Lucas: Iowa State Rapid Reactions

By Adam Lucas

1. Poor result for Carolina in the PKI semifinals on a Black Friday overall for UNC sports as Iowa State finished hot and toppled the temporarily top-ranked Tar Heels 70-65. It was the third win for Iowa State in program history over the nation’s No. 1 team.

2. Turnovers on the doomed route Carolina. The Tar Heels have coughed it up three times in a row in a one score and tie game. That was enough juice for Iowa State, who burned off the field in the closing minutes to take and hold the lead. The turnovers became a big story after Carolina did a good job of tending the ball in the first half. the Heels finished with 14 penalties and Iowa State converted that to 21 points. Carolina had just six points in ten ISU turnovers.

3. That was part of a disastrous conclusion 3:55. At this point, Tasty black had just scored a nice goal Peter Nance Pass and the heels took the lead 60-53. But from there, Iowa State finished on a 17-5 run as Black’s shot was the last UNC field goal of the game until a meaningless putback came from Nance on the buzzer. Allowing 17 points in less than four minutes of crucial play is not ideal.

4. So what happened? For one, Carolina failed to protect Caleb Grill, who came on four for 24 from the three-point line (16.7 percent) and six for his last 22 overall from the field this season. The Cyclone sniper finished 11-on-15 shooting with 31 points, including 7-on-11s from three-point range (he had four three-pointers coming into play this season) . It was mostly a two-player offensive attack for the ISU (Jaren Holmes added 22), but that was enough. In the pivotal period of the game, the Cyclones hit five straight field goals and seven of eight. The inability to stop at a key point is undoubtedly something Hubert Davis will mention to his team.

5. The Carolina offense, meanwhile, never found a rhythm in a physical game against a tough, gritty Iowa State defense. Armando Bacot finished 5-for-6, but he was the only starter to hit more than 50 percent of the field. Carolina shot just 36 percent in the second half, making just one three-pointer and dropping a few points at the free-throw line while missing six in the second half. Although Bacot was 5-for-6, the problem could be that he only had six tries while Love and Davis combined for 28. Carolina was at its best in the early part of the season when Bacot was heavily involved on offense. In the second half he had two shots in total.

6. While Grill lit it, the tar heel perimeter game struggled. Carolina was only 3-for-18 from the three-point line as both caleb love and RJ Davis went 1-for-7 each.

7. Bacot’s team-high nine rebounds put him past Billy Cunningham for fourth all-time at Carolina. Bacot now has 1,070. Next on the list is George Lynch with 1,097.

8. After struggling on Thanksgiving, Carolina got a much better contribution from the bank on Friday. Puff Johnson, was particularly dynamic as he snagged six rebounds and scored eight points in just 12 minutes. In addition to those boards, he kept several loose balls alive. His three offensive rebounds were high for the team with Bacot and tied Tasty black. Anyone who played on the UNC bench (Johnson plus D’Marco Dunn and Seth Trimble) had a positive effect on the game.

9. Depending on how you want to take that, one positive could be that the state of Iowa has taken many different defensive looks at the Tar Heels. The ISU used a zone frequently, especially after some early foul problems. It will eventually come in handy to have faced that look, but the bad news is Carolina didn’t handle it very well on Friday.

10. Carolina actually has a somewhat unexpectedly rich history at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Tar Heel’s record book dates back to 1967 in the building when Charlie Scott won MVP honors from the Far West Classic when the Heels dispatched Stanford, Utah and Oregon State. Carolina won the event again in the 1976-77 season, beating Oral Roberts, Oregon and Weber State behind MVP Walter Davis. Roy Williams’ Heels added a victory in the building of the PK80, defeating Arkansas by a perfect 7-0. The Tar Heels will play for the third-place PKI game on Sunday in a game starting at 12:30 p.m. local time, March 15 :30 p.m. Eastern Time, be back in the building. Opponent will be the loser of tonight’s UConn-Alabama game.

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