Luka Garza and Iowa host North Carolina in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.
This week’s Big Ten-ACC Challenge offers plenty of intrigue thanks to some stellar matchups. One of the top options to check out today is the showdown between no. 16 North Carolina and no. 3 Iowa in Iowa City.
The Hawkeyes are off to a 3-0 start and bring the favorite for pretty much every national Player of the Year award, center Luka Garza, into this matchup. Garza has simply dominated in the early going, averaging 34 points per game over Iowa’s first three contests and outscoring the opposing team by himself in the first half of the Hawkeyes’ last two games.
Slowing down Garza will be the order of the day for 3-1 North Carolina, an intriguing team that is looking to bounce back after a disastrous 2019-20 campaign. The Tar Heels have looked sharp so far, winning their first three games before losing by a bucket to Texas last Wednesday in the final of the Maui Invitational.
Roy Williams’ squad will look to attack the Garza problem by throwing numbers at it. The Tar Heels have an incredibly deep arsenal of bigs, including starters Garrison Brooks and Armando Bacot, who average a combined 23.1 points and 16.3 rebounds per night. Five-star freshmen Day’Ron Sharpe and Walker Kessler will also be called upon to help slow down Garza, which will be the key matchup of the entire night.
The Hawkeyes are still averaging nearly 100 points per game, the seventh-most in the country at this point, so North Carolina has to essentially pick its poison of letting Garza feast in the paint or trying to contain his teammates instead. Making the correct choice will be key if the Tar Heels want to win this game.
How to watch North Carolina at Iowa
- Date: Tuesday, Dec. 8
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Iowa City, IA
- Venue: Carver-Hawkeye Arena
- TV: ESPN
- Live Stream: WatchESPN
- Line: Iowa -4.5 (FanDuel)
- Prediction: Iowa 90, North Carolina 75
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