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Photo: David Jablonski - Staff Writer
Photo: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

March Forecast: ESPN expert puts Dayton on brink of NCAA tournament in latest projection

Selection Sunday is March 17

Dayton falls into the same group as Saint Mary’s, Temple and Butler with Arizona, Seton Hall, Clemson and Utah State in the “First Four In” column just ahead of that group.

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Lunardi isn’t the only NCAA tournament expert who thinks Dayton has a chance to earn an at-large bid. Eric Haslam, of Haslametrics.com, puts Dayton in his “Next Four Out” with Indiana, Murray State and Furman.

Another website, BartTorvik.com, gives Dayton a 2.5 percent chance of earning an at-large bid.

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Of course, any hope Dayton has hinges on winning its last three regular-season games against Rhode Island, La Salle and Duquesne and then making a run to the Atlantic 10 tournament championship game. Entering this weekend, Dayton is tied for second with Davidson and would get the No. 2 seed by a head-to-head tiebreaker.

Dayton’s best at advancing to the NCAA tournament for the fifth time in six years lies in winning the A-10 tournament. In the last two seasons, only nine of the 72 at-large teams to make the tournament came from conferences outside the top six: the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC, Pac-12 and Big East. Four of those nine teams (two each year) came from the A-10.

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