No. 1 North Carolina faces tougher test, takes on Iowa State

No. 1 North Carolina advanced in the Phil Knight Invitational on Thursday with a slim victory over Portland. Next up, the Tar Heels will face their toughest opponent so far this season, meeting Iowa State on Friday afternoon in Portland, Ore.The Cyclones (4-0) will be the first opponent from a major conference that the Tar Heels (5-0) have faced this season. North Carolina needed a late run Thursday to overcome a five-point deficit in the second half to beat the Portland Pilots 89-81.UNC was powered by a career-best-tying 28 points from Northwestern transfer Pete Nance. He made a career-best five 3-pointers, and the Heels shot a season-best 50 percent from behind the arc as a team.”The thing that I was really happy about Pete (Thursday) is I felt like Pete was really aggressive,” UNC coach Hubert Davis said. “One of the conversations, and I’ve had this with him a number of times, is he’s such a nice kid (and) he wants to fit in. And I try to tell them the way you fit in is to be a dude.”And don’t worry about ‘You’re the new guy on the block.’ Like, we didn’t recruit you to be a role player. We recruited you to be what you did (Thursday). You step on people’s shoes and continue to be aggressive. And that’s the way, regardless of him scoring 28 points. That’s the way I want him to play moving forward.”UNC also got a double-double from Armando Bacot (11 points, 13 rebounds) and 23 points from Caleb Love.What hurt the Tar Heels against Portland was their poor free-throw shooting. UNC missed 10 free throws and shot just 61.5 percent at the line. That’s UNC’s worst mark from the free-throw line since a win over Florida State in February.UNC’s bench was also outscored 25-3 by Portland.”When we needed to make winning plays, we were able to do that, but not at the consistent rate that you need to in order to have success,” Davis said. “And that’s the thing that I was frustrated with. We were doing things consistently throughout the game that we haven’t worked on at practice.”

Playlist