Not much use in recapping this one, you either saw it or you didn’t.
The Flyers and Hawks battled for a full forty minutes, trading blows and raining threes with no regard for human decency. Two Langston Galloway free-throws put St. Joe’s up by six, which seemed at the time to be an insurmountable lead for UD to overcome. Then, as quickly as it seemed all was lost, a Jordan Sibert transition three and a wide-open layup by Matt Kavanaugh quickly cut the lead to just one with 2:20 remaining in the game. After an almost two minute possession by St. Joe’s, Matt Kavanaugh, of all people, knocked down a fifteen-foot jumper right in front of the bench to give UD a one-point edge, 67-66.
Dayton coach not fuckin around https://t.co/aeEBTb6oVh
— KFC, Kevin Clancy (@KFCBarstool) March 14, 2014
Phil Martelli signaled a timeout with 34 seconds left to play. At that point, the St. Joe’s coach could have come over and sketched out the play in the UD huddle. It didn’t matter — everyone in the building knew who was getting the shot for the Hawks. Accordingly, SJU wasted no time in getting the ball into their star’s hands. Langston Galloway took possession of the ball about thirty feet from the basket…
…and then this happened:
I pride myself on (a) flossing at work and (b) not wearing rose-colored glasses when it comes to the Flyers. But that, folks, that is a blatant pushoff by Langston Galloway. That’s a pushoff in November, that’s a pushoff in January and that’s a pushoff in March (you could argue it was a travel too, but let’s not get bogged down completely here). I’m a big proponent of the “let them play” and “swallow the whistles” when it comes down to crunch-time, but a clear-as-day pushoff like this one has to be called, it has to. Let’s just have the kids call their own fouls if you aren’t going to step up like a big boy and make that call. Regardless, huge shot by Galloway, got to give the kid credit.
Dayton still had a shot, however, something I hope doesn’t get lost in the hysteria surrounding the Langston play. The Flyers, down two, had the ball with fifteen seconds remaining in the contest. UD came out of the huddle and eventually got the ball into Devin Oliver’s hands curling around a screen. As he did against Ole Miss, the senior pulled up at the arch and let the ball go. It missed badly and a Ron Roberts rebound in front of Kavanaugh was the final nail in the coffin. St. Joe’s escaped with a 70-67 victory. Archie apparently snickered when Dyshawn Pierre explained that SJU switched on the play and stated “it was a great play we drew up.” So, I’m confident the play didn’t go off exactly as Archie planned it.
The big question, obviously, is what does today’s loss mean for the Flyers tournament hopes? Well, it certainly wasn’t a “bad” loss — as SJU likely locked up a bid today and will more than likely advance to the A10 final on Sunday. The issue is whether or not UD, in comparison to other bubble teams, did enough to warrant an at-large bid. On paper, absolutely. Perform a blind resume comparison with a handful of teams already considered “locks” and UD clearly has a superior resume. Which, of course, means fuck all. On the plus side, it seems that if Dayton’s name is called on Sunday night there’s a strong possibility they will open up play in the Sweater Centre.
Now you’ve been telling me since the week began that even if UD lost to St. Joe’s, the Flyers are in. I hope you guys were right.
What do you think, Turbo??
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.