Steve McElvene, Ryan Bass, Charles Cooke and Detwon Rogers after a basket by Bass against Miami. David Jablonski/Staff
Larry Hansgen did a one-question interview with me for his pregame show Wednesday and asked me if Miami was a rival for Dayton. Considering they’ve played all but two seasons since World War II and the fact that, aside from Wright State, Miami is the closest Division I men’s basketball program to Dayton, I said, “Yes, Miami is a rival.”
The teams have played 131 times now. There’s no doubt Dayton has passed Miami as a program. The RedHawks, in both football and basketball, are experiencing some lean years, to say the least. Still, wouldn’t you rather have Dayton play Miami than the Alabama A&Ms of the world?
If last night’s game, a 66-62 victory for the Flyers is an indication (photos here), Dayton will always get Miami’s best shot. The series continues next season. After that, who knows.
For me, going to Millett Hall brings back memories of college when I covered a couple Ohio vs. Miami games. That’s a true rivalry. It was Larry Hunter vs. Charlie Coles, some mediocre OU teams vs. Wally Sczcerbiak (I can still spell his name after all these years). They didn’t have the hashtag #MACtion back then because, well, there was no Twitter and barely an Internet, so I made sure to get a couple #MACtions in my tweets last night. The A-10 needs to step up its hashtag game.
Here are five things we learned last night:
1. Dayton was fortunate to escape with a victory.
The Flyers scored their last 13 points at the free-throw line as Miami rallied from a 16-point deficit with some clutch 3-pointers in the final minutes (game story here).
Dayton players, coaches and fans kept glancing at the game clock Wednesday. The final minute must have lasted an hour.