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ACC Roundup - Armando Bacot Has A Career Game Against Virginia

A monster game by UNC’s junior big man

NCAA Basketball: Virginia at North Carolina
Jan 8, 2022; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; Virginia Cavaliers forward Kadin Shedrick (21) and North Carolina Tar Heels forward Armando Bacot (5) fight for the ball in the first half at Dean E. Smith Center. 
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

In Saturday’s ACC Action, Clemson took out NC State 70-65, Boston College fell to Pitt 69-67, Notre Dame beat Georgia Tech in overtime 72-68, Louisville lost to Florida State 79-70, Wake Forest nipped Syracuse 77-74 and UNC clobbered Virginia 74-58.

Armando Bacot had a memorable game for the Tar Heels: he scored 29 of UNC’s 78 points and pulled down a massive 21 boards including nine of UNC’s offensive boards. It’s what former Blue Devil Mason Plumlee calls a “man’s game.” Brady Manek added 19 while Caleb Love put up 16.

The rest of the team scored just 10 points.

It was a tour-de-force by the junior center and ended a long run of success for Virginia against the Tar Heels.

Ideally you’d like more offense from others, but Virginia’s defense is always tough. And the Heels did win emphatically.

You can say whatever you want to about Syracuse’s decline and we’ve certainly addressed it, but what about Wake Forest’s rise?

The Demon Deacons are now 13-3 and should get some votes this week in the polls. If they don’t, they’ll get another chance this Wednesday when Duke comes calling, and the Blue Devils are still getting over Corona.

Boeheim is now just 7-8 and a tournament bid is slipping away. It’s not that it’s easy beating Syracuse. The last three games have been close and the Indiana game went to double overtime. There’s no way around the fact that they have a losing record though and it’s going to be tough to do enough to get in.

NC State continues to play tough but, somewhat like Syracuse, there’s no getting around missing your best big man and having a young roster.

Dereon Seabron had another big game with 27 points. He’s averaging just under 20 points and pulling down 10 boards per game.

The rest of the team didn’t do so well though, hitting just 10 shots out of 40 attempts (Seabron shot 9-20). Thomas Allen hit four shots; no one else hit more than two. Seabron looks more and more like one of those ACC players like Walt Williams or Muggsy Bogues who can be phenomenal but who can’t quite carry his team. Put him down for All-ACC though. He will have earned it.

Notre Dame and Georgia Tech went to OT before the Irish settled it. As long as we’re figuring out season honors early, might as well put Blake Wesley down for All-Freshman because he’s been terrific.

Was here too, with 22 for Mike Brey’s team. Nate Laszewski resumed his erratic ways with just one basket in 35 minutes but it was a big three in overtime. Georgia Tech is smallish but Josh Pastner is an excellent defensive coach and can switch things up.

It was always going to be tough to replace Jose Alvarado and Moses Wright, so it’s no real surprise that Tech is now 6-8 and 0-4 overall.

After scoring his second basket of the season at Duke, Jordan Meka resumed his normal form and took just one shot, missing it. Michael DeVoe had 20 while Jordan Usher finished with 16 for the Yellow Jackets.

Somewhat like Duke, Florida State has had to deal with both Covid and a young roster. Didn’t matter against Louisville.

FSU won 79-70. Caleb Mills, who hails from Arden NC, had a career-high 27 (Arden is about 1 12 hours from Leonard Hamilton’s hometown of Gastonia. Also from Gastonia: James Worthy and Sleepy Floyd).

Given Hamilton’s system - 10 guys got double-digit minutes in this one and only Anthony Polite played as many as 30 - it’s a little unusual for one guy to get 27 points. Mills hung 22 on Purdue earlier too so he’s worth keeping an eye on.

As we’ve said before, you should be keeping an eye on Pitt’s John Hugely who had a huge game against BC with 32 points and 13 rebounds. He’s averaging 14.5 ppg and 7.9 boards so far.

Ithiel Horton’s return was short-lived: the charges that were dropped last week have been re-filed. Coach Jeff Capel said this after the game: “He’s a great, great kid. It’s really, really messed up what’s happening and what he’s having to go through again. He loves to be part of a team, and that has been taken from him. Unfortunately, it’s BS, I think.

”He’s someone we care about that we love and we know the kind of young man that he is...[T]here’s something that just doesn’t feel right about us getting ready for a game and him sitting in a jail cell. I feel for him. I love him.”

Pretty heart-felt. He doesn’t appear to be in jail however. He was released on his own recognizance. His next court date is January 26th.

No games until Tuesday when Pitt plays Syracuse and Miami and FSU have a rivalry game in Tallahassee.

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