Stats & Info: Dayton Flyers

Top stats to know: Saturday's Elite 8 games

March, 29, 2014
Mar 29
The Elite 8 gets underway this evening with two games. Here are some of the statistical storylines we’ll be following.

11 Dayton vs 1 Florida
If Dayton is going to advance to its second Final Four in school history (1967), the Flyers will have to find a way to score against a stout Florida defense. The Gators rank ninth in the country in defensive efficiency and have held 10 straight opponents below their season average in offensive efficiency.

The Flyers are 18-0 this season when they’re above their average in offensive efficiency compared to 8-10 when they’re below their average in that category.

The Flyers will also need to find a way to shut down the Gators offense. In Florida's five least efficient offensive performances this season, the Gators went 3-2. It was their only two losses of the season (at Wisconsin, at Connecticut).

The Flyers have held their three NCAA Tournament opponents -- Ohio State, Syracuse and Stanford -- to an average of 14.1 points per 100 possessions below their average offensive efficiency.

Dayton is shooting 39 percent on 3-pointers in its last eight games, making seven 3-pointers per game during that span. Florida is holding opponents to 20 percent shooting on 3-point attempts over its last six games (since the start of the SEC Tournament). The Gators haven't allowed more than four 3-pointers made in any of their last eight games.

Dayton is averaging 16.7 transition points per game in its three NCAA Tournament games, including 20 against Ohio State and 21 against Stanford. Florida only allows 9.4 transition points per game this season, but allowed 24 against UCLA in the Sweet 16.

2 Wisconsin vs 1 Arizona
Offensive and defensive juggernauts collide when Wisconsin and Arizona meet tonight. Wisconsin ranks 11th in offensive efficiency, averaging 115.9 points per 100 possessions. Arizona is third in the country in defensive efficiency, allowing 89.9 points per 100 possessions.

The Badgers have played four games this season against teams ranked in the top 10 in defensive efficiency, going 3-1 in those games (lost to Ohio State; defeated Florida, Saint Louis and Virginia).

The Wildcats have held opponents below their season average in offensive efficiency in 36 of 37 games this season. In its last six games, Arizona has held its opponents to 18.6 points per 100 possessions below their season average in offensive efficiency.

If there’s one area to focus on, it might be the 3-point line. Wisconsin is shooting 41 percent on 3-pointers in its last six games and Arizona's defense has been susceptible to 3-point shooting, allowing opponents to shoot 39 percent on 3-pointers in its last nine games.

Switching the tables, Wisconsin will be challenged by an Arizona team that has been hot on the offensive end lately. The Wildcats are averaging 19.1 more points per 100 possessions than their opponents' season average over the last six games.

Arizona has lost each of its three least-efficient offensive performances this season. In their eight least-efficient offensive performances, the Wildcats are just 4-4 with each win coming by five or fewer points.

Top stats to know: Thursday's Sweet 16

March, 27, 2014
Mar 27
The Sweet 16 tips off today with four games. Here are some of the statistical storylines we’ll be following tonight.

(6) Baylor vs. (2) Wisconsin
Both teams can score a lot of points, so this game could come down to which team defends better.

Against elite offenses, Baylor appears to have the more efficient defense: Baylor has allowed 105.1 points per 100 possessions in four games against teams ranked in the top 25 in defensive efficiency; Wisconsin has allowed 109.7 points per 100 possessions in eight games against those same teams.

Matchup to watch: Baylor plays zone on 57 percent of its defensive plays. Wisconsin has the most efficient zone offense in the country, averaging 1.20 points per play.

(11) Dayton vs. (10) Stanford
Dayton-Stanford is the second 10 vs 11-seed matchup ever. The other was in 2011 when 11-seed VCU beat 10-seed Florida State, 72-71.

Both of these teams dominated defensively against their first two opponents, allowing fewer than 60 points in each game.

The Flyers defensive strength has been on the perimeter, holding their opponents to a tournament-best 15 percent shooting outside the paint. Stanford, on the other hand, has shut down its opponents inside. Kansas shot just 38 percent around the basket in the Cardinal's upset win.

With its dominant defense down low, the key to beating Stanford is by making outside shots. Stanford is 5-9 this season when its opponents shoot at least 36 percent on 3-pointers. The Cardinal are 17-3 when their opponents shoot less than 36 percent on 3-pointers.

Dayton is shooting 40.3 percent on 3-pointers in its last seven games.

(4) UCLA vs. (1) Florida
This should be a familiar matchup for fans of both teams. Florida is 3-0 all-time in tournament games against UCLA, with all three meetings occurring in the last eight seasons.

The matchup to watch in this game is UCLA’s transition offense vs Florida’s transition defense.

The Bruins score a Pac-12 best 19.7 points per game and shoot 57 percent in transition. Florida’s defense allows only 9.0 transition points per game, fewest in the SEC, and holds opponents to 43 percent shooting on the break.

(4) San Diego State vs. (1) Arizona
Three times a charm, right? This is the third time that Arizona is a 1-seed in a regional in Anaheim. The Wildcats won their Sweet 16 game here in 1998 and 2003, but lost in the Elite 8 both years.

The first to 50 points might win this game. San Diego State and Arizona rank first and third, respectively, in fewest points per 100 possessions allowed in the nation.

