The North Carolina Tar Heels lost their first game of the 2022-23 season, blowing a lead late to Iowa State in The Phil Knight Invitational on Friday afternoon. The loss moves UNC to 5-1 on the year and sends them to the third-place game where they will face a tough Alabama team.
Things don’t get much easier for Hubert Davis and his squad as Alabama is ranked No. 18 and is a team that can really score the basketball.
Sunday does provide the chance for UNC to get back on track in a hurry and is a game that they can feel better about if they can win. A win also moves them to 6-1 overall and complete a 2-1 record in the tournament.
Before the two teams meet on Sunday, Davis spoke about his team’s first loss of the season.
On Caleb Grill
On Final Three minutes
“I need to look at the tape, but in that situation up by seven with three minutes to go, you just have to be sound on both ends of the floor. And in order for Iowa State to be able to come back, they needed to make plays, and they did. Caleb Grill’s threes, he was hot the entire game. He was somebody percentage-wise who wasn’t shooting the ball well coming into the game, but it really doesn’t matter. He was feeling it today. And he made some big shots. And then we turned the ball over a couple of times, and you just can’t do it in late game situations. You have to be sound and disciplined and you have to do that on both ends of the floor. And we just didn’t do it against them tonight.”
On Armando Bacot
“Well, one of the things you have to compliment Iowa State (for is) they (brought) tremendous pressure. So coming into this game, they were number one in the country in terms of forced turnovers. So we knew the type of physicality and pressure would come not just on our guards like RJ (Davis) and Caleb (Love), but on everyone. And so I know situations that kind of speed you up a little bit, and I felt like they did, and we just didn’t make sound passes and make fundamental plays and that just really hurt us.
“But again, if somebody would say you’re up seven with three minutes ago, would you take that? I’d take it.”