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INDIANAPOLIS - Iowa isn't in the Big Ten, and Oregon isn't in the Pacific-12.
Not Monday in the NCAA men's basketball tournament, anyhow. The Hawkeyes didn't see a Big Ten lineup in which no one is taller than 6-foot-6 but no one is shorter than 6-5, like Oregon's.
The No. 7-seed Ducks didn't play against a Luka Garza. They will Monday at 11:10 a.m. (CT) in an NCAA West Region second-round game at Bankers Life Fieldhouse when they take on No. 2-seed Iowa.
'We haven't faced a scorer like Garza inside,” Oregon Coach Dana Altman said Sunday. 'Not many people have.”
Will the 6-11 Garza go on a feeding frenzy in the post against the shorter Ducks after a winter of battling Big Ten brutes his own size? Altman hasn't taken four Oregon teams to Sweet 16s since 2013 because he can't adapt to situations. The Hawkeyes are seeking their first Sweet 16 berth since 1999.
The Ducks (20-6) play a lot of pressure defense, and have the players to make it effective.
'They press a couple different ways, they play their half-court defense a couple different ways,” Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said. 'They challenge your offense in a lot of ways, different than a team that just plays straight half-court.”
Oregon doesn't use 40 minutes of full-court pressure per game, but ...
'Probably going to press us the whole game,” Iowa guard Jordan Bohannon said, 'so we've just got to be ready to take care of the ball. Very good shooting team as well, a lot of drivers.
'We've got to be prepared to play an up-and-down game, which is what we want. We kind of hope they press us and we're able to play an up-tempo style of game like we like to.
It will be interesting to see if the Ducks have an answer for Garza and his 23.7-point average.
'He's a matchup nightmare,” said Altman. 'We'll try some different things on him and hopefully, something works.”
'I definitely think I'll have a height advantage, so I'll be able to try and score inside,” Garza said. (Oregon's Eugene) Omoruyi is really good in the post, and as a driver as well, so they'll probably try to come at me on the defensive end.
'I'm just going to play my game and see where my advantages are in the moment and be able to read and attack.”
Garza is the Big Ten's Player of the Year. Oregon has Associated Press' Pac-12 Player of the Year in 6-6 senior guard Chris Duarte. He was is a third-team AP All-American. He was on the Pac-12's All-Defensive team. He averages 16.7 points and almost two steals per game.
'He's got a complete skill set,” McCaffery said. 'He can go off the dribble, he can extend and shoot 3s, he guards, he sticks his nose on the glass, really athletic.”
Omoruyi also averages 16.7 points. He's 6-6, 245 pounds, and no stranger to Garza, having transferred to Oregon from Rutgers for his senior season. Like Garza, he's a big man who is good from the inside and outside, with 38 3-pointers to Garza's 41.
'Obviously, they won the regular season in the Pac-12, which is impressive,” Garza said. 'They're a really talented team, really athletic. They put a lot of pressure on you, trying to create steals and turnovers, and that's how they win.”
The Hawkeyes downed Grand Canyon 86-74 Saturday in a first-round contest. It was supposed to be followed at Indiana Farmers Coliseum by Oregon-VCU, but VCU was forced to withdraw from the tournament a few hours before the game because of multiple players testing positive for COVID-19.
'It was a crazy day yesterday,” Altman said. 'We were in pregame getting ready for the game when we got the word we wouldn't be playing. So we immediately tried to arrange a quick practice and work up a sweat, and then started working on Iowa immediately after that.”
After playing eight games in 18 days, the Ducks have played just two in the last two weeks and none since March 12. Altman said he is concerned about his team starting slowly because of the layoff.
Iowa, on the other hand, will compete just 40 hours after its last game ended.
'Makes no difference,” McCaffery said. 'We're playing Oregon on Monday.”
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