Freshman forward Armando Bacot provided 23 points and 12 rebounds as No. 6 North Carolina bounced back from its first loss of the season to defeat No. 11 Oregon 78-74 in Friday’s third-place game in the Battle 4 Atlantis at Paradise Island, Bahamas.
Bacot, who played limited minutes a day earlier in the Tar Heels’ loss to Michigan in the tournament semifinals, shot 7 of 9 from the field and 9 of 10 on free throws. He also had six of the team’s 12 blocked shots.
Cole Anthony scored 19 points, including clutch free throws in the final minute, and Brandon Robinson tacked on 13 points for North Carolina (6-1). Teammate Garrison Brooks added nine points and 10 rebounds.
Payton Pritchard scored 19 points, Will Richardson added 17 and Chris Duarte chipped in 16 for Oregon (6-2), which was trying for a late-game comeback for the third day in a row. The Ducks wiped out 19- and 17-point deficits earlier in the tournament, though lost in overtime to No. 8 Gonzaga on Thursday.
Anthony went to the bench with his fourth foul midway through the second half, but the Tar Heels expanded their lead to 70-60 on Bacot’s dunk in transition at the 5:12 mark.
Oregon scored the next nine points before Anthony answered with a drive to the basket with 1:03 to go. C.J. Walker made it a one-point game again by scoring of for the Ducks off an offensive rebound.
Anthony made two foul shots with 20.7 seconds left and Pritchard’s potential tying 3-pointer bounced away. Then Anthony sank two more three throws with 6 seconds remaining, allowing the Tar Heels to hold on despite Duarte’s 3-pointer.
Oregon finished with 12 baskets from 3-point range compared to North Carolina’s six. The Tar Heels were 20-for-21 at the foul line.
North Carolina broke out of its offensive doldrums by racing to a 46-41 halftime lead. Bacot had 13 point of the points.
Oregon stayed in it by hitting eight 3-point baskets before halftime, accounting for more than half of the Ducks’ points. Richardson added 12 points off the bench before the break.
North Carolina played the second half without starting guard Leaky Black, who had a sprained foot. He played nine minutes without scoring in the first half.
It was the first meeting between the teams since North Carolina won in the 2017 Final Four semifinals on the way to a national title.
—Field Level Media