March Forecast VIII: Dayton Flyers have chance to get No. 1 seed

Wright State continues to be a popular choice as Dayton’s first-round opponent

Eighteen days remain until Selection Sunday. Fans of the Dayton Flyers will tune in to TBS on March 15 and hear their team’s name called for the first time since 2017.

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For Anthony Grant, it will be his fourth NCAA tournament appearance in 12 seasons as a head coach. His VCU teams reached the big dance twice in three seasons. His third Alabama team received a bid. Grant played for NCAA tournament teams in his first two seasons at Dayton.

With three regular-season games remaining, plus the Atlantic 10 tournament, it’s too early to ask Grant about March Madness, but it’s fun to ponder the bracket possibilities. That’s why bracketology has become such a booming business.

No. 4 Dayton (26-2, 15-0) has locked up an at-large bid with 17 straight victories. It set a school record for regular-season victories by beating George Mason 62-55 on Tuesday at EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Va. Now it's trying to earn the best possible seed.

Last week, every prediction on listed Dayton as a No. 2 seed. This week, eight of the 126 brackets have Dayton as a No. 1 seed. There’s a chance Dayton could get a top seed because three teams ahead of it in the rankings — Gonzaga, San Diego State and Baylor — all lost last weekend.

Here's where Dayton stands in the various rankings: fourth in the NCAA Evaluation Tool (one better than last week and as high as it has been all season), sixth in the Ken Pomeroy ratings (same), 18th in the Haslametrics ratings (three worse than last week), eighth in ESPN's Basketball Power Index (one spot worse) and 12th in the Sagarin ratings (three spots worse).

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Below is a list of what a few of the experts are saying about where Dayton could land in the bracket. Cleveland is a popular choice as a first-round site for Dayton because if it receives a No. 2 seed, it will have a better chance of being placed at the site closes to Dayton.

Mike DeCourcy, Fox Sports/The Sporting NewsNo. 2 seed Dayton vs. No. 15 South Dakota State

Joe Lunardi, ESPN: No. 2 seed Dayton vs. No. 15 South Dakota State in Cleveland with the winner playing Butler or Archie Miller and Indiana.

Jerry Palm, No. 2 Dayton vs. No. 15 Wright State in Cleveland.

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Jonathon Warriner, No. 2 Dayton vs. No. 15 Wright State in Cleveland.

Kerry Miller, No. 2 Dayton vs. No. 15 Wright State with winner playing No. 7 seed Colorado or No. 10 Xavier. No. 2 Dayton vs. No. 15 Hofstra in Cleveland with the winner playing No. 7 Marquette or No. 10 Rhode Island.

Patrick Stevens, Washington Post: No. 2 Dayton vs. No. 15 Wright State

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