Rapid Recap: Iowa men’s basketball team bounced by Oregon in second round of NCAA Tournament

Luka Garza’s 36 points were not enough as the Hawkeyes lost to the Ducks, 95-80.

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© Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 22, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes looks to pass while defended by Oregon Ducks forward Chandler Lawson (left) and center Franck Kepnang (right) during the first half in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Robert Read, Pregame Editor


INDIANAPOLIS — The Iowa men’s basketball program’s return to the Sweet 16 will have to wait at least another year.

Luka Garza’s 36 points were not enough as the second-seeded Hawkeyes fell to No. 7 Oregon 95-80 on Monday in the Round of 32 at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse. With the win, the Ducks have advanced to the Sweet 16. With the loss, the Hawkeyes are still searching for their first trip to the second weekend of the tournament since 1999.

Iowa is now 0-4 in the Round of 32 under coach Fran McCaffery and 1-11 in the second round since 1989. The Big Ten sent nine teams to the NCAA Tournament, but has yet to send a team to the Sweet 16 this season.

A Garza basket at the 2:10 mark of the first half tied the game at 46-46. Then the Ducks started to fly.

Oregon went on a 10-0 run to finish the first half, hitting all of its final five shots from the field. On the CBS halftime show, analyst and former NBA star Charles Barkley said the Hawkeyes needed a quick run to start the second half in order to stay in the game.

That didn’t happen.

Oregon extended its lead to 14 less than four minutes into the second half. The Ducks led by as many as 21 points in the second half on their way to winning by 15 points.

Garza walked off the floor for the final time in an Iowa uniform with only seconds remaining in the game, as the Hawkeye fans in attendance chanted “MVP” and “thank you Garza.”

In his last game as a Hawkeye, the Garza’s 36 points tied the school record for points in an NCAA Tournament game. The senior shot 14-of-20 from the field and hauled in nine rebounds. In the second half, he also broke the program’s single-season scoring record by surpassing the 740 points he scored last season.

Iowa ends the season 22-9.

Oregon’s hot, balanced scoring downs Iowa

The Ducks shot 56 percent from the floor and a blistering 44 percent from 3-point range in its win over the Hawkeyes. Four Oregon players scored at least 17 points, led by Chris Duarte with 23 points.

Iowa didn’t perform poorly offensively itself, either, shooting 46 percent from the field and 32 percent from 3-point range (8-of-25). The Hawkeyes just couldn’t keep up with Oregon’s fast-tempo offense.

Wieskamp battles back from injury in second half

Starting guard Joe Wieskamp appeared to re-injure his right ankle, which he sprained in the regular-season finale against Wisconsin, six minutes into the second half on Monday. He immediately walked off the court and started limping around the bench area before going to the locker room.

But the junior, who during a postgame interview declined to address whether he would be returning to Iowa for his senior season, came out of the tunnel moments later. After a couple minutes on an exercise bike, Wieskamp returned to the floor.

The Muscatine, Iowa, native scored 17 points on 7-of-17 shooting, while also hauling in six rebounds and dishing out five assists.

Bohannon, Fredrick combine for 0 points

Senior point guard Jordan Bohannon (39.6 percent from 3-point range) and sophomore shooting guard CJ Fredrick (48.6) are two of the best shooters in the Big Ten. But they went a combined 0-of-7 from the field Monday.

Fran McCaffery said postgame that Fredrick is still not healthy after suffering a lower leg injury in the middle of the season and that’s why he only played 13 minutes. McCaffery added that starter Connor McCaffery is playing through torn labrums in both hips and will undergo multiple surgeries this offseason.

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