Arizona Basketball to Clash with 7th-Seeded Dayton in Round of 32

Nevada v Dayton
Nevada v Dayton / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - Arizona Basketball (26-8, 15-5) faces a tough test with 7th-seeded Dayton (25-7, 14-4) in the Round of 32.

Survive and advance! After Arizona Basketball got the proverbial monkey off its back on Thursday when they beat 15-seeded Long Beach State.

However, fresh off their 20-point win over the Beach, the Wildcats must pivot quickly and turn their focus to Dayton.

Coming in, the Flyers are having a solid season. They are a skilled and well-coached team, and they live to see another day as they closed out their Thursday game against Nevada on a 24-4 run to escape with a 63-60 win

Even with an early tip-off on Saturday, hopefully, we will see our Wildcats ready to go as they bring the focus and intensity. Dayton is a good team and their style of play clashes a bit with Arizona; however, with the Wildcats' skill and depth, they should be able to win this if they handle their business.

Getting to know the details about Arizona Basketball’s opponent, Dayton Flyers

Team: Dayton Flyers

Conference: Atlantic 10 Conference

Current Record: 25-7 (14-4)

Head Coach: Anthony Grant. Entering his 16th season as a head coach (7th at Dayton), Coach Grant is currently 149–71 (85–36) with the Flyers with this being their first NCAA Tournament appearance under his tutelage. He had led Dayton to three NIT appearances.

Before arriving at Dayton, Grant made stints as head coach with VCU (2006-09) and Alabama (2009-15). Overall, he is 341–181 as a head coach with four NCAA Tournament appearances, multiple Conference Championships, and multiple NIT appearances.

2022-23 Record: Finishing the 2022-23 season with a 22–12 (12–6) record, Dayton ended their year with a Championship loss to VCU in their Conference Tournament.

So, as Arizona Basketball takes on Dayton, here is how you can watch and follow our Wildcats!

Arizona Basketball vs Dayton Information and Details:

Date: Saturday, March 23, 2024

Time: 9:45 AM Arizona Time

Television: CBS

Location: Delta Center – Salt Lake City, UT (20,000)

Spread: -9.5 Arizona (Don’t forget to sign up with Caesars Sportsbook or DraftKings to enhance your overall betting experience)

Overall Series Record: 2-1 Arizona. This is a head-to-head series that dates back to 1950-51 when these two teams first met. Overall, this is a matchup that the Wildcats lead, winning two of its three total meetings.

Last Meeting: Last squaring off during the 2000-01 season, Arizona beat Dayton in Hawaii by 76-59 final.

Arizona Basketball Game Preview:

The Madness is intensifying. Just days after getting past Long Beach State in the Round of 64, the Wildcats see their stakes grow as they take on the 7-seeded Dayton Flyers.

Coming in, the Wildcats are the favorites here; however, this is an intriguing matchup for a lot of reasons. The Flyers are a skilled and talented team, and their style clashes a bit with Arizona.

Playing at a slower tempo and focusing on defense, the Flyers are largely led by junior forward DaRon Holmes II. The Arizona native is having a monstrous year, averaging 20.3 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.

He is a dynamic big man with a great inside/outside game, hitting 38.0 percent on threes. He is long, athletic, and poses a matchup issue for the Wildcats and in particular Oumar Ballo.

In addition to Holmes, Nate Santos is a skilled and long wing, meanwhile, Koby Brea at 6-foot-6 is a talented and efficient scorer that is averaging 11.0 points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

Beyond them, Dayton has some great complimentary pieces, and while this team isn't super deep, they are very skilled.

Running a bit of a slower offense, Dayton is efficient with the basketball, averaging 74.4 points while shooting 47.7 percent from the field, including a staggering 40.2 percent from three (good enough for third in the country).

The Flyers don't rebound super well but some of that is by design as they like to force offenses to get into their offensive sets. Dayton is a good defensive team, holding opponents to 41.6 percent shooting and 66.1 points.

Dayton is smart with the basketball, they don't turn the ball over a lot, and they don't foul a lot either.

This is a game where Arizona is going to have to defend the three well and try and force the Flyers to play their game. If the Wildcats get caught in Dayton's style of play, that could spell trouble for Arizona.

To me, if the Wildcats are to win, they will need to try and attack the Flyers and use Ballo to go at DaRon. Holmes should have a hard time defending Ballo, meanwhile, Ballo will likely have a hard time with Holmes. IF Arizona can get DaRon into early foul trouble, the Cats can separate themselves here.

Hopefully, the Wildcats will be ready to go in this one. It will be an early one as tip-off for Saturday's game against Dayton is set for 9:45 A.M. Tucson time, and the game will be broadcast on CBS.

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