Chapel Hill, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Mike Gesell's three-point play broke a tie with 1:16 remaining, and North Carolina missed a 3-pointer in the dying seconds, allowing the Iowa Hawkeyes to leave the Dean Smith Center with a 60-55 win over the 12th-ranked Tar Heels.
Gesell made a short jumper after being fouled on a drive through the lane, then sank the free throw to put Iowa up 58-55.
Marcus Paige was called for a charge on the next North Carolina possession. However, the Tar Heels still trailed by three when Jarrod Uthoff missed a shot with 13 seconds left.
Paige, a native of Marion, Iowa, looked to force overtime, but his game- tying 3-point attempt did not fall.
Gesell sealed the win with two free throws and finished with 16 points on 6- of-10 shooting.
Adam Woodbury scored 11 points with seven rebounds for Iowa (6-2), which has won four straight since dropping consecutive games to then-No. 10 Texas and then-No. 23 Syracuse on Nov. 20-21 at Madison Square Garden.
"I think every team needs to be able to go on the road and beat somebody of this caliber," said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. "I came into the season feeling like we have a good team."
Kennedy Meeks posted a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Tar Heels (5-2), who returned home after going 2-1 at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas last week.
"(Iowa) wanted it more than we did and that's a sorry thing to say," said North Carolina head coach Roy Williams.
Paige totaled 13 points but made only 4-of-16 shots. He was 3-of-12 from 3- point range.
Both teams struggled shooting on Wednesday. Iowa shot 32.7 percent from the floor, and North Carolina shot just 27.9 percent.
Iowa held North Carolina without a field goal the last five-plus minutes of the opening half, but only led 31-29 at the break.
Down four nearly six minutes into second half, the Tar Heels went on a 9-0 run. J.P. Tokoto capped the surge with two free throws, giving North Carolina its largest lead of the game at 45-40 with 10 minutes to play.
The Tar Heels fell to 8-8 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, while the Hawkeyes improved to 4-10 ... Uthoff had 11 rebounds and five blocks but scored only eight points after shooting 2-of-13 ... Aaron White, Iowa's leading scorer this season, was 10-for-10 at the foul line but missed all six of his field goal attempts ... Tokoto compiled nine points, eight rebounds and three steals.