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College Basketball

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55
Final 12Score
Dayton203555
Syracuse183553
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53


Dayton (24-10) vs. Syracuse (28-5)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 22, 7:10 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: First Niagara Center (18,690) -- Buffalo, New York. Television: TBS. NCAA Record: Dayton 15-16, Syracuse 61-37. Series Record: Series is tied, 1-1.

GAME NOTES: After earning a thrilling upset victory in the second round, the 11th-seeded Dayton Flyers will try to continue their Cinderella run in the third round on Saturday when they take on the third-seeded Syracuse Orange in South Region action at the First Niagara Center.

Dayton led for the majority of the second half in its second-round matchup with sixth-seeded Ohio State until falling behind by one with 17 seconds to play, but it stormed down the court on its last possession and won the game on a Vee Sanford layup with just five seconds left. The Flyers have won 11 of their last 13 games to improve to 24-10 and will try to advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1984.

Syracuse came into the tournament slumping with losses in five of its previous seven games but showed no ill effects in its first tournament matchup, as it dismissed 14th-seeded Western Michigan, 77-53. The Orange, who were the nation's No. 1 team for a large portion of the regular season, are now 28-5 on the year and 61-37 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.

The all-time series between these two squads is knotted up at a game apiece, with the sides last meeting up in 1977.

The Flyers were able to hang with Ohio State in the defensive struggle earlier in the week despite getting outshot from the field, 48 percent to 44.9 percent, as they forced the Buckeyes into a game-high 14 turnovers and outscored them at the free-throw line, 13-8. Dyshawn Pierre was perfect from the field (2-of-2) and the free-throw line (7-of-7) on his way to 12 points. Devin Oliver and Sanford put up 11 and 10 points, respectively, while Jordan Sibert and Matt Kavanaugh scored nine points apiece.

Dayton is usually a more potent offensive squad, as it shoots 46.6 percent from the field this season (including 37.5 percent from 3-point range) for 73.0 ppg, which has been enough to support a solid showing on the defensive end of the floor (67.4 ppg). The balanced squad is led by the efforts of Sibert (12.4 ppg), Oliver (12.0 ppg, 7.4 rpg), Pierre (11.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg) and Sanford (9.9 ppg).

The Orange never broke a sweat against WMU, running out to a commanding 19- point victory at halftime before putting the game on autopilot from there. Not only did they hold WMU to just 34.7 percent field-goal shooting, but they enjoyed one of their best offensive performances of the season at 49.1 percent shooting. Trevor Cooney knocked down 4-of-8 from 3-point range on his way to 18 points. Jerami Grant and Tyler Ennis both scored 16, with Ennis adding six assists, and C.J. Fair tallied a double-double with 14 point and 11 boards.

Syracuse has risen to elite ranks this season thanks to its outstanding defense, which ranks ninth in the nation in allowing a mere 59.3 ppg. Unfortunately the squad's offensive effort (.439 FG percentage, 68.4 ppg) isn't always trustworthy, as it scored 63 points or less in 10 of its previous 11 games prior to its second-round win. The team possesses strong balance, with Fair (16.6 ppg, 6.3 rpg) and Grant (12.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg) manning the paint and Ennis (12.8 ppg, 5.6 apg, 2.1 spg) and Cooney (12.4 ppg, 90 3PM) patrolling the perimeter.

Syracuse was barely challenged by the Mid-American Conference champions in the second round and is expected to get a much stronger push from Dayton in this battle. The Flyers have a great chance at another upset if they can continue the tenacious play they showed against Ohio State, but figure for Jim Boeheim's squad to continue its stellar defensive play and knock down enough shots to advance.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Syracuse 66, Dayton 62

03/22 10:18:51 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 104
LAL 103
Final
GT 49
UNC 81
Final
CLEM 61
NCSU 66
 
Final
DET 15
BAL 2
 
Final
MIA 7
MIAFLA 1
 
Final
PHI 5
NYY 5
 
Final
BOS 2
NEASTERN 1
 
Final
TOR 7
PIT 8
 
Final
CIN 10
CLE 0
 
Final
OAK 9
SFG 4
 
Final
BOS 1
BOSTONCOLL 0
 
Final
ARI 4
ASU 0
 
Final
CLE 110
BOS 79
Final
CHA 104
LAL 103
Final
NYK 86
SAC 124
Final
ATL 104
HOU 96
Final
MEM 82
UTA 93
Final
CHI 97
WAS 92
Final
DEN 106
MIL 95
 
Final
UMO 70
AKR 63
 
Final
NAVY 56
ARMY 52
 
Final
BST 60
EMICH 67
 
Final
BUT 54
GEOR 60
Final
IND 63
IOWA 77
Final
FLGC 81
JVU 63
 
Final
USCU 90
KNST 54
 
Final
BGU 80
KSU 81
 
Final
NKENTUCKY 73
LIP 76
 
Final
HC 62
GHND 45
 
Final
RUTG 50
MD 60
Final
GT 49
UNC 81
Final
BUF 93
OHIO 66
 
Final
ALA 74
MISS 82
Final
DAY 75
RIU 59
Final
CMICH 85
TOL 77
 
Final
DET 77
YOUNG 67
Final
UNF 81
STET 67
 
Final
ABCHRIST 83
HOUB 71
 
Final
NDAK 78
NEOM 80
 
Final
NILL 65
WMICH 63
 
Final
ILLCH 60
WRST 57
Final
MIZZ 63
AUB 61
 
2nd
UGA 64
KENT 72
 
2nd OT
NW 74
MICH 72
 
Final
CLEM 61
NCSU 66
 
Final
UF 66
TEXAM 62
 
2nd
KU 57
WVU 58
 
2nd
CREI 65
VILL 66
 
Final
PHI 2
CAL 3
Final
NJD 3
NAS 1
Final
CLB 3
WAS 5
Final
TAM 3
BUF 0
Final
FLA 2
TOR 3
Final
MIN 3
OTT 2
Final
DAL 3
NYI 2
 
3rd
ARI 1
ANA 3
 
2nd
VAN 2
SJS 3