Busting Brackets

3 takeaways from UNC Basketball's much-needed victory over Oklahoma Sooners

Jumpman Classic: North Carolina v Oklahoma
Jumpman Classic: North Carolina v Oklahoma / Grant Halverson/GettyImages
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1) The Tar Heels are a different team when Armando Bacot is right

North Carolina's fifth-year big man didn't put up a gaudy stat line, but his presence was felt throughout the game. He once again got the opposing frontcourt in foul trouble, something he's done even as his game has seemed off recently, fouling out Sam Godwin in only 15 minutes.

Bacot was locked in all game. He finished the night with 14 points and eight rebounds, and he was extremely active on defense, adding three highlight-worthy blocks and holding the Sooner big man duo of Godwin and John Hugley IV to two total points. He even rescued a lost Carolina possession by swishing a three for only the third time in his career.

This was a fast-paced game, and it was clear that Hubert Davis directed his team to run at every opportunity. Bacot never tired though, and he was often one of the first players down the court, even though he played 34 minutes.

Only four days passed from Carolina's loss to Kentucky and its win over Oklahoma, but Bacot looked like a completely different player. Was he dinged up before? It's hard to understand how he seemed so listless against the Wildcats and so active against the Sooners. No matter, though. Carolina needs this version of Bacot night in and night out if it wants to compete for a national title.