University Of Dayton Flyers
DAYTON, Ohio - Dejection is written all over the face of the University of Dayton men's basketball team and its fans. Over the past week, everyone has become increasingly concerned about the future of the program and the team as a whole.
For me and many others in the basketball community, the crowd at the University of Dayton Arena is one of the most important parts of a college basketball game. Getting eight programs into town is always a guarantee for a few days, but even during the students "spring break, there are usually enough Dayton fans to keep things moving. The student fan base is known as Red Scare and they support the Flyers in a variety of ways, from a direct feed directly into the game to a variety of social media platforms. While students cause an outcry in one end zone, older people have most of these good seats in another.
The Flyers intercollegiate sports teams participate at all NCAA Division I levels, and many of the varsity athletic teams are supported by UD's Spirit Groups, which consist of over 1,300 undergraduate teachers. In addition to football in the Pioneer Football League, the Dayton Flyers also compete in a variety of other sports, including baseball, softball, men's and women's basketball, volleyball and athletics, as well as basketball and volleyball.
Dayton's historic rivalries in most sports involve Ohio State University, the University of Dayton and Ohio University. Other historic rivals include Western Michigan University and Dayton University in football, men's and women's basketball, and Akron and Cincinnati.
UD won two NCAA Division III titles (1980 and 1989) and advanced to the championship three more times. The Flyers defeated Stanford to reach the round of eight, where they played No.
The Flyers came close to a second Final Four in 1984 and fell to Georgetown in the Elite Eight. The team won the NIT in 1962, 1968 and 2010, and reached the NCAA finals against UCLA in 1967. In 1968, coach Don Donoher built on that foundation, winning the NIT and making another tackle. They put on an incredible run, beating Notre Dame, Florida State, Michigan State and Michigan before losing 79-64 to the UCLA Bruins in a national championship game.
The Flyers are champions of the Atlantic 10 and lead the league in attendance with an average of 13,364 fans per home game. Assistant coach Anthony Solomona noted that the Flyers drew a full house for a game on December 23 against superior Grambling.
At the start of the second half, it seemed the Flyers had made the necessary adjustments and kept the scoreless first two minutes. Dayton extended its lead and maintained a double-digit lead into the third quarter. While Dayton fueled Fordham's hopes with a three-point play at 2: 30 to keep the hope alive, much of the pattern followed the previous two games against Grambling and the Bulldogs.
Dayton never managed to build a lead of more than five points, but Fordham continued to play high-risk. 55 points will not always be enough for this team to win games and at some point reality will return. Neubauer and his players will be riding high but they will be whipped up by the expectations of their fans and the expectation of a win over the Bulldogs. Should Rose Hill's men face Dayton again, an unlikely victory would be hard to predict.
The Flyers are coached by Anthony Grant, who replaced Archie Miller as head coach of the University of Dayton basketball team for two seasons beginning in the 2017 season. Like everyone else, I expect the Flyers to play Cleveland in the first or second round of this NCAA tournament. Grant will go to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Thursday night as a scout, where his Flyers play the winner on Friday.
Everything is geared toward a Cinderella title game that will be like the Cinderella of 1967, but I'm in Brooklyn to prepare for the final of the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament and then find out if we deserve a spot in this year's NCAA tournament, which is taking place for the first time in the program's history.
In 19 games, the Rams managed just once in the entire time the two teams met, in game one of the 2015-16 season. The Flyers have competed in three straight Atlantic 10 regular-season championships, compiling a 5-2 record along the way.
The Rams did not compete in Game One because a COVID-related cancellation delayed their season opener from November 25 to December 30. After La Salle scored 16 points in the second half to take the first lead of the game, the Explorers went into the break with a lead of 16 points. A layup by Jalen Crutcher (21) gave the Flyers their second lead of the game, but a two-point jumper by Watson tied the game at 50. Josh Navarro (FCRH, 21) made it 2-0 with a 52-layup, and Fordham made a two-point difference with 30 seconds left with a Dayton score.