The NCAA selection committee did the Dayton Flyers a favor by giving them a No. 7 seed. That surprised coach Archie Miller.
The same committee did the Flyers a disservice by matching them with No. 10 seed Wichita State. The teams play at 7:10 p.m. Friday at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. All around the country, experts are pondering what the committee must have been thinking to seed the Shockers (30-4) so low.
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Wichita State is a six-point favorite, according to Las Vegas bookmakers. Dayton, of course, will look at the odds and use them as motivation, the same way Wichita State will look at its seeding.
“Whoever counted us out can’t count,” Dayton guard Scoochie Smith wrote Sunday on Twitter.
A year ago. Wichita State was 24-8 going into the tournament. It earned a No. 11 seed and beat Vanderbilt in the First Four and then knocked off Archie Miller’s brother Sean Miller and No. 6 seed Arizona.
According to KenPom.com, Dayton has a 25 percent chance of beating Wichita State. Of course, his math isn’t perfect. Dayton was a big favorite in its last two games against George Washington and Davidson.
To put Dayton’s odds in perspective, here are KenPom’s odds for the other No. 7 seeds. South Carolina has a 49 percent chance of beating No. 10 Marquette. Saint Mary’s has a 71 percent chance of beating No. 10 VCU. Michigan has a 51 percent chance of beating No. 10 Oklahoma State.
Wichita State has been one of the best teams in March the last four seasons. The Shockers have nine wins in the last four years in the NCAA tournament. That’s tied for fourth most with Syracuse, North Carolina and Michigan.