Dayton has made quite a run, first beating Boise State, then 6-seed Providence, and capturing the hearts of college basketball fans everywhere. But playing six games in 10 days with only seven scholarship players on the roster, and point guard (Scoochie Smith) getting less than 3 minutes rest in the last three games, finally took a toll on Dayton. Dayton only scored 10 points in the last 10:30 of the game, and Oklahoma was able to capitalize with a 72-66 win.
Coming into the tournament Dayton felt like they should’ve been a higher seed, and they showed why tonight. The first half of the game was fairly even with a tie score going into halftime. Coming out of the locker room at halftime, Dayton started to get on a roll and within five minutes, the Flyers pulled away with a lead that Providence couldn’t overcome, holding on for a 66-53 win.
Tonight’s showdown took place between 7-seed Iowa and 10-seed Davidson in Seattle’s Key Arena. Eleven minutes into the first half, Iowa and Davidson kept each other within striking distance. But Iowa opened up late in the first half with a big run, continued to build on the lead in the second half and rolled to an 83-52 win.
In a day where there have been many great games to start the tournament, this one did not disappoint either, as Ohio State knocked off TCU in overtime, 75-72.
With an 11 seed in the field of 64 on the line the atmosphere in Dayton’s UD arena was that of a heavyweight bout. The contest went back and forth with each team exchanging long scoring runs, but the home team (which was actually the away team) held on for a 56-55 win.
It wasn’t all that long ago that VCU was on a 12-game win streak. It looked like a team that was no doubt going to make yet another run through the NCAA Tournament. But in a span of just 15 days, the Rams went from a team that was the top dog in the A-10 to a team that is in a four-way tie with Dayton, Rhode Island and UMass.
There is no question that injuries and poor shooting have hurt the Rams during this stretch. The Rams were projected as a 4-seed in the NCAA Tournament at the end of January, but how far will they fall if they continue to falter?
Yes, we realize it’s Valentine’s Day. But these are five basketball games that you definitely want to have on your radar on Saturday (even if its checking your phone while you’re at dinner).