needed him to be big for us.” How big was he? Only five players in Tar Heel history had scored more than 20 points and hauled in more than 20 rebounds in a game. Now Bacot’s name is among the likes of Lennie Rosenbluth, […]

UNC’s Armando Bacot had a history-making performance with 29 points and 21 rebounds at home in a 74-58 blowout of Virginia. (1/8)

“He was fantastic – the best game he’s played in his college career,” UNC coach Hubert Davis said of Bacot. “I didn’t really how fantastic he was until I saw the stat sheet. We needed him to be big for us.”

How big was he? Only five players in Tar Heel history had scored more than 20 points and hauled in more than 20 rebounds in a game. Now Bacot’s name is among the likes of Lennie Rosenbluth, Billy Cunningham, Pete Brennan, Mitch Kupchak and mostly recently Brice Johnson.

Carolina had lost seven straight games to the Cavaliers dating back to 2017. But this time the only time the Cavaliers led at 7-6 in the first five minutes of the game.

It was tight throughout the first half with the Heels up 31-25 at the half behind Bacot’s 12 points and Caleb Love’s 10 points.

Carolina came out with great ball movement that led to a Brady Manek three, a Bacot dunk and a Virginia timeout with the Heels up by double figures for the first time at 36-25.

With just under 15 minutes left, Love swished a three to put UNC up 45-33. Three minutes later, Love banged in another three, this one from the right side, to put Carolina in total control at 54-38.

Manek, who had 19 points, threw up a three at the end of the shot clock to put Carolina up by 18 and a little over a minute later he hit a three from the right corner to give the Heels a commanding 70-47 lead with 4:15 to go.

A pair of free throws by Bacot gave Carolina its biggest lead of the day at 72-47. With mostly subs on the court, Virginia outscored UNC 11-2 to make the final score look a little better for the Cavs.

The Tar Heels were playing without starter Dawson Garcia and key shooter off the bench Kerwin Walton. Justin McKoy, the Virginia transfer, was back after COVID protocols and scored three points over eight minutes.

North Carolina, now 11-4 and 3-1 in the ACC, hosts Georgia Tech Saturday, Jan 15. Virginia, led by Reece Beekman’s 13 points, falls to 9-6 overall and 3-2 in the league.

For a box score and more on the game, please click here.