COLUMBUS, OH — Coby White did not wait long to announce his arrival in the NCAA Tournament. The first-year guard hit a 3-pointer on UNC’s first possession for the opening points of the game. Three minutes later, No. 1 seed North Carolina had yet to score again and No. 16 seed Iona led, 6-3, off two 3-pointers. The Tar Heels responded with a 5-0 run courtesy of another White 3-pointer and a Cameron Johnson jump shot.
The Gaels responded with another 3-pointer, their third of the game, to take a 9-8 lead at the first media timeout.
Coming out of the media timeout, Iona continued to rely on 3-point shots to get the job done. The Gaels hit two more shots from deep to take a 15-10 lead with 12:30 remaining in the first half.
UNC responded with a 8-0 run as White converted a layup, Kenny Williams and Nassir Little each connected on their first baskets of the game and Luke Maye added two free throws to give North Carolina a 18-15 lead.
North Carolina has given Iona plenty of open looks from 3-point range, and the Gaels are knocking them down. It’s allowed Iona to stay in the game. At a timeout with 5:56 to play, the game was tied at 27-27.