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Dayton first of three Elite 8 opponents in a row for EMU

Dayton’s opponent on Saturday, Eastern Michigan, started the season with seven games in a row at home. That’s one reason it’s 7-0.

But the Eagles will make up for it by playing three teams that made the Elite Eight last season in a row. Here’s a story from Michigan Live:

The Eagles are off to their best start since 1995-96, the year they beat Duke in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. As of Saturday, EMU was just one of 33 Division 1 teams that are still undefeated.

But the level of difficult is about to go up. Way up.

Eastern Michigan hits the road for a four game road trip, with three straight games against opponents that reached the Elite Eight last year — Dayton (Dec. 6), No. 19 Michigan (Dec. 9) and No. 20 Michigan State (Dec. 17).

This is a homecoming of sorts for Eastern Michigan coach Rob Murphy. He’s a Central State graduate and started two years there. This is his fourth season.

In just three seasons since arriving from Syracuse University, Murphy has made great strides at Eastern. At the conclusion of the 2013-14 season after guiding the Eagles to a 22-15 record and the semifinals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament, Murphy was named a finalist for the Ben Jobe Award. The Eagles’ 22 victories were the most since the 1996-97 season and tied for fourth-most in EMU history. Under Murphy, EMU reached the second round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament (CIT), marking the first time the Eagles had competed in postseason play since the 1997-98 season.


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