Round Of 16 Matchup: #11 Dayton Vs. #10 Stanford
- CoachingArchie Miller, the younger brother of Arizona Wildcats head coach Sean Miller, has coached the Flyers since 2011, the first stop in his college coaching career. After leading the team to the NIT tournament in his first season, his team took a step back in 2012-13 before launching into the NCAA tournament this year. With two big upsets, Miller has his Flyers believing they can win.Johnny Dawkins is in his sixth year as the head coach at Stanford after working as an assistant for the Duke Blue Devils under Mike Krzyzewski for 10 seasons. This is his first season to lead his Cardinal in the NCAA tournament, which makes their Sweet 16 appearance even more surprising. While neither head coach has much experience, the years learning how to win at Duke gives Dawkins a slight advantage here.
- OffenseThe Flyers finished the regular season ranked 98th in the nation in points scored and 151st in offensive rebounds per game. In their two NCAA tournament wins, they actually scored below their season average with 60 and 55 points respectively. The team also only shot 41 percent in the games and committed 13 turnovers in the OSU win. The highest point output for any Dayton player was Dushawn Pierre in Game 2 with 14.Ranked 94th in the nation in total points scored, the Cardinal slowed down in the March Madness tournament with outputs of only 58 and 60, almost identical to Dayton’s performances. However, Stanford looked better in their wins with stars like Chasson Randle (18 ppg) leading the way. This is a good team on offense.
- DefenseDayton held OSU to 59 points and Syracuse to 53 points, which should speak volumes for this defense. However, while both teams were highly ranked, neither ranked in the Top 200 schools in the nation in total offensive production. Ranking 91st in defensive points allowed, Dayton did what they have done all year against two teams that might have been over-ranked.The Cardinal did what they needed to do defensively to win their first two games. New Mexico out-rebounded them but, once again, Chasson Randle was there to lead the way. Through the first two tournament games, he has nine rebounds and eight steals.
- Bench DepthVee Sanford scored 10 points in the win over Ohio State and scored the winning basket from the bench. He added eight in the second game and seems to be a quality sixth man on a team that needs to score just enough to win.The Cardinal has pretty much nothing coming from their bench. They only have four reserves that played at all in the first two games, and only John Gage averaged over 10 minutes a game from the bench, with a total of seven points and nine rebounds.
Heading into the Sweet 16, both Dayton and Stanford have a lot of momentum on their side. Both teams have young head coaches making their first appearances at the Big Dance. However, while both the teams are playing the role of Cinderella, only one gets the glass slipper, and Stanford is the more well-rounded team in this matchup. Don’t be surprised to see them win by more than a couple of baskets, possibly by as many as eight points. Shawn S. Lealos is a freelance writer with more than 15 years of experience in the media He covers all things college basketball. Find his work at Examiner.com.