CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WGHP) — Armando Bacot will be returning to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for one final year, according to Stadium’s Jeff Goodman.

Bacot has been the lifeblood of the Tar Heels basketball program over the course of the last few seasons. He has made First-team All-ACC in each of his last two seasons and was named a Third-team All-American by several publications in 2023.

“I’m using my last year of eligibility.” Bacot said. “I felt it was the right decision for my future.”

Bacot returns to the team after an incredibly disappointing calendar year that saw the Tar Heels go from a Cinderella team that made a miracle run to the National Championship Game in 2022, to missing the NCAA Tournament in 2023 after being the preseason No. 1 team in the nation.

UNC going from the No. 1 team in the preseason to missing the NCAA Tournament was a historic lowlight as they were the first team to earn that distinction in the modern era of the Tournament.

“The primary reason I am coming back is because I don’t want to leave North Carolina this way.” Bacot said. “But I also know I need to improve and feel like this is the best place to do that.”

UNC made the controversial decision to decline an invitation to participate in the National Invitational Tournament after learning that they did not qualify for the NCAA Tournament.

Head coach Hubert Davis released the following statement on March 12:

“All season, our focus and goal have been on being the best team we can possibly become and reaching our full potential to give us another opportunity to compete, play for and win an NCAA championship.
Although we no longer have that opportunity and this season wasn’t what we had hoped for, I want to thank our players and staff for their hard work and love for Carolina Basketball.
Many factors go into postseason play, and we believe now is the time to focus on moving ahead, preparing for next season and the opportunity to again compete for ACC and NCAA championships.
I also want to thank our great fans for their incredible support. Our commitment to you is what drives us to improve our program in every way.”

Statement from head coach Hubert Davis

Bacot’s return is a welcome development for a UNC team that has seen an exodus of talent into the transfer portal since their season ended. Dontrez Styles and Puff Johnson have both announced their intentions to enter the transfer portal and join new teams.

The Tar Heels will now await news on the intentions of guards Caleb Love and RJ Davis who could either go professional, enter the transfer portal or simply return to UNC.

The Tar Heels will also target other players in the transfer portal to bolster the pieces they lost and attempt to improve the roster after an immensely disappointing 2022-23 campaign.