Tar Heels advance but Bacot injured against Boston College

Virginia is up next for UNC in the ACC bracket

UNC forward Armando Bacot hops off the court after injuring his ankle against Boston College during the first half of the Tar Heels’ win Wednesday at the ACC Tournament in Greensboro. (Chuck Burton / AP Photo)

GREENSBORO — Boston College was just what the doctor ordered for a Tar Heels team that needed a win. UNC used a 13-0 run to break a first-half tie and never looked back, cruising to an 85-61 win over the Eagles in the ACC Tournament’s second round on Wednesday.

The seventh-seeded Tar Heels had their best offensive efficiency of the season, hitting two-thirds of their 2-point shot attempts and 10 3-pointers. The win kept the Tar Heels’ NCAA hopes alive for at least another day. The consensus among bracket prognosticators was that the Heels had to win the ACC Tournament to get a bid to the NCAA tourney.

“The thing that I’m focusing on was the 16 assists,” UNC coach Hubert Davis saod of his team’s highest assist total in a game in nearly a month. “When we’re sharing the basketball and it’s good to great, it doesn’t surprise me that the ball goes in. We were able to shoot the ball well, especially for the entire game but also from 3-point range.

“But I really felt like the passing was really good tonight. We were just going good to great the entire night, and that led us to shooting high-percentage shots.”

Caleb Love and RJ Davis combined to go 7 of 14 from long range as Love led all scorers with 22 and Davis added 18. With the score tied at 10 midway through the first half, Black and Davis combined to score UNC’s first eight points in what became a 13-0 run that put Carolina in control.

“I just feel like if we take the right shots and we make the right plays as far as creating shots for all of us, I think you do have the confidence or you do have an open shot to make the shot at,” Love said. “We just created a lot of shots for our guys, and getting in the paint, kicking it out for our shooters, and coach instills in us confidence to make the shot.”

The Heels had a scare when big man Armando Bacot, a first-team All-ACC selection, went down with an ankle injury at the 4:35 mark of the first half. He was immediately taken to the locker room and didn’t come out to warm up for the second half with the team. He emerged from the locker room shortly before play started, however, and played six minutes of the second half before Hubert Davis put him on the bench after the score got out of hand.

“They were able to loosen it up at halftime, and that’s why he felt like he could go out there and play,” the coach said. “He was hobbling a little bit in the second half, and then I asked him, I said, ‘Are you OK?’ And he said, ‘No, I feel really good.’ Once I took him out, then it was done. I didn’t want it to stiffen up or get cold, and so once we took him out, I tried to keep him there as long as possible, and then took him out so he could be done for the night.”

The Tar Heels now face second-seeded Virginia on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the ACC quarterfinals.