Duke basketball rival returning for final season at North Carolina

Armando Bacot plays against the Duke basketball team (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports)
Armando Bacot plays against the Duke basketball team (Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) /

A Duke basketball rival isn’t going anywhere for another season. 

Speculation raged around North Carolina center Armando Bacot as the Tar Heels floundered this season but the Duke basketball rival announced on Wednesday that he isn’t going anywhere.

Bacot will return to Chapel Hill for his final season of eligibility.

Despite spending four seasons with the Tar Heels and going through its Senior Day festivities this year, which ended up being a loss to the Blue Devils, the three time All-ACC selection still could return for one more season due to the extra year of eligibility granted by the NCAA during COVID-19.

He told Stadium college basketball insider Jeff Goodman that “it was the right decision for my future.”

ALSO READ: Dereck Lively historic stat line against Tennessee

Armando Bacot posted 15.9 points and 10.4 rebounds per game for a North Carolina team that missed the NCAA Tournament, despite being the preseason No. 1 team in the country.

No other team that has been ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll has missed the NCAA Tournament.

In nine career games against Duke, Bacot is averaging 15.1 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per contest.

Duke basketball seeing much turnover from arch rival

Justin McKoy, Tyler Nickel, Dontrez Styles, and Puff Johnson have all entered the transfer portal from North Carolina while players like Pete Nance and Leaky Black have exhausted their eligibility.

No decisions have been made by either Caleb Love or RJ Davis.

ALSO READ: Dariq Whitehead says he’s ‘ready for the next chapter’

Duke, the ACC Tournament Champions, has not announced a decision from anyone on its roster despite being bounced in the Round of 32 of the NCAA Tournament last Saturday against Tennessee.

The Blue Devils are expected to lose quite a few players to the NBA Draft, and perhaps the transfer portal, with the No. 2 recruiting class in the county entering Durham next season.