Series: This is the first meeting. Dayton is 56-14 against the Ohio Valley Conference. That includes an 87-81 loss last Saturday to Austin Peay at UD Arena.
Last game: In the semifinals Friday, Dayton beat No. 4 Kansas 74-73 on a last-second shot by Mustapha Amzil, and Belmont beat Iona 72-65.
Coaches: Anthony Grant is 81-44 in five season at Dayton. Casey Alexander is 56-13 in three seasons at Belmont.
Highlights: Amzil's shot and Dayton's celebration after victory over Kansas on Nov. 26, 2021
Probable Dayton starters
Name, Ht., Class, Pos., Points per game
Elijah Weaver, 6-6, R-Jr., G, 10.8
Toumani Camara, 6-8, So., F, 10.8
DaRon Holmes II, 6-10, Fr., F, 10.0
R.J. Blakney, 6-6, R-Fr., G, 5.5
Malachi Smith, 6-0, Fr., G, 8.2
Probable Belmont starters
Ben Sheppard, 6-6, Jr., G, 16.6
Will Richard, 6-5, Fr., G, 11.1
Grayson Murphy, 6-3, Sr., G. 8.4
Nick Muszynski, 6-11, Sr., C, 17.9
Luke Smith, 6-0, Sr., G, 8.0
About Dayton: KenPom.com gives Dayton an 37 percent chance of winning this game and predicts a 73-69 score. ... Koby Brea, who started the first two games, is Dayton’s leading scorer off the bench with 7.2 points per game. ... Smith leads the team with 3.8 assists per game. ... Camara leads the team with 7.0 rebounds per game. ... This is the third time Dayton has played in a November tournament at the HP Fieldhouse, and it has reached the championship each time. It won the tournament in 2011 when it was called the Old Spice Classic, beating Minnesota 86-70 in the championship game. In 2015, it lost 90-61 to Xavier in the final game.
About Belmont: Muszynski is from Pickerington, Ohio, and graduated from St. Charles Prep in Bexley. He has scored 1,487 points in his career. He’s one of five graduate students on the roster. ... Murphy is also a graduate student. He has 1,022 points. ... Belmont lost 92-80 to Ohio in its season opener. It then beat Evansville, Furman and Kennesaw State before losing to LSU. It beat Drake 74-69 in the first round of this tournament. ... Last season, Belmont finished 26-4. It is one of four Division I programs to win 20 games or more in the last 11 seasons. The others are Gonzaga, Kansas and Oregon.
Looking ahead: Dayton plays its next two games at UD Arena, facing Alabama State (2-5) at 7 p.m. Wednesday and Northern Illinois (1-4) at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Dayton fans react to buzzer-beater against Kansas