Tickets are now on sale for the Battle 4 Atlantis, the November tournament in the Bahamas that will include the Dayton Flyers. On paper, it looks like one of the best in-season tournaments ever to have Dayton in the field.
Even if the Flyers are much improved from a 14-17 season, they might be the big underdog. The tournament features four teams from the 2018 NCAA tournament. It also includes three programs Dayton played in the NCAA tournament in 2014 and 2015. The top six conferences are represented: ACC, Big Ten, SEC, Big 12, Pac 12 and Big East.
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The tournament takes place Nov. 21-23 on Paradise Island, Bahamas. Here’s a glance at the eight teams with 2018 RPI in parentheses:
1. Virginia (1): The Cavaliers ranked No. 1 in the RPI and received the top overall seed in the NCAA tournament. Of course, by now, everyone knows what happened next.
2. Middle Tennessee State (33): The Blue Raiders were snubbed by the NCAA tournament selection committee despite a 25-8 record. They also lost their coach, Kermit Davis, after 16 seasons. He’s now the head coach at Mississippi.
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3. Butler (41): The Bulldogs finished 21-14, losing 76-73 to Purdue in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
4. Florida (46): The Gators beat St. Bonaventure 77-62 in the first round before losing 69-66 to Texas Tech on Saturday. Florida beat Dayton 62-52 in the Elite Eight in 2014.
5. Oklahoma (49): The Sooners finished 18-14. They lost 83-78 to Rhode Island in the first round. Oklahoma knocked Dayton out of the tournament in 2015, winning 72-66 in the second round in Columbus.
6. Stanford (86): The Cardinal finished 19-15. They missed the NCAA tournament for the fourth straight season. They played Dayton in their last NCAA tournament game, losing 82-72 in the Sweet 16 in 2014.
7. Wisconsin (113): The Badgers saw their streak of 19 straight NCAA tournament appearances end this year. They finished 15-18. It was their first losing season since 1997-98 (12-19).
8. Dayton (147): Dayton’s streak of four NCAA appearances ended this March. The Flyers lose one starter, Darrell Davis, and return leading scorer Josh Cunningham (15.4 points per game).