Kansas players show sportsmanship despite live ball following last-minute ankle injury to UNC’s Armando Bacot


North Carolina star Armando Bacot was a big question mark as he entered Monday’s NCAA tournament title game after suffering an ankle injury in Saturday’s national semifinals against Duke. Despite putting on a different performance for the ages, Bacot injured his same ankle again in the final minute of the 72-69 loss to Kansas when he awkwardly stepped into the paint.

The injury caused Bacot to flip the ball, and the 6-foot-10 tall collapsed in apparent pain as Kansas moved the ball to his end of the court. However, in a show of sportsmanship, Kansas forward Jalen Wilson chose not to take advantage of the 5-on-4, 70-69, while Bacot carefully hobbled up the court before officials dead-blasted the game for a substitution.

After the time out, Kansas forward David McCormack connected with a hook shot to give the Jayhawks a 72-69 advantage. An incredible ball defense by the Jayhawks forced a three-point attempt from Caleb Love on the left of the rim after time was up.

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

In the first 20 minutes, Bacot scored 12 of his 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and he was a big reason North Carolina was able to lead 40-25 at halftime. However, the injured ankle bothered him throughout the evening and the latest injury proved too severe to overcome.

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Dais Johnston

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