The NCAA Tournament’s No. 1 overall seed clashes with this year’s Cinderella story in the South Region Final on Saturday night, as the 11th seeded Dayton Flyers take on the number one-seeded Florida Gators.
Dayton’s unlikely run to the Elite Eight began in thrilling fashion in the opening matchup of the second round, as it used a last-second bucket to get by past Ohio State, 60-59. It continue in the next game with another upset in the third round by defeating third-seeded Syracuse, 55-53, only to have its least challenging contest in the Sweet 16, that being an 82-72 win over Stanford on Thursday. This marks the third Elite Eight appearance for the Flyers all-time, with their last coming back in 1984.
As the top overall seed, Florida’s surge to the Elite Eight has hardly come as a surprise, but that hasn’t made it any less impressive. It took care of business against a pesky 16th-seeded Albany in the second round, and
dominated ninth-seeded Pittsburgh in the third round, and took down fourth-seeded UCLA in the sweet sixteen The Gators are riding 29-game winning streak
The Flyers and the Gators are meeting for the first time in history, and a spot in the Final Four is on the line.
The Flyers had four players in double figures in the win against Stanford on Thursday. Jordan Sibert had 18 points on 4-of-9 shooting from 3-point range. Devin Oliver and Kendall Pollard each had 12 points, while Matt Kavanaugh added 10 points.
The Gators have sharp shooters in Michael Frazier,who put up 19 points on 5-of-8 from the three land, Scottie Wilbekin had 13 in the win against UCLA. Flyers also gotta contain SEC defensive player of the year in Patrick Young.
Dayton has nothing to lose in this matchup, and this season will be considered an overwhelming success regardless of the outcome, and that lack of pressure could result in some inspired play by the Flyers. If they find away to win, goodness the campus will be more wilder than it was after the sweet sixteen win on Thursday night.