The Tar Heels desperately missed Armando Bacot in their 58-65 loss against Virginia on Tuesday night. In the star center’s absence, the Heels barely out-rebounded the Cavaliers, only had four second-chance points, and they only had 20 points in the paint to Virginia’s 32. Losing Bacot for more games this season seems like a dangerous proposition, but we at least received some positive news from the school yesterday.
It was announced yesterday afternoon that Bacot’s x-rays came back negative, which is a good sign for the Tar Heels. His ankle is still pretty swollen, so the team doesn’t know when to expect him to make his return. If fans are looking for some silver-lining when it comes to the short-term timeline, the Heels will travel to Louisville to face off against the 2-14 Cardinals, so it could make for an easy decision for Hubert Davis to rest Bacot without much consequence. However, this team relies heavily on Bacot, which was evident in their loss to the Cavaliers. One would like to think that there’s enough firepower to leave Kentucky with a win, but it really depends on whether or not Jalen Washington can once again make an impact, and if the backcourt can have a good enough game to keep things afloat.
On our newest episode of the What in Tar Nation podcast, Tanya Anderson (@tanya__anderson), Julius Emanuel (@UNC_TarHeelFan), and I (@THBBrandon) discuss what this team looked like without Bacot, how Caleb Love needs to step up in Bacot’s absence, and more. You can check out our latest episode by clicking one of the links below:
Hopefully we will hear more about Bacot’s ankle over the next 48 hours, and we are also hoping that Pete Nance will get the green light soon as well. This team can’t afford to have two starters sitting on the bench, because there’s only so many games left to make enough noise to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.