The Atlantic 10 was the best mid-major conference in college basketball this season. There were at least five teams at the end of the season that could have won the conference championship.
The ACC has some of the best teams in the nation. A few are expected to go deep into the tourney. Syracuse wasn’t consistent and stagger into the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Some even believe Syracuse shouldn’t have gotten an at-large bid this year.
Can Dayton have a long run in the tourney?
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The Dayton Flyers are one of the co-champions in the Atlantic 10. I believe this conference could have a few teams in the tournament that could make some noise. Dayton’s defense will be hard to penetrate, even for the more athletic teams. Dayton had a nice run early in the season when they beat Monmouth and Iowa in back-to-back days on a neutral court. Charles Cooke and Scoochie Smith will show up this week and play hard.
The Syracuse Orange was an up and down team this season. They had nice early season wins against UConn and Texas A&M on neutral courts, but then started the ACC season with four-straight losses. They got things back on track and then finished the year losing four of their last five games. Syracuse senior Michael Gbinije has played nearly every minute lately, which could contribute to him looking tired on the court late in the year.
Dayton will make Syracuse fight for every point. The Flyers can score from deep and move the ball around the court. Syracuse plays a lot in isolation, which Dayton excels at defending. The Flyers will move onto the second round.
Prediction: #7 Dayton Flyers
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.