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UNC’s Armando Bacot (ankle) to play in championship game

Apr 2, 2022; New Orleans, LA, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Armando Bacot (5) is help off the court during the second half against the Duke Blue Devils in the 2022 NCAA men's basketball tournament Final Four semifinals at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina big man Armando Bacot said a sprained ankle won’t keep him out of the national championship game against Kansas on Monday night.

Bacot sprained his ankle and was helped off the court in the second half of Saturday night’s national semifinal against Duke but returned to help the Tar Heels finish off the 81-77 win over their archrival.

“We don’t have another big man,” Bacot said, “so I don’t have a choice.”

Coach Hubert Davis said X-rays were negative.

The 6-foot-10 Bacot leads the Tar Heels in scoring (16.3 points per game), rebounds (13.1) and blocks (1.7).

Bacot said he has been receiving treatment since the end of the Duke game.

He will be counted on to try to stop Kansas’ David McCormack, who bulldozed Villanova in the other semifinal game on Saturday, scoring 25 points on 10-of-12 shooting and adding nine rebounds in 29 minutes.

“If I don’t play, who knows what Dave McCormack may do,” Bacot said.

–FIeld Level Media