Dayton vs. Wichita State prediction and game preview, as the No. 7 Flyers and No. 10 Shockers face off in the NCAA Tournament.
Many seemed confused by the committee’s decision to seed Wichita State so low, believing the Shockers deserve better than a No. 10 slot in the South Region. They’ll have a chance to prove it when they face a tough Dayton team that won the regular-season Atlantic 10 championship under coach Archie Miller.
Dayton vs. Wichita State Game Preview
Date: Friday, March 17
Venue: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
Region: South Region
Veteran team? Check. One of the game’s best young coaches? Yup. Conference champion? Yessir. Inspirational backstory: Yes. It all checks out, Dayton covers all the intangibles when seeking out a tournament sleeper. Scoochie Smith and Charles Cooke are one of the nation’s best backcourts, the type of floor generals that won’t let any game get out of hand. With one of the nation’s best scoring margins and an exceptional assist-to-turnover ratio (2.9-1), the Flyers are legit. The deeper Dayton goes, the more you can expect rumblings and speculation over whether Archie Miller will leave for his alma mater, NC State following the season.
Dayton can get pushed around on the blocks, barely keeping on the positive side of the rebound margin during the regular season. So while the Flyers backcourt can hang with anyone, a physical frontcourt could cause problems. Dayton also is marginal when it comes to free throw shooting – three of the team’s leading scorers shot below 70% from the line during the regular season. Shooting 69.1% as a team, the rim could shrink in late-game situations.
In-Depth Dayton Analysis
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Wichita State Strengths
Gregg Marshall’s Shockers may no longer have Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker, but that hasn’t stopped this program from its ascent. Kansas transfer Conner Frankamp is shooting 44 percent from 3-point range, while Markis McDuffie, Landry Shamet and Darral Willis all average double figures. As a team, Wichita State is shooting 40.7 percent from 3-point range, which ranks sixth in the country. The Shockers are also strong defensively, holding opponents to an effective field goal percentage of 44.2. The team is very deep, so the Shockers are able to employ a full-court press without having to worry about tiring anyone out.
Wichita State Weaknesses
Wichita State shot just 32 percent against Louisville, struggling against the Cardinals’ matchup zone. The Shockers didn’t attack it very well and failed to get the ball inside enough. Against Michigan State, they were down by as many as 18, while Oklahoma State put up 80 and still had 7:59 remaining. Can the Shockers put forth a better effort against the strongest teams they’ll face all year?
In-Depth Wichita State Analysis
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Dayton vs. Wichita State By The Numbers
Scoring Margin: 10.5 (32nd in the nation)
Rebounding Margin: 0.4 (183)
Turnover Margin: 2.9 (26)
3-Point FG Percentage: 38.5 (40)
Wichita State Statistics
Scoring Margin: 19.6 (2)
Rebounding Margin: 8.9 (5)
Turnover Margin: 2.8 (29)
3-Point FG Percentage: 40.8 (4)
Dayton vs. Wichita State Prediction
Dayton got a very tough draw with an under-seeded Wichita State team, and it is going to be a shame when it gets bounced in the first round. The Shockers stay hot and move onto the second round, where they likely will face No. 2 seed Kentucky.
Dayton vs. Wichita State Score Prediction: Wichita State 72, Dayton 66