Iowa basketball just got mad again.
Aaron White scored 26 points for the Hawkeyes, including the entirety of a 13-1 second-half run that helped put the game out of reach, and seventh-seeded Iowa exorcised its March demons with an 83-52 shellacking of Davidson in Seattle.
Iowa's size and defensive tenacity gave Davidson fits all game long, and the Hawkeyes took Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Tyler Kalinowski out of the equation by forcing him into early foul trouble; Kalinowski finished with just five points on 2-for-9 shooting. Defensively, Davidson had absolutely no answer for White, and he made absolutely sure this game wouldn't end in heartbreak. Iowa finished the game on a 39-14 run, and White scored 17 of those 39 points. So yes, White outscored Davidson by himself in the last 17 minutes; it's just really cool that his teammates gave him a lot of help anyway.
Iowa's 31-point win over Davidson is the largest margin of victory ever in the NCAA tournament in a 7 vs. 10 game.— Ryan Krasnoo (@RyanKras) March 21, 2015
Mike Gesell was a surprising second star for the game, looking borderline unguardable for Davidson's defenders and getting to the paint with ease and frequency. Gesell finished with 15 points and six assists on the day, and the Wildcats didn't force him into a single turnover. Also of note: he played without his old familiar sleeve, and he drilled a three-pointer, so that hyperextended elbow must be back to 100%.
Jarrod Uthoff was another nightmare for the vertically challenged Wildcats, and though his shots didn't fall consistently (4-for-12, 8 points) they were mostly solid looks with no real challenge from his diminutive defenders.
Adam Woodbury was a force on offense, especially in the first half, and Davidson wasn't able to get him out of his comfort zone on the defensive end. Olaseni threw in some solid minutes and production (six points, six rebounds, three blocks) in Woodbury's lieu, and the two big men combined for five of Iowa's 14 offensive rebounds.
Credit Fran McCaffery for getting his players well-prepared for this game. Credit the players for executing the plan extremely well. Credit White in particular for his leadership, demonstrating that he and his Hawkeyes would not be stopped tonight.
And yes, break out the damn Junior Senior. WE JUST WON AN NCAA TOURNAMENT GAME.