Dayton narrowly misses NCAA tournament at-large berth

Flyers are listed as the first replacement team should one of the 68 teams in the field have to withdraw

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

The Dayton Flyers were much closer to making the NCAA tournament as an at-large team than any of the experts thought even after a 68-64 loss Saturday to Richmond in the Atlantic 10 Conference semifinals.

On the Selection Sunday show on CBS, Dayton (23-10) was listed as the first team left out of the 68-team field.

Tom Burnett, of the selection committee, said Richmond’s victory against Davidson on Sunday in the A-10 championship game knocked Dayton out of the field.

Seth Davis, of CBS, asked Burnett specifically about Dayton.

“Is it fair to say that Dayton was in the field before that happened,” Davis said, “and what was it about Dayton’s resume that really impressed the committee, because all of us amateur bracketologists out there didn’t give the Flyers as much respect as you guys did?

“I think our committee’s been tracking on Dayton throughout the year,” Burnett said, “certainly over the last few weeks, and yes, with Richmond winning the A-10 tournament today, it did bump Dayton to the first four out list. Our committee has really liked Dayton and that conference certainly throughout the year and certainly very deserving of the consideration. Unfortunately (now) on the first four out list.”

Dayton was listed as one of four replacement teams along with Oklahoma, Southern Methodist and Texas A&M should a team in the field have to withdraw as Virginia Commonwealth did last season because of COVID-19 issues.

Dayton missed out on the tournament for the fourth straight year the tournament has been held. It would have potentially earned a No. 1 seed in the 2020 tournament had it not been cancelled.

The Flyers will hear their name called on the NIT selection show, which starts at 9 p.m. and airs on ESPNU.

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