By Patrick Vint on May 8, 2020 at 12:00 pm
King Luka
King Luka (@IowaAwesome)

The results are in, the votes have been tallied, and we finally have a champion in the Go Iowa Awesome Hawkeye Basketball All-Century One-on-One Extravaganza: Luka Garza.

final bracket

Garza won the final over Adam Haluska 15-12, garnering 61 percent of the vote to Haluska's 39 percent.

Size alone didn't matter much in this tournament: Most of the pure centers of the last two decades were knocked out relatively quickly in favor of players with better ballhandling skills, quickness and perimeter shooting ability.  In fact, Garza was the only pure center left in the final sixteen players. 

But Garza is also the only Iowa center of the last two decades to average more than 20 points per game in a season, to shoot better than 35 percent from three, to exhibit the pure "stretch five" skills that would make him a real threat when having to take the ball from the top of the key to the basket.  He just finished the greatest single season of any Hawkeye basketball player in the last 35 years.  He's a deserving champion.

As for the remainder of the tournament, we're elated with your participation, both in the number of votes and the nuanced commentary.  We did this as a way to pass the time while there were no sports.  You guys turned it into something more than that, an honest-to-God intellectual exercise that moved beyond a simple popularity contest.  The fact that Adam Haluska -- a worthy potential champion, to be sure, but a guy who hasn't played in 13 years -- made your final, speaks to the seriousness with which you all treated this silly thing.  So thanks for helping us pass the time.

For now, all hail King Luka.  God save the King (from the NBA Draft, because next year could be awesome).

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