PORTLAND, Ore. — Caleb Grill has followed T.J. Otzelberger from South Dakota State to UNLV and now back to Iowa State hoping the pair could share a moment like they did Friday.
Taking down the No. 1 team in the country was another bookmark moment in a long journey for the pair.
“I’m actually really enjoying sitting next to him from this moment right now just thinking about how long we’ve known each other and how cool this really was,” Otzelberger said.
Grill hit seven 3-pointers and scored a career-high 31 points and Iowa State rallied in the final five minutes to stun No. 1 UNC 70-65 in the semifinals of the Phil Knight Invitational.
Iowa State (5-0) picked up just its third win over a team ranked No. 1 in the AP Top 25. The Cyclones are 3-22 against No. 1 teams, with the other wins coming against Kansas in 1957 and Oklahoma in 2016.
The Cyclones can now add UNC (5-1) to the list.
“I was just staying the course of the game. I never really thought about it and the game just kind of came to me,” Grill said.
Grill was averaging 7.3 points and had made just 4 of 24 3-point attempts for the season entering Friday. But he couldn’t be stopped from beyond the arc, hitting a pair of big 3s to spark Iowa State’s late rally. His deep fadeaway jumper just inside the 3-point line with 1:40 left gave Iowa State a 63-61 lead and the Cyclones did just enough at the free throw line in the final minute to close out the upset victory.
Jaren Holmes added 22 points and the Cyclones withstood off shooting games from Aljaz Kunc and Gabe Kalscheur, who combined for three points and missed all eight of their shot attempts. Both were averaging double figures scoring for Iowa State.
RJ Davis led UNC with 15 points, Armando Bacot added 14 and Caleb Love scored 12. But the Tar Heels will lament a series of mistakes in the closing minutes that allowed Iowa State to rally.
“We had wide open 3s. We were able to get to the basket. We were able to get whatever we wanted, we just didn’t make those shots,” UNC coach Hubert Davis said.
UNC led 57-49 after Leaky Black’s layup with 5:43 left, but missed four of its final six shots and had four turnovers during that span.
“We turned the ball over a couple of times and you just can’t do that in late-game situations,” Davis said. “You have to be sound and discipline and you have to do that on both ends of the floor and we just didn’t do it.”
UNC lost as the No. 1 team in the country for the first time since Nov. 21, 2015, when it lost 71-67 at Northern Iowa. The Tar Heels also lost as No. 1 to UNLV in 2011 at a Thanksgiving tournament.
No. 8 Duke 71, Xavier 64
PORTLAND, Ore. — After a shaky offensive performance in the opening round of the Phil Knight Legacy tournament, Duke coach Jon Scheyer wanted to see Jeremy Roach get back to playing more instinctively, especially at the offensive end of the floor.
Roach responded with a season-high 21 points, Mark Mitchell added 16 and No. 8 Duke withstood Xavier’s second-half comeback for a 71-64 win on Friday.
The Blue Devils (6-1) advanced to the championship game thanks to the play of their standout guard and another strong defensive effort. Roach came one point shy of matching his career high, and the Blue Devils rebounded after an unexpectedly tight victory over Oregon State in the opening round of the event.
Roach was 3-of-14 shooting against Oregon State as the Blue Devils scored a season-low 54 points. He made 9 of 15 shots and had five assists against Xavier.
“There’s a lot that falls on your shoulders so you can end up overthinking it a little bit,” Scheyer said. “The thing that I love for him today is he just was him. And when he’s that way, he is to me the best guard in the country.”
The Musketeers (4-2) were held to two points over the final five minutes and missed their last four shot attempts. Souley Boum scored 23 points and Adam Kunkel had 13. Kunkel didn’t play the last 11 minutes after taking a hard fall committing a foul.
Xavier leading scorer Jack Nudge was 1-of-13 shooting and finished with five points.
“Jack played a great effort. He really did. He was ready for the game. He just had one of those nights where the ball didn’t go in the basket,” Xavier coach Sean Miller said.
At the same time, Miller was disappointed in what he called the “fracturing” he saw from his team.
“There were spurts and segments of the game where I thought we reflected our style, how we’re trying to play, whether it be defense and offense. But there were way too many segments of the game, if not most of the game, where we were at times in our own way,” Miller said.
Mitchell scored seven points in the opening minutes of the second half, including a pair of layups, and he hit a 3-pointer from the wing that gave Duke a 49-36 lead, its largest of the game.
That’s when Xavier’s comeback started. The Musketeers pulled within three points on several occasions, but Duke answered each time. Desmond Claude’s driving layup pulled Xavier within 63-60 with 5:51 left, but Ryan Young scored for Duke and Xavier didn’t make another basket.
Roach’s jumper with 2:40 left pushed Duke’s lead to 69-62.
“We like to play inside out but I mean, when guys are hitting shots it just opens up for everybody else,” Roach said. “Just try to continue to be consistent hitting shots and I think we’ll be fine.”
Kyle Filipowski had 12 points and was not Duke’s leading scorer for the first time in five games.
Davidson 89, San Francisco 80
DAVIDSON — Foster Loyer scored 30 points as Davidson beat San Francisco 89-80 on Friday.
Loyer also had five rebounds, seven assists and three steals for the Wildcats (6-1). Reed Bailey scored 20 points, shooting 7 of 11 from the field. Sam Mennenga recorded 15 points and was 7-of-8 shooting.
The Dons (6-1) were led by Khalil Shabazz, who recorded 20 points. San Francisco also got 13 points from Zane Meeks. In addition, Tyrell Roberts finished with 13 points and three steals. The loss snapped the Dons’ six-game winning streak.
UNC Wilmington 68, Missouri State 54
NASSAU, Bahamas — Trazarien White’s 16 points helped UNC Wilmington defeat Missouri State 68-54 on Friday.
White also contributed 11 rebounds and four steals for the Seahawks (3-3). Jamarii Thomas scored 13 points, while Donovan Newby recorded 11 points and was 4-of-5 shooting (3 for 4 from distance).
Kendle Moore led the Bears (2-2) in scoring, finishing with 12 points. Dawson Carper added 10 points.
UNC Greensboro 77, Montana State 66
MONTREAL — Keondre Kennedy had 20 points in UNC Greensboro’s 77-66 win over Montana State on Friday night at the Northern Classic.
Kennedy had six rebounds for the Spartans (3-2). Keyshaun Langley added 16 points while shooting 4 for 11 from the field and added five assists. Mikeal Brown-Jones was a perfect 5 of 5 from the field to finish with 14 points.
Jubrile Belo led the Bobcats (3-3) in scoring, finishing with 18 points and two steals. Raequan Battle added 14 points for Montana State. In addition, Great Osobor finished with 13 points.