No. 16 UNC travels to third-ranked Iowa for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on December 8. The Tar Heels are 3-1, while the Hawkeyes are 3-0. Carolina is coming off a 69-67 loss to Texas in the championship game of the Maui Invitational, which was played in Asheville, N.C., November 30-December 2 due to the pandemic. It was Carolina’s seventh time in the finals of the Maui Invitational in eight appearances in the tournament.
The Tar Heels opened the season at home with a 79-60 win over the College of Charleston and advanced to the title game in the Maui Invitational with wins over UNLV and Stanford. Texas beat the Tar Heels on a game-winning shot by Matt Coleman III with 0.1 seconds to play. It was the fifth time in UNC’s last 17 games an opponent hit a game-winning shot with less than three seconds to play.
- Carolina has yet to score 80 points in a game, but is allowing only 60.8 points per contest with a high of 69 by Texas.
- Carolina’s top three scorers through four games are senior Garrison Brooks (12.3 ppg), freshman RJ Davis (12.3) and freshman Caleb Love (11.3). This would be the third consecutive season two freshman are among the top five scorers.
- Carolina has started a freshman point guard to begin each of the last three seasons (Coby White in 2018-19, Cole Anthony in 2019-20 and Caleb Love in 2020-21).
- The Tar Heel defense has held the opposition to a combined 31.7 percent shooting from the floor in the second half. The opponents have made 40 of 126 field goal attempts in the second half (11 of 29 by Charleston, 6 of 36 by UNLV, 10 of 30 by Stanford and 13 of 31 by Texas).
- UNC has been outscored by the opponents by two points in the first half, but the Tar Heels have outscored the opponents by 50 points in the second half (12.5 per game).
- The Tar Heels are averaging 49.0 rebounds, including 17.8 offensive rebounds per game.
- Iowa opened its season with 97+ points in each of its first three games for the first time since 1997-98.
- Iowa is 7-12 in ACC/Big Ten Challenge games, notching five of its seven Challenge wins at home.
- All-American Luka Garza has scored 30 points or more in the first half in each of Iowa’s last two contests. He is averaging 27.3 points in the first half of Iowa’s first three contests.
- The last time the Hawkeyes were ranked No. 3 in the AP Poll was Jan. 25, 2016.
- Four Hawkeyes average double digits in scoring; Luka Garza averages an NCAA-best 34.0 points, followed by Jack Nunge (18.0), Joe Wieskamp (12.0), and Patrick McCaffery (11.0).
- Iowa returns a large percentage of its production: scoring (81%), rebounding (76%), assists (77%), steals (83%), and blocks (67%). Iowa is one of eight schools from Power 5 conferences to have at least 65 percent of its production return from the previous season.
Carolina vs Iowa
- This is the fifth game between UNC and Iowa. The Hawkeyes have won three of the first four, including the most recent game, a 60-55 Iowa win in Chapel Hill on 12/3/14. That game also was part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
- UNC is 0-1 in Iowa City. The Hawkeyes beat the Tar Heels, 87-74, on 12/9/89.
- Carolina’s last win over Iowa came in the finals of the 2004 Maui Invitational Tournament. MVP Raymond Felton was one of five Tar Heels to score in double figures and added nine assists and four steals.
- KenPom ranks Iowa No. 3 in the nation in offensive efficiency, while the Tar Heels are No. 14 defensively.
- Iowa is one of only 10 schools that has played UNC multiple times and has a winning record in the series. However, it is the second consecutive game in which UNC has played such an opponent (Texas).
Tar Heels in the ACC-Big 10 Challenge
- Carolina is 10-11 in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, including 0-1 vs. Iowa (12/3/14 in
- The Tar Heels are 3-6 on the road.
- UNC has lost two straight – at Michigan and home to Ohio State.
- Carolina is 10-7 under Roy Williams.
- Third-ranked Iowa is the highest-ranked opponent for UNC in the Challenge since Carolina beat No. 2 Maryland on 12/1/15.
- No. 3 Iowa is the 18th ranked opponent to play UNC in the 22 year-history of the ACCBig Ten Challenge.
- Iowa is the 11th opponent ranked in the top 10 and the sixth top-three opponent UNC has faced in the Challenge.
How to Watch:
TV: ESPN (Jason Benetti, Jimmy Dykes)
Radio: Tar Heel Sports Properties (Jones Angell, Eric Montross, Adam Lucas, Dave Nathan)