Busting Brackets

North Carolina Basketball: A Triangle Matchup for the ACC Championship

North Carolina and NC State will meet once again this season, this time with much higher stakes.

RJ Davis looks to continue his successful season with an ACC Championship win.
RJ Davis looks to continue his successful season with an ACC Championship win. / Greg Fiume/GettyImages

The North Carolina Tar Heels have made it to the ACC championship for the first time since 2018. Following wins over Florida State and the Pittsburgh Panthers, Coach Davis and his squad turn their heads to a local opponent the NC State Wolfpack. Carolina has already beaten the Coach Keatts led team twice, however are performing at a much higher-level and rightfully so, considering that a bid for the NCAA Tournament is on the line.

ACC Player of the Year, RJ Davis, charged UNC's scoring around the perimeter while on the inside Armando Bacot did heavy damage around the block. Davis logged in 25 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. He shot 8-18 from the field, 3-10 from deep, and shockingly misssed two free throws finishing 6-8 at the charity stripe. The White Plains, New York native scored 19 of his points during the second half while sinking in 50% of his shot attempts and making three more from downtown.

All-Defensive team member, Armando Bacot, was a force to be reckoned with as he was able to get both Federiko Federiko and Guillermo Diaz Graham into foul trouble in the first half. Once the hafltime break arrived, Bacot led the team in scoring with 7 points to go along with his 2 rebounds, and an assist. The second half begun and Bacot went straight to work. Bumping and brusing on the inside with the Panthers. On the other end of the court, Bacot was able to succesfully switch off and defend Pittsburgh's guards around the perimeter and did not have any trouble doing so.

A highlight on the defensive end for the Richmond, Virginia native was deflecting a pass off the inbound, turning it into a a transition dunk putting the Heels up 45-42 at the 14:41 mark during the second half.

For North Carolina's Triangle foe, NC state, won in dramatic fashion following a game-tying buzzer beater three-point shot by Michael O'Connell that sent game into overtime. Per usual, the Wolfpack was in a slow and steady game as how it normally is when UVa is your opponent. However, it was the big man, D.J Burns who carried the scoring load. Burns dropped in 19 points and 5 rebounds. Like Bacot, muscling his way on the interior, using his frame to finish around the rim.

The hero, Michael O'Connell, the senior transfer out of Stanford finished the outing with 12 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists. Completing the game shooting 5-9 overall and 2-5 behind the three-point line.

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North Carolina has a chance to do something great. After missing the NCAA Tournament last season despite being listed as the #1 team in the country from the get-go, they have the chance to rewrite the story and grab the ACC championship trophy.

Check out the ACC championship on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. EST.