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Published: Thursday, January 16, 2020 @ 6:00 AM
DAYTON — Two months before Selection Sunday, the No. 13 Flyers (15-2) have built a resume worthy of the NCAA tournament. Of course, they have to survive the grind of the Atlantic 10 Conference schedule to keep themselves in the tournament picture.
As of Wednesday, all 87 bracket predictions listed on BracketMatrix.com included the Flyers, whose average seed was 3.57, an improvement from 3.91 a week earlier. Dayton has never received higher than a No. 4 seed (2003) in the tournament.
The various analytic rankings love Dayton. It ranks sixth in the NCAA Evaluation Tool (two better than last week), fifth in the Ken Pomeroy ratings (three better than last week), fifth in the Haslametrics ratings (same as last week) and sixth in ESPN’s Basketball Power Index.
Here’s a glance at where Dayton stands in the minds of the experts evaluating the NCAA field on a daily or weekly basis.
Mike DeCourcy, Fox Sports/The Sporting News: Here’s an interesting matchup to ponder for Dayton fans: No. 4 seed Dayton vs. No. 13 seed Wright State in the first round. If the Gem City Jam ever comes to the NCAA tournament, this might be the year because Dayton and Wright State run into each other in the first round in several bracket predictions. Of course, both teams still have work to do, and Wright State’s only path to the big dance is through the Horizon League tournament.
Joe Lunardi, ESPN: He moved Dayton from a No. 4 seed to a No. 3 seed on Tuesday. He has the Flyers playing No. 14 seed Montana in the East Region in St. Louis.
Eamonn Brennan, The Athletic: In his second edition of Bubble Watch, he listed Dayton among teams that “should be in” the NCAA field and wrote, “Fortunately for Dayton, the A-10 is decent enough that the conference campaign can be more than just an exercise in damage avoidance. That wouldn’t have been the case in the past few years, but this time around Dayton has brought its remarkable first half into a league that includes at least a handful of fellow top-100 teams in the mix.
Jerry Palm, CBSSports.com: He has Dayton getting a No. 4 seed and playing No. 13 seed Akron, which features former Flyer Xeyrius Williams, in Albany, N.Y.
Chris Dobbertean, SBNation.com: He moved Dayton from a No. 3 seed to a No. 4 seed and matches it with William & Mary in Albany.
Jonathon Warriner, MakingTheMadness.com: He moved Dayton from a No. 5 seed to a No. 4 seed, matching the Flyers with Louisiana Tech in Omaha.
Andy Katz, NCAA.com: He gives Dayton a No. 3 seed and matches them with Montana.
Kerry Miller, BleacherReport.com: He gives No. 3 seed Dayton a game against No. 14 seed UC Irvine in Greensboro, N.C.