Of the eight matchups in the Sweet 16, this one is—by seeding, anyway—the most unlikely. The No. 11-seeded Dayton Flyers take on the No. 10-seeded Stanford Cardinal at the FedExForum in Memphis, Tenn., Thursday night, with the guarantee there will be at least one double-digit seed in the Elite Eight.
The other game in the South Regional semifinals Thursday is pure chalk—No. 4 seed UCLA takes on the region’s, and the tournament’s, No. 1 seed, Florida.
Here’s where to watch the game on television or live online or on your favorite mobile device:
Dayton (25-10) vs. Stanford (23-12), 4:15 p.m. Pacific
Television: CBS (KPIX Channel 5, San Francisco)
These teams may be seeded like mid-majors, but neither really is one. Stanford finished in a five-way tie for third place in the Pac-12, hardly a newcomer to the college basketball block, while Dayton was 10-6 in the Atlantic 10, a conference that put six teams in the NCAA tournament this season. The Flyers are, however, the last of those remaining.
Fun fact: This is just the second 10 vs. 11 matchup in the Sweet 16 since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985. The only other such pairing happened in 2011, when 11th-seeded VCU beat 10th-seeded Florida State in overtime 72-71 as part of its First Four-to-Final Four run.
Should Stanford and UCLA win, it would be the first time that two schools from the Pac-12 (or any of its predecessors) meet in a regional final.
How They Got Here
Dayton was an at-large selection out of the A-10 and came into the tournament with a 23-10 record. The Flyers had 10 games prior to the NCAA tournament against teams that were in the field and were 4-6 in those games, with wins over Gonzaga, George Washington, Massachusetts and Saint Louis. They beat Ohio State 60-59 in the second round and beat Syracuse 55-53 in the third round.
Stanford was an at-large selection out of the Pac-12 and was 21-12 entering tournament play. Almost half of the Cardinal’s pre-tourney games were against teams that were in the field of 68—16 to be exact—and Stanford was 7-9 in those games. The wins came against Texas Southern, Connecticut, Cal Poly, Oregon, Arizona State (twice) and UCLA. In the tournament, Stanford has a 58-53 win over New Mexico in the second round and a 60-57 victory over Kansas in the third round.
Who To Watch
Dayton has three players averaging double figures on the season. Jordan Sibert is their leading scorer at 12.4 points per game, while Devin Oliver is at 11.9 and Dyshawn Pierre at 11.2. Oliver is the team’s leading rebounder and assist man at 7.5 and 2.4 per game, respectively. Sibert is their leading 3-point threat, hitting 79-for-184 (42.9 percent), while Khari Price is also solid from long range at 46-for-113 (40.7 percent). Pierre also has the range to make a team pay from deep, although he averages fewer than two attempts per game at 24-for-60 (40 percent).
Stanford’s balanced attack is powered by point guard Chasson Randle, who leads the team with 18.7 points per game and also averages 1.1 steals per contest. But he’s not alone as a scoring threat. Dwight Powell averages 13.9 points per game, Anthony Brown 12.5 and Josh Huestis 11.1. Huestis and Powell are the top rebounders at 8.2 and 6.8 rebounds per game, respectively. Powell leads the team from his forward spot with 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals a game and Huestis is a rim protector who blocks 1.9 shots a game. Brown is the team’s most accurate shooter from deep at 45.2 percent (52-for-115), while Randle is its most prolific (65-for-164), but shoots 39.6 percent.
In The Tournament
Dayton: 57.5 PPG, 43.2% FG, 34.5% 3PT, 65.7% FT, 29 RPG, 13 TOPG
Opponents: 56 PPG, 43.2% FG, 13.6% 3PT, 73.1% FT, 27.5 RPG, 11.5 TOPG
Stanford: 59 PPG, 41.7% FG, 33.3% 3PT, 69.8% FT, 32.5 RPG, 13 TOPG
Opponents: 55 PPG, 34.5% FG, 24.3% 3PT, 67.6% FT, 31 RPG, 12 TOPG