Final Four hero Caleb Love returning to North Carolina next season

·2-min read

North Carolina is running it back.

Final Four hero Caleb Love announced on Sunday that he's returning to UNC next season. The rising junior was the latest and last eligible core player from UNC's Final Four run to announce his return, doing so in a video published on Sunday captioned "story still being written."

"I'm back," Love said near the end of the 2-minute, 20-second video celebrating his time in Chapel Hill.

Love joins Leaky Black, RJ Davis and All-ACC center Armando Bacot in announcing his return to a team that made a stunning run to the national championship game after being unranked midseason and entering the NCAA tournament as a No. 8 seed. Brady Manek is the lone starter who won't return next season. The fifth-year transfer senior, who averaged 15.1 points while shooting 40.3% from 3-point distance, exhausted his NCAA eligibility.

Caleb Love announced his return to North Carolina on Saturday. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Caleb Love announced his return to North Carolina on Saturday. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)

North Carolina toppled No. 1 seed Baylor and No. 4 seed UCLA en route to the Final Four, where it beat rival Duke in the national semifinal. Kansas beat North Carolina in the national championship game.

Love was key to North Carolina's run while averaging 18.8 points per game in the NCAA tournament. He scored 30 points in an Elite Eight win over UCLA, including hitting game-tying and go-ahead 3-pointers in the game's final two minutes. His go-ahead 3-pointer with 24.8 seconds remaining iced North Carolina's semifinal win over Duke.

His performance in the tournament elevated his draft stock, but not to the point where he was compelled to declare. The most optimistic projections had Love going in the second round.

Now he'll return to a North Carolina team under second-year head coach Hubert Davis that will project among the preseason NCAA championship favorites next season.

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