Dyshawn Pierre at Saint Louis. David Jablonski/Staff
Dyshawn Pierre, or “Air Canada” as the Dayton True Team Twitter account sometimes calls him, has earned plenty of headlines in Dayton this year. This week he was featured in the Edmonton Sun.
Most experts (Bracketologists, if you will) are projecting Dayton to be in the neighbourhood of a seventh to ninth seed in the Big Dance. As of March 8, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi had the Flyers slotted in as No. 8 in the Midwest region, making them a potential opponent for his projected No. 1, the undefeated juggernaut known as the Kentucky Wildcats, in the round of 32.
“I’ve seen it a couple times where we play in the same bracket as Kentucky,” Pierre said. “It’s cool to see, but we try not to focus on that a lot.”
After finishing tied for fifth in the conference and being knocked off in the A10 quarter-finals last season, the Flyers found themselves precariously situated on the proverbial tournament bubble when Selection Sunday rolled around. They gathered at the house of coach Archie Miller to watch the unveiling of the 68-team field, and erupted when Dayton flashed across the screen as the South Region’s No. 1 seed.
“It was kind of nerve-wracking,” Pierre, 21, recalled. “We really weren’t sure last year that we were going to be in the tournament and when we saw our names it was just relief.”