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Iowa Basketball Quick Preview: Grand Canyon

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The Hawkeyes are playing a major landmark in America’s Crossroads.

NCAA Basketball: New Mexico State at Grand Canyon
Can Iowa get over Grand Canyon?
Arizona Republic-USA TODAY NETWORK

The Iowa Hawkeyes are mad again after COVID-19 derailed their chances at an NCAA Tournament run a season ago. Now the Hawkeyes are back and as good as we’ve seen in a generation. Expectations for this season were sky high and despite not coming away with a Big Ten Championship, the team came incredibly close to meeting those expectations.

Now, to fully deliver for Iowa fans, the Hawkeyes set out on their quest for the first real NCAA Tournament run since 1999. Up first is a matchup with the Grand Canyon Antelopes. The Lopes boast in immense amount of size, particularly for a low major program. They’re anchored by twin towers in the middle with 6’10” Alessandro Lever and 7’0” Asbjorn Midtgaard.

Iowa will need to overcome Grand Canyon’s size to be successful, but few teams are as well equipped to hang inside as the Hawkeyes with National Player of the Year Luka Garza manning the middle. With Jack Nunge’s injury, Iowa is lacking depth on the interior, so they’ll need to find ways to effectively defend the Lopes without fouling. They’ll also need to put the biscuit in the basket against a team that’s 9th in the nation in points allowed per game.

As we get ready for Saturday’s matchup, here’s your first look at how Iowa stacks up with Grand Canyon.

Matchup: 15 Grand Canyon Antelopes (17-6, 17-6) vs 2 Iowa Hawkeyes (21-8, 14-6)
When: Saturday, March 20th at 5:25 pm CT (est)
Where: Indiana Farmer’s Coliseum - Indianapolis, IN
TV: TBS
Video Streaming: March Madness Live
Radio: Hawkeye Radio Network (click to find your local station)
Audio Streaming: TuneIn Radio
Game Line: Iowa -14.5, Over/Under 145

Statistical Overview

Iowa

Points Per Game: 83.8
Points Allowed Per Game: 71.9
Rebounds Per Game: 40.1
Assists Per Game: 19.1
Blocks Per Game: 4.5
Steals Per Game: 5.6

Grand Canyon

Points Per Game: 75.6
Points Allowed Per Game: 61.1
Rebounds Per Game: 40.0
Assists Per Game: 16.1
Blocks Per Game: 3.0
Steals Per Game: 4.9

Statistical Leaders

Iowa

Scoring: Luka Garza 23.7 PPG
Rebounds: Luka Garza 8.8 RPG
Assists: Jordan Bohannon 4.5 APG

Grand Canyon

Scoring: Asbjorn Midtgaard 14.0 PPG
Rebounds: Asbjorn Midtgaard 9.9 RPG
Assists: Jovan Blacksher, Jr. 5.3 APG

Advanced Stats

Adjusted Offense
IOWA 123.5 (2) GRAND CANYON 103.6 (142)
Adjusted Defense
IOWA 94.6 (50) GRAND CANYON 96.6 (74)
Adjusted Tempo
IOWA 70.0 (100) GRAND CANYON 65.5 (314)
Adjusted Efficiency Margin
IOWA +28.90 (5) GRAND CANYON +6.98 (108)

Resumes

Iowa

Image via WarrenNolan.com

Grand Canyon

Image via WarrenNolan.com

Projected Outcome

Final: Iowa 79, Grand Canyon 65
Total Possessions: 67
Win Likelihood Percentage: 91%


Note: Advanced stats are taken from KenPom.com. National rankings are provided following each metric. Adjusted offense and defense metrics measure the points scored per 100 possessions, adjusted for quality of opponent, location and when it was played (more recent gets more weighting). Adjusted tempo is defined as total possessions divided by minutes, adjusted for schedule considering the preferred pace of each team.