So I am the kind of guy that can really only like one team for each sport. In college football, having gone to Ohio State, its the buckeyes. For basketball however, its Dayton, having gone to games with my dad since I was a kid. I root for OSU but my heart is with Dayton in basketball. That being said I figured I'd give a brief scouting report on what I've seen from the Flyers this year for people who aren't too familiar with them.
Dayton started off the year strong going into the Maui Invitational undefeated. They beat Gonzaga to start out. They lead Baylor in the next game for all but 16 secs and lost by one on a missed tip in at the buzzer. Dayton then closed out a successful Maui trip with a drubbing of Cal (albeit without their best big man). The Flyers had a couple ups and downs the rest of the non conference but ultimately finished 12-3.
The early conference schedule was brutal and that couple with poor play and untimely injuries saw Dayton get off to a 1-5 start. It looked like yet another year where they start out hot and fade in conference. They were able to turn things around though and finished the regular season 10-6 in conference and one of the hottest teams in the country. They lost a tough game on a bad non call to St. Joes in the A-10 quarters.
This is a team that is very deep. Playing as many as 11 guys significant minutes each game. Because they are so deep they like to run a fast paced offense, trying to get the ball up the floor as fast as possible. There is no go to guy on the roster but instead a group of 3-4 guys that are capable of putting up 15-20 on any given night. This is nice to have if a guy like Sibert or Oliver have off nights but there are definately times where this team has missed having a "go to guy".
Not a ton of height on the roster. Three players rotate the 5 position but only one is over 6'9". None of the three are reliable scorers. The guard play is the strength of this team. We shoot alot of threes and at a pretty decent percentage. At times this season this team has struggled defensively. Whether its a lack of focus or poor fundamentals I'm not sure.
Ive watched OSU several times this year and their height and athleticism could pose problems for Dayton inside. I think that one of the things that benefits Dayton in this game is that OSU is a poor shooting team. Dayton is a good rebounding team even despite often having the size disadvantage.
Ultimately I think Dayton can pull off the upset if the Buckeyes have a poor shooting day. Regardless of who wins I will be rooting for them in round 2.