What Dayton fans should know about the 2020 NCAA tournament

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Dayton Flyers highlights: Key plays from last 10 minutes vs. George Mason

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Fifteen days remain until Selection Sunday. Fans of the Dayton Flyers will tune in to TBS at 6 p.m. March 15 and hear their team’s name called for the first time since 2017 and the fifth time in seven seasons.

With their winning streak reaching 17 games Tuesday, it’s only a question of who they’ll play in the NCAA tournament, where they’ll play and whether they’ll receive an at-large berth or an automatic berth as Atlantic 10 tournament champions.

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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 two regular-season games remaining, plus the Atlantic 10 tournament, it’s too early to ask Grant about March Madness, but it’s fun to look ahead.

Here’s what Dayton fans should know about the 2020 tournament:

How to buy tickets: UD announced this week how the postseason ticketing process will work. It started forming a request list for season-ticket holders and eligible Champions & Scholars Fund members who want to purchase NCAA tournament tickets. While acknowledging the team is focused on the Atlantic 10 season, UD is getting a jump start on the NCAA tickets due to "unprecedented demand" in previous seasons.

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UD will receive a limited number of tickets for the NCAA tournament, according to a press release, and “requests will be prioritized by a combination of lifetime giving to University of Dayton Athletics and the number of years and level as a season-ticket holder.” In short, if you don’t have a “substantial philanthropic giving history” you won’t have a great chance of getting tickets through UD unless the team is sent to Spokane, Wash., or Sacramento, Calif., in the first round.

Most fans will not be able to secure tickets through the university and will have to get tickets through sites such as Ticketmaster.com or NCAA.com/tickets or the official resale website, Primesport.com.

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“We want as many Flyer fans as possible,” said Adam Tschuor, senior associate athletic director, in a press release. “The sooner our fans have their plans in order on how to acquire tickets outside of UD the greater chance they will have of securing seats.”

What seed might Dayton get: Last week, every prediction on BracketMatrix.com listed Dayton as a No. 2 seed. This week, as of Thursday, 16 of the 78 brackets listed 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.

Where Flyers might play: At this point, all the experts expect Dayton to play at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland in the first round. That's the closest first-round site to Dayton, and the selection committee tries to place teams as close to home as possible.

If Dayton can hang onto one of the top seeds, it’s almost a guarantee it will stay in Ohio. Saint Louis, Mo., is the next closest site. Most Dayton fans will also hope their team gets placed in the Midwest Regional because then it would play in Indianapolis if it advanced to the Sweet 16.

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The games in Cleveland would be played on Friday, March 20, and Sunday, March 22.

Who might they play: Here's a rundown of what various experts are saying. Wright State is a popular pick as a first-round opponent.

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

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

• Jerry Palm, CBSSports.com: No. 2 Dayton vs. No. 15 Wright State in Cleveland.

• Jonathon Warriner, MakingTheMadness.com: No. 2 Dayton vs. No. 15 Wright State in Cleveland.

• Kerry Miller, BleacherReport.com: No. 2 Dayton vs. No. 15 Wright State with winner playing No. 7 seed Colorado or No. 10 Xavier.

• DelphiBracketology.com: 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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