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Caleb Love Becomes Fourth UNC Starter to Announce Return for 2022–23 Season

Caleb Love became the fourth starter on UNC’s 2022 Final Four team to announce his return to the Tar Heels for next season, opting not to enter the NBA Draft process ahead of Sunday evening’s deadline. Instead, the NCAA tournament breakout star will remain in Chapel Hill for his junior year.

“The opportunity to play at North Carolina is something I never take for granted,” Love said in a video released on social media. "To play for the greatest fan base in the world, to play with the most amazing teammates I could ever imagine and to play for coaches who support and challenge me in every way are all blessings that make me feel so fortunate…

“I’m back.”

Love dazzled as the second-leading scorer for the Tar Heels during the 2021–22 season, averaging 15.9 points per game on 37.1% shooting from the floor and 36% from beyond the arc. He also dished out 3.6 assists per contest, tied for the most among his teammates with fellow sophomore guard RJ Davis. Love earned All-ACC Honorable Mention honors and was named to the Final Four and All-East Regional teams.

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Alongside a starting lineup featuring Armando Bacot, Leaky Black, Brady Manek and Davis, Love helped power UNC to the Final Four of the 2022 NCAA tournament as a No. 8 seed. He scored a sensational 28 points in the national semifinal against arch-rival and No. 2 seed Duke to book the Tar Heels a spot in the national championship game. Two games prior, Love dropped 30 points in a win over UCLA, just a season after the Bruins had made a trip to the Final Four themselves. 

After a miraculous run to the national championship, the Tar Heels finally ran out of gas. UNC fell to No. 1 Kansas 72–69 as Love scored just 13 points on 5-of-24 shooting. 

Despite coming up just short, the Tar Heels are already positioned to be on next year’s list of title contenders. Love will join Bacot, Black and Davis as notable returners set to play under rising second-year coach Hubert Davis next season. 

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