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College Basketball World Concerned About Armando Bacot Tonight

Controversial foul in Duke vs. UNC

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - APRIL 02: Armando Bacot #5 of the North Carolina Tar Heels shoots the ball over Theo John #12 of the Duke Blue Devils during the first half in the semifinal game of the 2022 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Final Four at Caesars Superdome on April 02, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

The biggest story line heading into tonight's national championship game is the health of North Carolina center Armando Bacot.

Bacot sprained his right ankle late in Saturday night's semifinal win over Duke. After being helped to the sideline and missing a brief stretch of play, the junior big man returned to help the Tar Heels close out their arch-rival.

The X-rays on Bacot's ankle were negative, and he and head coach Hubert Davis have made it clear that nothing will keep him from playing tonight. However, it is worth wondering how effective he'll be.

The pregame reporting from New Orleans indicated that Bacot may have a slight limp, and at the very least, looks to be moving a bit gingerly. How much he's able to contribute tonight could mean the difference between a win and a loss.

Kansas, North Carolina's opponent tonight, has a workhorse down low in David McCormack, who posted 25 points and nine rebounds in the Jayhawks' win over Villanova on Saturday.

We'll see if Bacot is able to physically hang with McCormack as the Tar Heels try to wrap up their second national title in the last five tournaments.