The Flyers wait to take the court Saturday. David Jablonski/Staff
In postgame interviews with me after a loss, the voices of Dayton players rise to barely a whisper. When Archie Miller says, “No one hurts more than us,” as he did Saturday, believe him.
The Flyers went out the way their fans hoped, winning three of their last four regular-season games when that seemed to be the consensus opinion on what they had to do after the Duquesne loss. On the other hand, they ended the regular season the way no one wanted: with a 55-53 loss (photos here) to ninth-place La Salle at Tom Gola Arena.
So dismayed by this defeat, one fan wrote me in all-caps on Twitter to say, “UNACCEPTABLE.” Obviously, he wasn’t taking the big view.
Dayton lost a chance to share the league title last night, but it just finished an improbable 23-7 regular season. A team that appeared dead in mid-December because off off-the-court developments ended up winning one more game than last year in the regular season. It won two more games than I predicted in November before Devon Scott and Jalen Robinson got kicked off the team, before Ryan Bass lost his season to injury and before Detwon Rogers faded from view.
All in all, there’s not much more you can say than, “Bravo.”
Here are five things to take from this one:
A Dayton fan behind the bench Saturday. David Jablonski/Staff
1. Dayton would have gotten No. 2 seed no matter what.
Davidson routed Duquesne 107-78 Saturday night. That means if if Dayton had won at La Salle, it would have still earned the No. 2 seed in the A-10 tournament.
Here’s an excerpt from my game story. Once again, I work in the Flyer Faithful. I consider the fans a big part of the Dayton narrative. There’s little doubt they’ll hear their name called on Selection Sunday because of their perfect home record, and there’s little doubt they wouldn’t have won all those home games with almost 13,000 fans per game on average filling UD Arena.
A Dayton Flyers fan ran behind the bench several times and hoisted a sign during the second half Saturday at La Salle.