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Tar Heels star Cole Anthony out for Pitt-UNC matchup

North Carolina v Virginia Photo by Ryan M. Kelly/Getty Images

Pitt and North Carolina are set to tip off from the Petersen Events Center at noon ET, and Tar Heels star Cole Anthony made the trip to Pittsburgh, along with Tar Heels teammates Brandon Robinson and Jeremiah Francis. Anthony and Francis have both recently missed games due to injuries. However, Anthony will not take the court against Pitt on Saturday despite this being the first time he has traveled with the team while injured, per the team.

Anthony is approaching a return from a knee injury that has kept him out of North Carolina’s lineup since Dec. 15, and Saturday marks the first matchup in which an Anthony comeback was a distinct possibility, given his four- to six-week recovery timeline. Anthony’s social media activity, which included an Instagram post reading, “Can’t wait to join my brothers on the court again,” led to speculation that he could play against the Panthers.

In nine games this season, Anthony has averaged 19.1 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game while making 35.5 percent of his three-point shots. However, his last game for North Carolina came on Dec. 8, when he scored 12 points in a 56-47 loss to Virginia.

North Carolina has been significantly hindered by injuries this season, and the team enters its second matchup with Pitt of the year at 8-8 overall. Pitt won the previous game at Chapel Hill 73-65. Robinson and Francis were both spotted on the court during pregame warmups and are expected to play in the matchup between the Tar Heels and Panthers.