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UNC vs. Tennessee - Player of the Game: Tony Bradley

The freshman made several key plays down the stretch as the Tar Heels escaped.

NCAA Basketball: Tennessee at North Carolina Evan Pike-USA TODAY Sports

After being down as much as 15 over the course of the game, North Carolina rallied for a two-point win over Tennessee. One of the main reasons for eking out the 73-71 win was Tony Bradley.

UNC’s freshman big man went for 10 points and 10 rebounds, providing key minutes as the Tar Heels rallied over the course of the second half. He also blocked Lamonte Turner’s potential game-tying shot with two seconds left, and came away with the rebound to seal the game.

As a team, the Tar Heels struggled pretty badly, especially the starting bigs. Isaiah Hicks played just 14 minutes before fouling out with just six points. Kennedy Meeks did have three crucial late points, but scored just nine on the night and had only three rebounds. Bradley stepped up and picked up the slack down low. He played 20 minutes in total, which was more than Hicks or Meeks.

On defense, he wasn’t perfect, but he did come up with the aforementioned block to seal the game.

He also didn’t commit a foul in his 20 minutes on the court. On a day where Hicks’ foul woes returned, that was helpful.

It’s hard to find bright spots from this game for Carolina. The bigs struggled. Justin Jackson went 3-15. Nate Britt filled up the stat sheet, but he shot 4-14. The Tar Heels needed someone to step up and get them over the line. Against Tennessee, Tony Bradley was that someone.