San Diego State excels with its press defense. The Aztecs have the fourth-most efficient press defense of any team that presses on at least 10 plays per game. Arizona ranks 29th in the country in points per play against press defense.

Arizona has been at its been defending the interior, holding its first two opponents to a tournament-best 32 percent shooting around the basket. San Diego State has attempted a total of just eight shots around the basket in its first two games, the second-fewest of any team.

Top 10 biggest upsets of this year's tourney

March, 24, 2014
Mar 24
March Madness certainly lived up to its name during this first weekend of the NCAA Tournament, with exciting finishes and surprising winners. We rank the 10 biggest upsets according BPI pre-game win probability, starting with number 10...

10. Harvard (41.0% chance to win) over Cincinnati
Harvard picked up an NCAA tournament win for the second straight season with its win over the fifth-seed Bearcats. The Crimson are the first Ivy League team to win an NCAA Tournament game in back-to-back seasons since Princeton in 1983-84.

9. Kentucky (40.5%) over Wichita State
Kentucky ended Wichita State’s perfect season, handing the Shockers their first loss in 36 games. Did you know: the previous two teams that were unbeaten entering NCAA Tournament were eliminated by the eventual national champion (1979 Indiana State by Michigan State; 1991 UNLV by Duke).

8. Baylor (34.6%) over Creighton
Baylor routed Creighton by 30 points, the third-largest margin of victory by a 6 seed in NCAA Tournament history. The Bluejays, who got just 15 points from Doug McDermott in his final collegiate game, fell to 0-8 all-time in Round of 32 games, the worst record by any team.

7. Connecticut (33.6%) over Villanova
Connecticut advanced to its first Sweet 16 since 2011, which is also the last time the Huskies won the National Championship. After early foul trouble, Shabazz Napier led the Huskies down the stretch, scoring 21 of his game-high 25 points in the second half.

6. Dayton (30.6%) over Ohio State
Dayton started the Madness with the upset win over Ohio State on Thursday afternoon, in a game that featured eight ties and 15 lead changes. The Flyers scored 20 transition points against an Ohio State team that had allowed a Big Ten-best 10.1 transition points per game this season.

5. North Dakota State (30.4%) over Oklahoma
North Dakota State earned its first-ever NCAA Tournament win, shooting 52.9 percent from the field. North Dakota State outscored Oklahoma by 22 points in the paint, including 6-0 in overtime.

4. Dayton (28.1%) over Syracuse
Dayton advanced to its first Sweet 16 since 1984 with an upset of the third-seeded Orange. Syracuse made 1 of 19 shots from outside the paint, while Dayton made nearly half its shots from outside the paint.

3. Stanford (24.8%) over Kansas
Stanford reached its first Sweet 16 since 2008, holding Kansas to just 28 percent shooting against its zone defense. The Jayhawks entered the game shooting a Big 12-best 47.8 percent against zone defenses.

2. Stephen F. Austin (21.7%) over VCU
Stephen F. Austin extended its win streak to 29 games in the win, notching its first-ever NCAA Tournament victory in its second appearance. The Lumberjacks turned the ball over just once in overtime against VCU’s “Havoc” defense.

1. Mercer (12.6%) over Duke
Mercer outscored Duke by 16 points in the paint, holding the Blue Devils to a season-low 10 paint points. Duke became the first team in NCAA Tournament history to have five losses to double-digit seeds as a top-3 seed.

Syracuse shooting woes equal upset loss

March, 22, 2014
Mar 22

ESPN Stats & InfoSyracuse made just one field goal outside the paint in its loss to Dayton.
The slipper still fits for Dayton as the Flyers upset third-seeded Syracuse 55-53 to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1984.

Dayton is the sixth double-digit seeded team to win its Round of 64 and Round of 32 games by two points or fewer. That's the good news. The bad news is that the previous five teams each lost their next game in the Sweet 16.

With the win, Atlantic 10 teams are now 5-5 vs the ACC in the NCAA Tournament since 2001, including wins in both meetings this year. Before that, the ACC was 12-0 against the A-10, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

What went wrong for Syracuse
For Syracuse, its another early exit in the Big Dance. The Orange now have six losses to teams seeded 11th or lower, matching UCLA and Oklahoma for the most in NCAA Tournament history.

Jim Boeheim has been at the helm for all six losses, becoming the first coach in NCAA Tournament history to lose six games against double-digit seeds.

The Orange struggled with their perimeter shooting, going 0 of 10 from beyond the arc. That is the most missed 3-pointers without a make in its NCAA Tournament history.

Syracuse dominated down low, scoring 40 of its 53 points in the paint, but made just one field goal – a Jerami Grant jumper in the second half – outside the paint.

Syracuse couldn't take advantage of Dayton's miscues, scoring a season-low six points off 14 Dayton turnovers. The Orange entered the game averaging 16.5 points off turnovers per game, best among ACC teams.

Tyler Ennis nearly brought the Orange back from a five-point deficit with 4 minutes remaining. He drove to the basket on five of the Orange's next seven possessions, scoring 11 straight points to pull Syracuse within one.

However, Ennis took jump shots outside the paint on the Orange's final two possessions, missing both as Syracuse fell victim to another NCAA Tournament upset.