North Carolina Star Armando Bacot Announces Return, Tar Heels Become Second-Biggest Favorite for National Title
Photo by Brett Wilhelm/NCAA Photos via Getty Images. Pictured: Armando Bacot.
The North Carolina Tar Heels received a massive boost on Wednesday.
Star forward Armando Bacot announced his intentions to return for his senior season in Chapel Hill instead of pursuing professional opportunities.
He announced it with a video on social media.
Bacot will likely be one of the favorites to win the Naismith Player of the Year Award next season, an award that goes to the best player in men’s college basketball.
The six-foot-10 forward averaged 16.3 points and 13.1 rebounds per game while leading his team to the national championship last season before losing to Kansas. He was the runner-up for ACC Player of the Year. Bacot was also one of just 15 players in all of college basketball to average a double-double last season.
Bacot became an even more dominant rebounder during the NCAA Tournament when he averaged 16.5 rebounds per game.
The return of North Carolina’s star big man has boosted the Tar Heels’ title odds. They have gone from +1400 to win the title to +1200 on DraftKings, which makes them the second-biggest favorite behind Duke.
There are still quite a few question marks remaining with the team as fellow starters R.J. Davis, Caleb Love and Leaky Black have yet to make a decision on their future.
Recent reports suggest that Black and Davis are likely to return, and Love will likely test the NBA Draft waters while keeping his eligibility.
Brady Manek could be the only player North Carolina loses from its Final Four team.
If that’s the case, watch out for the Tar Heels next season.