Archie Miller can give his older brother Sean Miller a call this week for advice on how to play Wichita State. The No. 11 seed Shockers upset Sean’s No. 6 Arizona 65-55 in the first round last year. Now the No. 10 Shockers get a chance to beat the other Miller brother and No. 7 Dayton at 7:10 p.m. Friday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
In terms of personnel, this is a different Wichita team. The Shockers lost their three top scorers from last season. They’ll have a similar style, though, with coach Gregg Marshall still at the helm.
“Their defense speaks for itself,” said Sean Miller last season. “From the statistics that we looked at, they’re the nation’s No. 1 defensive team. We were that a couple years ago, and to me it felt like that. They didn’t just make it difficult for Arizona to score on them. They make it difficult for every team that plays against them to score. They deny and they pressure and they’re very well-coached and gritty and tough.”
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No. 7 seeds win 61 percent of the time. The Shockers are not your typical 10 seed, of course. They are a six-point favorite against Dayton and have a 69 percent chance of winning, according to FiveThirtyEight.com.
Here’s a look at how Dayton and Wichita compare:
Inside shooting: Dayton shoots 51.8 percent from 2-point range. Wichita shoots 50.8. Edge: Dayton.
3-point shooting: Wichita State ranks third in the country in 3-point percentage (40.8). Dayton ranks 29th (38.7). Edge: Wichita.
Free-throw shooting: Wichita shoots 73.4 percent. Dayton shoots 68.9. The national average is 70.4. Edge: Wichita.
Rebounding: Wichita ranks fifth in the country in rebounding margin (plus 8.9). Dayton grabbed six more rebounds than its opponents (1,068-1,062). Its rebounding margin was 0.2. Edge: Wichita.
Defense: Wichita ranks ninth in the country in defensive efficiency and 14th in scoring defense (62.4). Dayton had a top-10 defense until recent weeks and then slumped. It ranks 45th in defensive efficiency and 48th in scoring defense (66.5). Edge: Wichita.
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Turnovers: Wichita ranks 28th in the country in turnover percentage, averaging 11.1 per game. Dayton ranks 74th, averaging 11.9 per game. Edge: Wichita.
Experience: The Flyers start four seniors, three of whom have played in eight NCAA tournament games in the last three seasons. The Shockers start two redshirt juniors, a junior, a sophomore, and a redshirt freshman. Dayton ranks 34th in experience, according to KenPom.com. Wichita ranks 262nd. Edge: Dayton.
Height: Four Shockers who are 6-foot-8 or taller average double-figure minutes. Dayton has two players 6-8 or taller, Xeyrius Williams and Sam Miller, though Miller has seen little action since 6-7 forward Josh Cunningham returned to action. Wichita ranks 54th in the country in average height. Dayton ranks 197th. Edge: Wichita.
Depth: Wichita ranks fourth in the country in bench minutes (43.4 percent of its total minutes). Dayton ranks 83rd (35.9). Edge: Wichita.
Schedule strength: Dayton’s schedule ranked 71st in the country. Wichita’s ranked 186th. Edge: Dayton.
Battle tested: A close game could favor Dayton because it’s used to those situations. Dayton is 10-6 in games decided by single digits. Wichita has played four games decided by single digits and won three of them. The Shockers rank second in the nation in scoring margin (19.6 points per game). Edge: Dayton.
Rust factor: Wichita hasn’t played since March 5. Dayton hasn’t played since March 10. Edge: Dayton.
Crowd support: Dayton fans have a 117-mile drive to Indianapolis. Wichita fans will have to travel 676 miles. Dayton ranked 25th in the country in attendance last season (12,941) and averaged 13,018 this season. Wichita ranked 37th (10,805) last season and averaged 10,739 this season. Edge: Dayton.
Momentum: Wichita has won 15 games in a row. It hasn’t lost since Jan. 14. Dayton won nine games in a row but then lost its last two games. Edge: Wichita.
Name game: Dayton has senior point guard Dayshon “Scoochie” Smith. He averages 13.5 points per game. Wichita has junior guard Daishon Smith, who averages 5.0 points per game. Edge: Dayton.
Coaching: Dayton’s Archie Miller is 139-62 (.692) in six seasons. Wichita’s Gregg Marshall is 260-89 (.745) in 10 seasons. Edge: Wichita.
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