Armando Bacot Suffers Ankle Injury, Will Not Return

Brant Wilkerson-New

If North Carolina is to top No. 6 Ohio State on Wednesday night, the Tar Heels will have to do it without Armando Bacot.

After tipping in a shot on an offensive rebound at the 12:48 mark of the first half, Bacot's left foot landed on top of that of a Buckeye defender and the freshman big man immediately went to the ground in obvious pain.

At the time of the injury, Bacot had two points and four rebounds in seven minutes, hitting 1 of his 2 field goal attempts. He also managed a block and steal before being helped off the floor, unable to put any weight on his left leg.

It was later announced that Bacot would not return to the game.

Video of the play is located at the bottom of this story. It isn't pretty.

The loss of Bacot looms large for the Tar Heels, who lose their best rim protector and an offensive threat who had come into his own lately, averaging 13.6 points, 11 rebounds and 2.6 blocks over three games in the Bahamas as Carolina went 2-1.

In his place, reserve center Brandon Huffman will likely pick up the largest share of minutes, with the potential for Walker Miller to also see time for the Tar Heels.

It's the second time Bacot has left a game in the first half this season, managing just two minutes in the win over UNC Wilmington when he took a shot to the head and was evaluated for a possible concussion.

Injuries have been a theme for Carolina this season, as Anthony Harris, Jeremiah Francis and Sterling Manley have all been sidelined since the preseason with knee injuries.

Brandon Robinson, who sprained an ankle in an exhibition victory, missed Carolina's first four games before returning for the Battle 4 Atlantis. There, Leaky Black was bothered by a toe injury that sidelined him for the majority of the victory over Oregon.

This story will be updated.