Iowa last played in a loss to Penn State, and they were looking to rebound in a big way against Davidson. Iowa had a bigger player at every position, so Iowa was hoping that their size would benefit them in the game. Iowa's game plan became evident early on - attack the paint offensively, and don't let Davidson get open looks from outside. Both worked and it resulted in a runaway 31 point win for the Hawkeyes.
What We Learned
You Can't Teach Size
Iowa's size gave Davidson troubles all night long. Early on, they were getting into passing lanes, causing a few early turnovers that had Davidson scrambling. It left them uncomfortable and unable to get into a rhythm in the opening minutes. Iowa then began running Davidson off the three point line, not allowing them to get open looks outside, but allowing them to pass the ball inside. Iowa's interior size was able to alter shot after shot, and Davidson had trouble scoring both inside and out. Davidson's 21% three point percentage was caused by Iowa's length, as Davidson had trouble putting up rhythm shots and forcing them to take numerous low percentage shots. Iowa was able to negate Davidson's shooting, and it paid dividends
Aaron White Came To Play
White attacked the paint early and often, and he converted 11 of his 14 shots. His 26 points were a game high, which he combined with 6 rebounds. Aaron doesn't want his career to end, and he is going to do everything to prevent it. He'll have a tough matchup Sunday against Gonzaga, but don't expect him to have a pedestrian game. He's scored at least 20 points in each of the last 6 games, proving he is the unquestioned leader of the team.
Iowa Won't Take Their Foot Off The Pedal
Up 9 at the half, Iowa never let off the gas until the final horn had sounded. Iowa opened up the second half on a 13-3 run, and outscored Davidson 45-23 in the half. That's what you call squeezing the life out of your opponent, not letting them have any glimmer of hope in the half. Iowa held Davidson's leading scorer to only 5 points, never letting him get going and his team looked lost without him. It was a complete game for Iowa, and they will need another complete game to beat #2 seeded Gonzaga.
This was a big win for the Hawkeyes not only because it was so dominant, but it was also Iowa's first NCAA Tournament win since 2001. There were certainly a lot of reasons why Iowa has been unable to grab that first win, but they finally got it done and did it in a big way.
Now, Iowa will move on to face Gonzaga on Sunday in a matchup that should turn a lot of heads. Many believe Gonzaga could be the most vulnerable #1 or #2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and a win could set Iowa up for a deep run in this postseason, especially considering that the winner of Iowa and Gonzaga will face a UCLA team that was a fringe NCAA team, used a questionable call to get past SMU, and got to play an underwhelming UAB team on Saturday due to a 1st Round upset. It would be a favorable matchup for Iowa or Gonzaga and the Hawkeyes will look to capitalize on it this weekend.