March Forecast VII: Where will Dayton Flyers end up in NCAA tournament

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Kendall Pollard reacts after a defensive stop against VCU. David Jablonski/Staff

On the Archie Miller Show on Monday night on 1290 WHIO, Dayton’s coach looked back on the moment five years ago when he was hired. He rode in a small car from a Marriott in Cincinnati to a Marriott in Dayton with Tim Wabler, Neil Sullivan, Mike Kelly and Dave Harper. He had some time to think about what he would say at his introductory press conference.

“I wasn’t trying to be somebody I wasn’t,” Miller said. “I wasn’t trying to win the press conference. I said, ‘I don’t know why it can’t be us. I don’t know why we shouldn’t be playing for championships.’ At the time, Shaka (Smart) was in the Final Four with VCU. Butler was in the Final Four the same year. Everyone realized with our fans, if we can capitalize on that, we can be one of these teams that doesn’t have to hold anyone’s hand. … If you had told me, ‘In your fifth year, you’ll win a conference championship,’ that’s the goal. You want be a championship program. You want to be on a run in March. Now we’ve done both.”

Now that the Flyers own a share of the A-10 championship. the question becomes: Can they do both in the same year? They will play in the Big Dance. That’s a sure thing if it wasn’t before the wins over Richmond and VCU. And that’s a big deal in itself because UD hasn’t played in the NCAA tournament three straight years since 1965-67.

Here’s how Dayton stood in the NCAA tournament picture, according to the experts and the various rankings, on Monday night, six days before Selection Sunday.

Joe Lunardi, ESPN: No. 7 Dayton vs. No. 10 Southern California in Saint Louis.

Jerry Palm, CBS Sports: No. 6 Dayton vs. one of the No. 11 seeds playing in the First Four: Cincinnati, Vanderbilt, Connecticut or Tulsa.

131Sports: No. 6 Dayton vs. No. 11 Syracuse/VCU

HoopsHD: No. 7 Dayton vs. No. 10 Connecticut in Saint Louis.

Michael Beller, SI.com: No. 7 Dayton vs. No. 10 Syracuse.

Brad Evans, Yahoo: Ranks Dayton No. 24 overall and gives it a No. 6 seed along with California, Texas and Baylor.

Shelby Mast, USA Today: No. 7 Dayton vs. No. 10 St. Mary’s in Spokane, Wash.

Dave Ommen, NBC Sports: No. 7 Dayton vs. No. 10 Syracuse in Spokane.

Daily Bracket: No. 4 Dayton vs. No. 13 Arkansas Little Rock in Providence, R.I.

Patrick Stevens, Washington Post: No. 6 Dayton vs. No. 11 St. Mary’s in Denver.

Other rankings:


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