Top-ranked North Carolina likely will eventually get burned playing to the level of its opponent but it didn’t happen Thursday against Portland, thanks to Pete Nance and Caleb Love. Nance matched his career-high with 28 points (with a career-high five 3-pointers) and Love added 23 as the Tar Heels finally held off hot-shooting Portland for an 89–81 victory in the first round of the Phil Knight Invitational at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore.
In his second game back after missing eight games with a left quad contusion, Coby White had his best game of the season. He hit two huge late shots and showed nice hustle diving for loose balls. In 25 minutes, White scored 14 points and four 3-pointers, putting up a season-high 13.6 game score in Chicago’s 118–113 road win Wednesday over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Garrison Brooks isn’t on an NBA roster, but he’s having the sort of G League season for the Westchester Knicks that makes a good case that he should be. Through six games, he’s the league’s leading rebounder.
Meanwhile, Harrison Barnes can’t be stopped in the last seven games, and the Sacramento Kings can’t be beaten behind his play and leadership.
Andrew Platek continues to be a consistent scorer and perimeter shooter as Siena heads to a Thursday game against Florida State, while Kerwin Walton and Jeremiah Francis are settling in at their new schools.
There were groans throughout the Carolina fanbase when everyone realized that the men’s basketball game and the football game on Black Friday would overlap. Fans at home will no doubt use a two-television setup, but it’s frustrating for fans who are at Kenan Stadium to see the No. 18 Tar Heels face N.C. State, knowing that they are missing the top-ranked men’s basketball team’s game.
By R.L. Bynum North Carolina stayed atop the AP Top 25 poll and gained first-place votes while there was shuffling below them after five of the top 8 teams in last week’s poll lost — two of them falling twice. The Tar Heels (4–0) have 47 first-place votes compared to 44 the previous week, with…