KenPom.com odds: Dayton has an 53% chance of winning. The website predicts a final score of 63-62. Dayton ranks 38th in the Pomeroy ratings after starting the season at No. 24. Wisconsin has climbed from No. 55 to No. 40.
About Dayton: Mustapha Amzil ranks second on the team in scoring with 12.3 points per game. He’s shooting 52.3% from the field. ... Smith returned to the starting lineup Saturday after missing the first three games with an ankle injury. He replaced Mike Sharavjamts, who averaged 11.3 in the first three games and scored three points against Robert Morris. ... Holmes reached the 500-point milestone in his 38th game. He’s the 123rd player in school history to score 500 points or more. ... Dayton has not played a Big Ten team since Nov. 24, 2016, when it lost 67-64 to Northwestern in Chicago on Dec. 17, 2016. It also lost earlier that season to Nebraska, 80-78 in the first round of the Wooden Legacy tournament in Fullerton, Calif. Its last victory against a Big Ten team came the previous season: 82-76 against Iowa on Nov. 26, 2015, in Orlando. ... This is Dayton’s first appearance in the tournament since 2018 when it beat Butler and lost to Virginia and Oklahoma. Dayton won its November tournament last season, beating Miami, Kansas and Belmont in the ESPN Events Invitational.
About Wisconsin: The Badgers were picked to finish eighth out of 14 teams in the Big Ten by the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook. It was picked to finish eighth the previous season and tied for first. It finished 25-8 last season and lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament for the second straight season. It has played in the NCAA tournament every season this century except 2017-18, not including the 2019-20 tournament, which was cancelled. ... Seven players on the roster are from Wisconsin, including Wahl and Davis. ... Wisconsin also played in the Battle 4 Atlantis in 2018 and beat Stanford and Oklahoma before losing to Virginia in the final game. It beat Texas A&M, Houston and Saint Mary’s to win the Maui Invitational last season. The event was played in Las Vegas, Nev., because of the pandemic.
Looking ahead: The winner will play Kansas or North Carolina State in the semifinals at 11 a.m. Thursday. The loser will play one of those teams at 4 p.m. Thursday on ESPNews.
Other first-round games: Kansas (4-0) plays N.C. State (4-0) at noon on ESPN. Southern California plays Brigham Young at 5 p.m. on ESPN2. Tennessee (2-1) plays Butler (3-1) at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.