Saturday, March 20: (15) Grand Canyon vs. (2) Iowa
The 8th-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes finished third in the Big Ten, behind 4th-ranked Michigan and 2nd-ranked Illinois. This high level of competition in the Big-10 allows Iowa to compete against anyone in this tournament. In their last 10 games, the Hawkeyes have lost only to Michigan and Illinois. Iowa’s Luke Garza and Jordan Bohannon provide a strong scoring punch in any game they play; and are likely to combine for 40+ points between them.
Grand Canyon will need to raise their game up a notch, as they are facing a much stronger opponent than the Western Athletic Conference offers. Canyon will rely on their 7-foot center Asbjorn Midtgaard to help keep Iowa’s Luke Garza in check; so, he’ll need to avoid foul trouble. The Antelopes will need to avoid falling too far behind, because they are not particularly strong at 3-point shooting. They’re hitting just 32.2% on average, and scoring just 19.2 ppg from behind the arc. One of Iowa’s weaknesses is that they allow their opponents to hit 34.8% on 3-pointers, that’s tied for 229th in the nation.