NCAA Tournament South Region Picks: (11) Dayton Flyers vs. (10) Stanford Cardinal
Betting Odds courtesy of Bovada
Neither the Dayton Flyers nor Stanford Cardinal were expected to reach the Sweet 16, but the No. 11 and No. 10 seeds will face off in NCAA Tournament action Thursday night. College basketball odds showed a 3.5 point edge being given to Stanford at Bovada.
Stanford has the mentality that it belongs here. Forward Josh Huestis cited several wins against tough teams like UConn, Oregon and UCLA, and said “Coach (Johnny Dawkins) always tells us that there are only a handful of teams that come into this tournament thinking they have a chance to win…we pride ourselves on being a team that believes we can win this whole things.” After wins against New Mexico and second-seeded Kansas, the Cardinal have displayed how good the team is capable of playing.
The Cardinal had a +4.9 point differential this season and the team has good experience with all upperclassmen in its starting lineup. The Cardinal don’t really have any depth to speak of, and Chasson Randle is the primary offensive weapons. Randle had 23 points against New Mexico and 13 against Kansas and he has played every minute of the tournament so far.
The Cardinal do hold a significant size advantage over Dayton. Five of the six Cardinal’s rotation stands 6’6″ or taller and three are 6’10″ or taller. Dayton doesn’t face a lot of big teams in the Atlantic-10, and Flyers coach Archie Miller said “Ohio State was big. Syracuse was really big…we’ve played Gonzaga and Cal and Baylor. They were big. It’s not about playing big people. It’s about executing your system versus the different styles you play against.”
Dayton will rely heavily on the trio of Jordan Sibert, Devin Oliver and Dyshawn Pierre. Sibert leads the team in scoring at 12.4 points per game and the 6’4″ junior guard shot 42.9 percent from behind the arc on 5.3 attempts per game. He’s averaging 9.5 points over the first two games of the tournament, and shot 3-of-9 from the floor in both the Syracuse and Ohio State games. Pierre led all Flyers with 14 points against OSU, hitting 5-of-12 from the floor and also grabbing six rebounds.
STAN Trends: OVER 12-5 in last 17 NCAA Tournament games; 9-19 ATS in last 28 Thursday games.