By: Steve Miller – Sports Editor
For the second straight season, the Dayton Flyers will compete in the NCAA Tournament as a seven-seed. Dayton heads to Indianapolis, for a round of 64 matchup with 10-seed Wichita State this Friday.
Dayton is one of three Atlantic 10 teams to make the national field.
VCU, who finished second in the conference in both the regular season and the tournament, will play as a 10-seed in the West region and take on Saint Mary’s in the first round.
Rhode Island returns to its first NCAA Tournament since 1999 after it knocked off VCU in the A-10 Tournament Championship on Sunday, securing the conference’s automatic bid. The Rams are an 11-seed and will take on Creighton in the first round on Friday in Sacramento, California.
Dayton defeated VCU on March 1, to clinch the Atlantic 10 regular season championship, but then dropped its regular season finale at George Washington. Seeded first in the A-10 Tournament, the Flyers fell to the sharp-shooting Davidson Wildcats in the quarterfinals.
Despite the two losses to end the year, Dayton’s strong resume and 24 regular season wins were enough to qualify them for the Big Dance.
The Flyers have now qualified for the NCAA Tournament in four consecutive seasons for the first time in school history. Before last year, the previous time Dayton had qualified for three consecutive NCAA Tournaments was 1965-67.
In 2014, Dayton won three tournament games on its way to the Elite Eight. And the following season, UD won two tournament games, including a First Four matchup at UD Arena. This year, the Flyers will look to avenge their first round loss to Syracuse in the 2016 tournament.
North Carolina is the top team in this year’s South region. Kentucky is the two-seed, and will most likely meet the winner of the Dayton-Wichita State matchup.
Photo Courtesy of Andrew Wong/Staff Photographer