Goal for Dayton Flyers in final week: Clinch top-four seed in A-10 tournament

Dayton’s Trey Landers reacts after missing a shot in the final seconds of overtime against Rhode Island on Friday, March 1, 2019, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

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Dayton’s Trey Landers reacts after missing a shot in the final seconds of overtime against Rhode Island on Friday, March 1, 2019, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff

Dayton plays La Salle and Duquesne in final regular-season games

For a brief moment last week, the main concern for fans of the Dayton Flyers was whether their team deserved to be on the NCAA tournament bubble. Was ESPN's Joe Lunardi messing with them, or did they really have a chance?

72-70 loss to Rhode Island on Friday at UD Arena made those questions moot. Now the issue is a more realistic one: Can Dayton still earn a top-four seed in the Atlantic 10 tournament to earn a double bye to the quarterfinals, improving its chances of winning three games in three days and skipping past the bubble to an automatic berth?

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The answer is yes. Even one win in the last two games might be enough if the teams behind Dayton don’t go 2-0 this week.

Here’s a look at the teams competing for the top seeds:

1. Virginia Commonwealth (23-6, 14-2): The Rams have won 10 straight games. They didn't lose in February. They have clinched a share of the regular-season title and can claim the top seed with one more victory or a loss by Davidson, which along with Rhode Island is the only A-10 team to beat VCU. Remaining games: at George Mason on Tuesday and home against Saint Joseph's on Friday.

2. Davidson (21-8, 12-4): The Wildcats fell into a tie for second with Dayton after losing at La Salle on Wednesday but moved back into second place by themselves when Dayton lost to Rhode Island. They're 4-3 since an 8-2 start. Remaining games: home vs. St. Bonaventure on Wednesday and at Richmond on Saturday.

3. Dayton (19-10, 11-5): The Flyers have won on Senior Night seven straight seasons. While that bodes well for the team's chances in the home finale at 7 p.m. Wednesday, this team has not capitalized on the home-court advantage as much as past Dayton teams. It has suffered three A-10 home losses by a total of seven points. Remaining games: home vs. La Salle on Wednesday and at Duquesne on Saturday.

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4. St. Bonaventure (15-14, 11-5): The Bonnies enter the final week as one of the league's hottest teams. They started A-10 play 2-3 with losses to George Mason, Rhode Island and Dayton and have since lost only to the top-two teams: VCU and Davidson. They have won six games in a row. Remaining games: at Davidson on Wednesday and home vs. Saint Louis on Saturday.

5. Duquesne (19-10, 10-6): Just two years after finishing last with a 3-15 record, the Dukes will finish with a winning mark in A-10 play for the first time since 2010-11. The health of freshman point guard Sincere Carry could be an issue in March. He had arthroscopic knee surgery Feb. 26, and Duquesne announced his status would be day to day the rest of the season. Remaining games: at Saint Louis on Wednesday and home vs. Dayton on Saturday.

6. George Mason (16-13, 10-6): The Patriots have lost five of their last eight games after starting 7-1 in A-10 play. Remaining games: home vs. VCU on Tuesday and at George Washington on Saturday.


WEDNESDAY’S GAME

La Salle at Dayton, 7 p.m., Spectrum News One, AM 1290 and News 95.7 WHIO

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