The Iowa Hawkeyes took care of business in the first round of the NCAA Tournament as they took down the Grand Canyon Antelopes 86-74 in a game that never felt like it could turn sideways. Now Iowa advances to take on the 7 seed Oregon Ducks, who were the only team to take a no contest in the first round of the tournament as their opponent, the 10th seeded VCU Rams, had a COVID-19 outbreak and were forced to withdraw.
The Ducks enter today’s matchup well-rested with their first round game cancelled. They last played a full ten days ago, when they lost to in-state rival Oregon State in the PAC 12 Tournament Championship. The Ducks won the regular season title despite dealing with injuries this season. They enter today’s matchup winners of six of their last seven and 11 of their last 13.
Despite the hot end to the season, there are questions as to how battle tested Oregon is. The Ducks enter the Round of 32 with just a 2-3 record against quadrant 1 opponents this season and only one win away from Matthew Knight Arena against such an opponent (NET #44 Arizona).
Part of the struggle has been a defense that ranks 65th in KenPom’s adjusted defensive efficiency, five spots below Iowa. Oregon is giving up just 67.4 points per game on the season, but come into today giving up at least 70 points in three of their last four games, including the loss to Oregon State. None of those opponents boasted an offense as talented as Iowa’s.
But the Ducks do put up points. At 74.4 points per game, Oregon ranks 15th in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency. That’s due in part to the stellar play of F Eugene Omoruyi. The Hawkeyes will need to bring their defense to slow down Omoruyi and a talented Oregon offense while avoiding foul trouble, particularly for Luka Garza inside, if they want to find their way into their first Sweet 16 in more than two decades.
As we start the countdown to tipoff, here’s everything you need to know about today’s NCAA Tournament matchup between your Iowa Hawkeyes and the Oregon Ducks.
Matchup: 7 Oregon Ducks (20-6, 14-4) vs 2 Iowa Hawkeyes (22-8, 14-6)
When: Monday, March 22nd at 11:10 am CT
Where: Bankers Life Fieldhouse - Indianapolis, IN
Video Streaming: March Madness Live
Radio: Hawkeye Radio Network (click to find your local station)
Audio Streaming: TuneIn Radio
Game Line: Iowa -5, Over/Under 147.5
Be sure to check out the full matchup preview for today’s game. You can find all our coverage of the 2021 NCAA Tournament in the Tournament Central stream here.
Play nice in the comments and Go Hawks!
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