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Two former UNC basketball players fall short of the NBA playoffs

Friday night’s two do-or-die Play-In Tournament games to determine the No. 8 seed in each conference resulted in a pair of UNC basketball talents coming up empty in their quest to represent the Tar Heels in the 2024 NBA Playoffs. .

Coby White, a 2018-19 UNC basketball star who was drafted No. 7 overall to the Chicago Bulls and is now a candidate for the NBA Most Improved Player Award, scored 13 points, two rebounds and four assists in the 112-game Bulls. 91 loss to the Miami Heat.

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As for 2010-2012 Tar Heel sensation and 2015 NBA champion Harrison Barnes, also a former No. 7 overall draft pick and who was completing his sixth season as a full-time starter for the Sacramento Kings, finished with 17 points, five boards and four dimes in Sacramento’s 105-98 road loss at the hands of the upstart New Orleans Pelicans.

The early postseason exits of Coby White and Harrison Barnes match just three former UNC players in the NBA Playoffs this round: Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony, Phoenix Suns forward Nassir Little and Cleveland Cavaliers forward Pete Nance. Of that bunch, however, only Anthony, a key reserve for Orlando, is likely to see significant playing time in the postseason.

Anthony and the Eastern Conference’s No. 5 seed Magic begin their best-of-seven series on Saturday against the No. 4 seed Cleveland Cavaliers at 1 p.m. ET.

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