Seniors Kevin Dillard, Josh Benson and maybe Brian Vonderhaar (I don’t know, his situation really confuses me –although he is a redshirt senior, would he really go into his pocket to be a fifth-year walk-on next year?) go out in style, cruising to a 75-63 victory over St. Bonaventure. The twelve point win brings Dayton’s league record to 7-8, 17-12 overall.
The real story, of course, had nothing to do with Dayton at all. A loss by a reeling Charlotte club would solidify UD’s inclusion in next week’s Atlantic Ten tournament in Brooklyn. The Niners, down 17 points with just ten minutes to play at Duquesne, rallied to force overtime in Pittsburgh. Alan Major’s squad kept the momentum on their side, pulling away with a two-point victory in the extra period. Arena officials were standing by; prepared to raise an “Atlantic Ten Tournament Participant” banner in front of the remaining joyous crowd should the Niners have fallen, defeated and relinquished. Instead, Dayton still has some work and waiting to do, ending their season on the road at George Washington.
After tonight’s conference play, things shake out like this:
I stared at these standings for seven minutes straight, and it basically breaks down like this: win at George Washington and your Gem City Cagers are in the conference tournament. If the Flyers lose, they are obviously going to need some help from other teams. Charlotte appears to be the most likely helper, as a loss against St. Joe’s would put the Niners behind UD. I think. There is a scenario where like six teams could be tied at 8-8 — in which case, a coin-flip at Donato’s will determine Dayton’s fate.
If we wanted to make an educated guess, the following is more than likely:
(1) Richmond beats Duquesne to finish 8-8
(2) St. Bonaventure defeats Fordham to finish 8-8
(3) UMass splits with Butler and URI to finish 9-7
So realistically, the teams still vying for a spot are UD, Charlotte and St. Joseph’s. Which is good news for Dayton, because the Flyers hold a tiebreaker over both the Niners and Hawks.
If the previous three scenarios play out according to schedule, UD only gets shut out if Charlotte beats St. Joe’s and the Flyers fall to George Washington. At least I think, this whole thing gives me a headache.
Bottom line, UD just needs to win and make this easier on us.
Tom Blackburn is a proud U. o' D. alum. He loses faith in humanity one day at a time, but not in you, you seem like you are all kinds of alright. Charter member of the T-Man fanclub.