Iowa center Luka Garza (55) plays against Illinois in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big Ten Conference tournament in Indianapolis, Saturday, March 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
- #7 Oregon battles #2 Iowa on Monday, March 22nd in the second round of the NCAA tournament
- The Ducks advanced in a “no contest” victory over #10 VCU, while the Hawkeyes earned a wire-to-wire win over #15 Grand Canyon
- The odds for the game, as well as matchup analysis and pick, can be found in the article below
Iowa’s victory over a 15th-seeded team might be considered a free pass to some, but Oregon received an actual free pass to the NCAA tournament’s second round, thanks to the presence of positive COVID-19 tests within the VCU roster.
Regardless of how these teams got here, here they are. And on Monday, March 22, #2 Iowa and #7 Oregon face off for a chance at reaching the Sweet 16 (tip-off 12:10pm ET). The Hawkeyes are four-point favorites for this one.
Oregon vs Iowa Odds
|Team||Spread at FanDuel||Moneyline||Total|
|Oregon||+4 (-110)||+154||Over 147 (-106)|
|Iowa||-4 (-110)||-184||Under 147 (-116)|
Odds as of March 21st.
How They’ve Fared Recently
Iowa’s 86-74 win over Grand Canyon was probably a bit more dominant than the final score indicates. No, the Hawkeyes did not cover their 13.5-point spread. But they also never trailed, they only committed six turnovers and they shot 45.5% from three. Pretty great.
The Hawkeyes typically win games on the back of Naismith Player of the Year candidate Luka Garza. He scored 24 points on 16 shots and added six rebounds for the Hawkeyes, marking the fifth time in his past six games in which he has 20-plus points and five-plus rebounds.
Three others finished in double figures for Iowa, though, a nod to their second-ranked adjusted offensive efficiency in NCAA Division I.
Oregon did not have a chance to flash its 14th-ranked adjusted offensive efficiency in an opening-round matchup with VCU, which could’ve served as a chance to get a bad taste out of their mouths after losing in ugly fashion to Oregon State in the Pac 12 tournament.
Keep grinding. #GoDucks | #AlwaysUs pic.twitter.com/1OZ9cv8FER
— Oregon Men’s Basketball (@OregonMBB) March 18, 2021
That was only the Ducks’ second loss since the Super Bowl, and it came largely due to their horrid three-point shooting (6-of-25, 24%). Oregon’s offense is typically more balanced than a simple live-or-die deep shooting bunch, but they failed to execute an alternate game plan in a 75-64 loss to the Beavers last time out.
Both teams have been mediocre against the spread this year: Iowa is 15-14-1 and Oregon is 14-12.
“That’s 1” 👀@LukaG_55’s on a mission with @IowaHoops. 💪 #MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/IDAwjAhqRu
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 21, 2021
The Hawkeyes have been far worse than mediocre of late though, going 0-3-1 ATS in their past four. In recent games as the favorite, Iowa is 2-3-1 (dating back to Feb. 13). The Ducks’ most recent outing was a straight up loss as 8.5-point favorites against Oregon State, but before that Oregon ripped off five consecutive ATS victories.
Iowa has seen the under go 7-3 in its past 10 games, while Oregon is on a seven-game over streak.
Luka Garza is so obviously the X-factor, and it would be silly to suggest anyone or anything else. Garza leads the team in points (23.8) and rebounds (8.8) per game, while boasting a 32.9% shot share (19th in D-I). Iowa goes how he goes in nearly all circumstances.
Could we interest you in some Luka treys?
Here are all of them, courtesy of @marchmadness. pic.twitter.com/RGhjyGeONH
— Iowa On BTN (@IowaOnBTN) March 21, 2021
For the most part, that has been a productive correlation for the Hawkeyes. The senior center controls the offense and consistently puts his team in position to win. We think that will continue, and perhaps the Hawkeyes can capitalize on some jitters from an Oregon team that doesn’t have any tourney reps yet this year.
Pick: Iowa -4 (-110)
Jordan Horrobin is a sports journalist whose MLB, NHL, NFL and NCAA work has appeared in outlets such as The Athletic, MLB.com, the Detroit Free Press and more. He is currently based in Toronto, also working as a contributor for Forbes.com and a freelance editor for Sportsnet.