Five weeks before Selection Sunday, the No. 6 Dayton Flyers (20-2, 9-0) move closer and closer with every victory to becoming a lock for the NCAA tournament.
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Nine games remain in the regular season, and then there’s the A-10 tournament, which Dayton hasn’t won since 2003. The NCAA tournament follows. Dayton seeks its first berth since 2017 when it received its fourth straight at-large bid.
As of Friday, all 99 bracket predictions listed on BracketMatrix.com included the Flyers, whose average seed was 2.30, a slight improvement from last week when it was 2.69. Dayton has never received higher than a No. 4 seed (2003) in the tournament, but it is gaining buzz as a potential No. 1 seed this season.
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Dayton ranks fifth in the NCAA Evaluation Tool (same as last week), sixth in the Ken Pomeroy ratings (one spot worse than last week), 13th in the Haslametrics ratings (five spots lower), seventh in ESPN's Basketball Power Index (one spot worse) and 12th in the Sagarin ratings (same).
Here’s a glance at where Dayton stands in the minds of the experts evaluating the NCAA field on a daily or weekly basis.
Mike DeCourcy, Fox Sports/The Sporting News: He has No. 2 seed Dayton playing No. 15 Colgate.
Joe Lunardi, ESPN: No. 2 seed Dayton vs. No. 15 South Dakota State in Cleveland.
Eamonn Brennan, The Athletic : In his weekly Bubble Watch story, he explains why he hasn't moved Dayton to "lock" status: "Anyway, commenter Michael S. summed it up below the line on Tuesday's update quite nicely: 'As a Dayton fan, I agree with this assessment. It's just the nature of the A-10 and not having any wins like the other lock teams possess. Really wished they would have pulled that Colorado game out. The KU loss is fine and showed people we could play with that level of competition. Keep stacking wins the next few weeks and the lock will take care of itself.' This guy gets it."
Brian Bennett, The Athletic: In his weekly Bracket Watch story, he has No. 3 seed Dayton playing No. 14 Wright State in Cleveland.
However, Bennett also thinks Dayton could earn a top seed if it keeps winning. He wrote: “The Flyers (20-2, No. 5 NET) have all the metrics you’d want to see in a top seed. They have shown no signs of slowing down in the Atlantic 10, and if they win out including the conference tournament, they would finish 32-2 with their only losses coming in overtime on neutral courts against Kansas and Colorado.”
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Jerry Palm, CBSSports.com: No. 2 seed Dayton vs. No. 15 UC Irvine in Cleveland with the winner playing Ohio State or Saint Mary's.
Chris Dobbertean, SBNation.com: No. 2 Dayton vs. No. 15 Little Rock in Cleveland with the winner playing Ohio State or Florida.
Jonathon Warriner, MakingTheMadness.com: No. 2 Dayton vs. No. 15 New Mexico State in St. Louis.
Kerry Miller, BleacherReport.com: No. 2 seed Dayton vs. No. 15 UC Irvine in Cleveland.
DelphiBracketology.com: No. 3 Dayton vs. No. 14 Bowling Green.
Patrick Stevens, Washington Post: No. 2 Dayton vs. No. 15 Bowling Green in Cleveland with the winner playing Marquette or Archie Miller's Indiana in the second round.
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