Armando Bacot bullies Blue Devils in the paint, Tar Heels dominate in first Tobacco Road matchup

Before the UNC-Duke men’s basketball game even tipped off, Armando Bacot talked about how emotional Saturday was going to be.

Bacot, who is amongst the best big men in Tar Heels history, was going to be playing in his last UNC-Duke game at home.

Boy, did Bacot ever show out against North Carolina’s biggest rival.

After going three games without double-digit point or rebounds totals, Bacot recorded a 23-point, 10-rebound double-double in leading UNC to a 93-84 win.

With the victory, North Carolina (18-4, 10-1) extend its first-place lead in the ACC to two games.

Duke (16-5, 7-3) big man Kyle Filipowski had a respectable game, scoring 19 points and grabbing five rebounds, but Bacot clearly won this battle. Bacot backed down Filipowski with relative ease, whether spinning around him or backing him down.

You could see Filipowski’s obvious frustration, as evidenced by him nearly clotheslining RJ Davis in the second half.

It wasn’t just Bacot giving the Blue Devils issues – how about Stanford transfer Harrison Ingram? He was seemingly automatic from downtown, making a game leading five 3-pointers, while scoring 21 points and pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds.

UNC and Duke shot fairly similar percentages from the field, but it was ball movement and ball security that ultimately made the difference. North Carolina build an 8-point halftime lead thanks to 10 points off turnovers – while the Blue Devils had none, plus UNC dished out 17 assists to Duke’s seven.

In need of another signature win after Tuesday’s disappointing loss at Georgia Tech, the Tar Heels came through against their archrivals.

Franklin Street is going to be crowded tonight.

Player of the Game

Harrison Ingram might’ve continued his hot tear, but Player of the Game goes to Bacot.

He was a machine down low, scoring 23 points for a game two points off his season-high. Bacot was a vacuum, also pulling down 10 rebounds.

What’s Next 

North Carolina plays host to a struggling Clemson team on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Tigers (14-7, 4-6) were ranked when the two programs faced off in early January, but their weak non-conference schedule is showing in ACC play.

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Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire