Play In Game
Dayton is probably one of the bigger seeding surprises of the Tournament getting an 11-seed and the last at-large team for the Tournament. They’ll take on MWC’s Boise State in a Game played at Dayton’s home arena.
The Flyers have a lot of guys from last year’s Elite 8 squad, but after kicking a couple juniors off the team nine Games into the year, this hasn’t been the same team. The consensus of bracket predictions had them as an 8- or 9- seed which is kind of unlucky for Boise State here, in addition to this being a road Game. Dayton beat fellow bubble team Ole Miss back in December and that was probably their best non-Conference win. But the A10 had somewhat of a down year, and that hurt their seeding even after finishing second in the regular season and the Tournament.
Boise State kind of came out of nowhere to win the regular season MWC title after losing its first three Games of the Conference season. The Broncos went on to win 14 of their next 15 Games before losing to Wyoming in the semis of the MWC Tournament. They swept San Diego State on the year and that was probably a main reason they’re in this spot, while their best non-Conference win was against Saint Mary’s.
Dayton lacks a bit with depth and only really play seven guys each Game, with one of them being a walk-on. The Broncos are in somewhat of the same situation after also losing one of their best players early in the season, Anthony Drmic.
Derrick Marks is the player to watch in this Game for Boise State because he’s a complete playmaker. Averaging 19.3 points per Game, Marks is an all-around player that has greatly improved his shooting range this season, which makes him even more deadly. The Broncos rely on their spacing and the ability of almost everyone on the cOurt to shoot the ball. They made 291 three-pointers on the year, which is 13th best in the country. Forwards Nick Duncan and James Webb III are deceptive with their size because both of them can knock it down from distance.
Neither one of these teams is great at rebounding, so it’ll be interesting if that’s a factor in this Game. Boise State has the slight edge in the height department (although their bigs love to shoot).
One thing in Dayton’s favor, is their experience. Jordan Sibert, Dyshawn Pierre and SCoochie Smith were all huge in the Tournament last year and will have to do the same for the Flyers to advance. Boise State doesn’t reach the foul line often so getting into foul trouble shouldn’t be a problem, which is huge for Dayton.
The Flyers lack height, but that also means they have the athletes to defend Boise State on the perimeter. They don’t shoot it great from distance, but this is more of a slashing team. Sibert (16.6 PPG) loves getting to the rack or pulling up for an easy deuce, while Pierre (12.6 PPG, 8.1 RPB) and Kendall Pollard (12.8 PPG) are all about the dirty work.
Dayton shouldn’t have problems dealing with Boise State’s ability to stretch the floor and that should be a nice plus to their home-cOurt advantage. The Flyers have been a great Tourney team in the last year and that could continue playing in Dayton.
Our Pick – Dayton -4