Luka Garza Believes Iowa Hawkeyes Need to Avoid Mistakes From 2019 NCAA Tournament to Beat Oregon Ducks

Published 03/22/2021, 12:30 AM EDT
Mar 12, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes forward Keegan Murray (left), center Luka Garza (middle), and forward Patrick McCaffery (22) celebrate as they walk off the court after defeating the Wisconsin Badgers at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports


The Iowa Hawkeyes currently have one of their best teams of all-time. Although they haven’t won anything yet to show for it, the likes of Luka Garza, Joe Wieskamp, and Jordan Bohannon make them a top candidate to win the NCAA tournament.

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But they need to be careful and not take any games lightly. During their last appearance in 2019, they fell to the Tennessee Volunteers in the second round. They haven’t won more than one game at the NCAA tournament since the 1999 edition, where they fell in the third round.

Senior forward Garza knows where they are falling short. During a recent press conference, he admitted that they need to overcome these past failures to succeed this time.

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He said, “We didn’t come out as well as we wanted to that year. We got off to a slow start, got down 25, and came all the way back. But it wasn’t enough at the end of the day. So I think for us the biggest thing is to be able to come out with energy and be ready for the moment as soon as the tip comes. Not to be a little slow to start. We can’t afford to do that, especially against a great team like Oregon.”

Will the Iowa Hawkeyes get the win or contribute to the upsets column?

The 2021 NCAA tournament has already seen a lot of upsets. Defending champions Virginia Cavaliers lost in the first round. One of the favorites to win the tournament, the Illinois Fighting Illini have been dumped out in the second round.

Other top teams who have fallen to upsets are the Texas Longhorns, UConn Huskies, Florida Gators, and the Ohio State Buckeyes.

Mar 21, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Jacob Grandison (3) and guard Andre Curbelo (5) and guard Ayo Dosunmu (11) react as they walk off the court after their loss to the Loyola Ramblers in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Loyola Ramblers won 71-58. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Reading all these results will keep the top teams still alive, like the Hawkeyes, on their toes. The first and the second round is where the most upsets happen. The Hawkeyes know that at their best, the Ducks don’t stand a chance against them. If they can beat them, the Hawkeyes will have the momentum to go far in the tournament.

One factor that the Hawkeyes will worry about is that the Ducks are completely rested. Their first-round game against the VCU Rams was called off after the Rams had multiple COVID-19 positive tests in their camp, and the Ducks got the bye.

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So they could either be a lot stronger or look rusty against the Hawkeyes. Iowa just needs to play to their strengths, and that will be enough for them to get the win.

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Luka Garza Explains Why He Was Able To Shoot 4/5 From Three in Opening Round March Madness Game

about 2 months ago

Mar 12, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes forward Patrick McCaffery (left) hugs head coach Fran McCaffery after defeating the Wisconsin Badgers at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

 

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Aaron Mathew

1527 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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