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UNC Basketball Suffers Thanksgiving Day Defeat To Villanova


Hubert Davis and the UNC basketball team’s Thanksgiving did not go as planned when they lost to Villanova in overtime during the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, their first loss of the 2023 season.

Despite having a nine-point lead, North Carolina was unable to eliminate the Wildcats. You can certainly blame some dubious officiating, but the Tar Heels fell short of winning the game on their own.

First up, let’s talk about Eric Dixon, who on Thursday afternoon dominated. The senior big man for Villanova was unstoppable, dishing out 34 points and grabbing ten rebounds, leaving the Tar Heels without an answer.

Harrison Ingram, Jae’Lyn Withers, and Elliot Cadeau were the three players who fouled out, leaving North Carolina with a mountain of foul trouble. Villanova was called for thirty fouls against the Tar Heels, and of those, they were fouled thirty times. Of those, they made thirty-two free throw attempts.

Ingram was the hot hand, scoring 20 points to set a new season high before fouling out. With 23, RJ Davis continued to lead the Tar Heels; the only other player from UNC to score in double figures was Cormac Ryan, who was hurt late in overtime.

Star big man Armando Bacot hasn’t had a good experience in the Bahamas. Despite pulling down 18 rebounds, he only managed eight points in the game at the end, shooting 4-10 from the field. It just goes to show that in order for North Carolina to succeed this season, Bacot needs to be his best self.

Indeed, the game can cause frustration when you lose, particularly considering the officiating we had to endure. There should be no college basketball game that lasts more than three hours.

Even though the Tar Heels are hurting, this is a great opportunity for Hubert Davis’ team to learn more about themselves and how they can get better as the season progresses.

On Friday afternoon, North Carolina will play the loser of Arkansas/Memphis in the third-place match to conclude the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament.

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