There are many takeaways from Oregon’s blowout win over #2 seed Iowa in the round of 32. Sure, the Big Ten is basically proven to be nothing special. Iowa was kind of a pretender, Fran McCaffery may never get over the hump. While all of these negative takeaways may be true, let’s take a moment to point out something else.
Luka Garza had one of the best college basketball careers we will ever see.
The odds-on favorite to win the Wooden award went out in style despite being blown out by the Ducks. Garza finished his Iowa career with a 36 point game, shooting 14/20 from the field.
As Luka Garza was being taken out of the game, he was noticeably emotional.
Luka Garza gets an ovation after dropping 36 PTS in his final game with Iowa 👏 pic.twitter.com/QSo4cjKZoM
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 22, 2021
The college basketball community has come out in droves to share their thanks to what Luka Garza gave to college basketball.
Dear Luka Garza,
Thank you for an outstanding career and representing everything that college basketball should be about.
We wish you the best in future endeavors — you're a class act.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 22, 2021
Luka Garza 👏
— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 22, 2021
Really really gonna miss Luka Garza. Guy made himself into a hell of a player with good old-fashioned hard work. Not the most gifted, but just got better and better.
Garza emotional after checking out of the game. pic.twitter.com/emZ7SReViN
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) March 22, 2021
Shoutout to Luka Garza on an incredible college career 💯 @LukaG_55
◾️ 2x Big Ten player of the year
◾️ All-time men’s leading scorer at Iowa
◾️ No. 55 will be retired at Iowa
◾️ 2x First-team All-American
◾️ 2,200+ points, 900+ rebounds pic.twitter.com/dKiq4Zs4DJ
— B/R Hoops (@brhoops) March 22, 2021
Luka Garza exits the game for the final time as an Iowa Hawkeye.
He finishes as:
⚡️ Iowa's all-time leading scorer
⚡️ 2x Big Ten Player of the Year
⚡️ 2021 Consensus All-American
A great career comes to an end in the NCAA Tournament 2nd round. pic.twitter.com/BVZDfX8Cah
— 247Sports (@247Sports) March 22, 2021
Thank you Luka Garza for a truly special career. This team didn’t achieve everything it set out to do, but you helped return incredible energy to the program and solidified yourself as one of the greatest Big Ten basketball players of all time.
— Jack Bacon (@Jrbacon50) March 22, 2021
Shoutout to Luka Garza. Your hard work, dedication and attitude has been inspiring to watch. You are a great example of what you can accomplish when you put all those traits together. College basketball will miss you. This Cyclone is a huge fan of yours.
— Jamie Pollard (@IASTATEAD) March 22, 2021
Hat tip to Luka Garza on a phenomenal career. pic.twitter.com/OnSuiuderP
— Kirk Haaland (@khaal53) March 22, 2021
Luka Garza finishes his collegiate career with 2,306 points, 7th-most in Big Ten history, and the most in Iowa Hawkeyes history. He will undoubtedly have his jersey retired by the team at some point.
After the game, Garza shared his disappointment with the way he went out.
“I just feel heartbroken that I couldn’t… you know with all the work that I did, I couldn’t lead this team to where it needed to go. That’s something that’s gonna haunt me for the rest of my life,” Garza said.
Luka Garza has nothing to hang his head about. Once again, he left it all on the floor. Unfortunately, sometimes that isn’t enough in the NCAA Tournament.
We’ll see if Luka Garza can make career for himself in the NBA.
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