Now it begins, the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Two Ohio teams, the #6 seed Ohio State Buckeyes (25-9) of the Big Ten Conference and the #11 seed University of Dayton Flyers (23-10) of the Atlantic 10 Conference shuffle off to Buffalo for, what I consider, the opening round of the tournament. It would have been more convenient for the teams to play in Springfield, OH. I’m sure the good folks at Wittenberg University would have been accommodating. But, the weather is nice up here in Buffalo and there are things to do for the discerning fan during “downtimes”.
Dayton has a great history in basketball. They have been to the NCAAs 15 times, have had 6 Sweet Sixteen appearances and made it to the Finals once, in 1967. The Don May led Flyers lost the championship game that year to UCLA, who had a kid named Lew Alcindor playing for them.
Here’s their Profile:
School: University of Dayton
University of Dayton
The Flyers finished their 2014 season on a strong note, winning 10 of 12 games. Their losses during this stretch were both to St Joseph’s (PA). As the table at the bottom indicates, Dayton is a better offensive team, but a worse defensive team than Ohio State. The Flyers start a 2G/2F/1C lineup with Jordan Sibert (6’4″) Khari Price (5’11″) at guard, Devin Oliver (6’7″) and Dyshawn Pierre (6’6″) at forward and Matt Kavanaugh (6’10″) at center. First off the bench are guards Vee Sanford (6’4″) and Scoochie Smith (6’2″).
The Flyers are led by Jordan Sibert (12.5 ppg), Devin Oliver (12.1 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2.4 apg) and Dyshawn Pierre (11.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg). You’re probably thinking that the name “Jordan Sibert” sounds familiar, and it should. Sibert played two seasons at Ohio State, 2011 and 2012 and transferred to Dayton at the end of the 1012 season. After sitting out a year, this is Jordan’s 1st season as a starter for the Flyers.
Note: Player and team stats courtesy of statsheet.com
Here are the University of Dayton Flyers:
Ohio State University
The Buckeyes lost a heartbreaker over the weekend in the B1G semifinals. That game has continued the recent trend of Ohio State living on the edge since the end of February. In their last six games, the Buckeyes are 3-3, totaling 399 points (66.5 ppg) and giving up 404 (67.3 ppg) points during this stretch.
During this period, the good news was the aggressiveness shown by LaQuinton Ross and development of Trey McDonald. The bad news is the lack of contribution from Lenzelle Smith Jr. Netting out his 19 point performance against PSU, Smith is averaging 6 points per game on 26% FG shooting and 22% 3-point shooting. On a team that has struggled to score, aside from LaQuinton Ross, the Buckeyes need more production from their “shooting guard”.
And, here are your Ohio State Buckeyes:
|32||L. Smith Jr.||6’4″||G||11.1||42.6||33.6||75.5||5.1||1.6||1.0|
|33||A. Della Valle||6’5″||G||4.1||35.0||32.4||63.9||1.8||0.2||0.7|
I’d like to think that the Buckeyes can win this game. They are 5.5 point favorites, based primarily on their defense, I’m guessing. The starting guards, Craft and Smith, need to get their jump shooting shortcomings figured out in the next day or two. Otherwise, opponents will let them shoot while sagging inside to double up on LQR and to cut off driving lanes for ‘Slam’ Thompson. If Shannon Scott can maintain his shooting touch, he’d provide the factor to stretch Dayton’s defense. If not, this could be an uncomfortable game for Ohio State fans.
|PPG O||PPG D||RPG||Pos/G||PPP||FG%||3P%||FT%|
And here’s the breakdown from the folks at Campus Insiders as a part of their coverage, along with Texas and ASU:
The game tips off at 12:15 PM EST this Thursday. Television coverage will be provided by CBS, check local listings. LiveChat will be provided by tBBC, so check back here approximately a half hour before game time.