Sunday, April 2, 2023

After UNC’s Armando Bacot’s final-minute ankle injury, Kansas players show sportsmanship despite live ball


North Carolina star Armando Bacot was a huge question mark entering Monday’s NCAA Tournament title game after suffering an ankle injury against Duke in Saturday’s national semifinal. Though he turned in another performance for the ages, Bacot re-injured the very same ankle in the final minute of the 72-69 loss vs. Kansas when he stepped awkwardly in the paint.

The injury caused Bacot to turn the ball over, and the 6-foot-10 big crumpled in obvious pain as Kansas moved the ball to its end of the court. In a showing of sportsmanship, however, Kansas forward Jalen Wilson chose not to take advantage of the 5-on-4 situation up 70-69 while Bacot gingerly limped up the court before officials blew the play dead for a substitution. 

Following the timeout, Kansas forward David McCormack connected on a hook shot to give the Jayhawks a 72-69 advantage. Some incredible on-ball defense by the Jayhawks forced a Caleb Love three-point attempt left of the rim as time expired. 

Bacot finished Monday’s national title game with a game-high 15 points to go along with 15 rebounds. In doing so, the Tar Heels star became the first player to record six double-doubles in the same NCAA Tournament. Bacot turned in 31 double-doubles for the season, tying him with David Robinson for the NCAA single-season record.

In the opening 20 minutes, Bacot scored 12 of his 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and he was a huge reason that North Carolina was able to jump out to 40-25 halftime lead. The injured ankle was clearly bothering him all evening, however, and the final injury proved to be too much to overcome. 

Kansas Jayhawks championship gear released

In historic fashion, the Jayhawks have won their first national title since 2008. You can now buy Kansas championship shirts, hats, jerseys, hoodies, and much more to celebrate the historic win. Get gear here now.

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