Arizona vs. Dayton NCAA Tournament Round 2: How to watch, odds and predictions for March Madness

Long Beach State v Arizona
Long Beach State v Arizona / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

No sleeping in on Saturday.

No. 2 Arizona Basketball got the proverbial monkey off its back by taking down No. 15 Long Beach State in an 85-65 thrashing, and they're on to play No. 7 Dayton in the Round of 32 with the 9:45 a.m. tipoff. The 'Cats played with fire for 10 minutes before stepping on the gas and sealing the deal to secure their first March Madness win in over two calendar years.

Arizona: Head coach Tommy Lloyd will look to dispel the doubts surrounding his ability to lead the team on a deep postseason run. The adjustments made coming out of halftime were clear and Arizona stormed into a convincing 50-35 lead on the back of a 15-0 run and never looked back.
Kylan Boswell had a statement game, posting a career-high 20 points and notching eight assists to boot. Meanwhile, both Caleb Love and Oumar Ballo notched double-doubles. It was Ballo's 19th of the season, and it was just Love's second.

Dayton: Led by seventh-year man Anthony Grant, the Flyers pulled off a 3-point win over No. 10 seed Nevada in dramatic fashion. Dayton trailed 56-39 with under 8 minutes remaining before launching into an offensive onslaught where they scored 17 unanswered points to vaporize the deficit. With 2:45 left in the game, it was knotted up at 56-56. The Flyers held strong, only allowing two more field goals, while they capitalized from the free-throw line to seal the 63-60 win. DaRon Holmes II — as expected — was a force in this tightly contested matchup with a game-high 18 points.

How to watch Arizona vs. Dayton in the NCAA Tournament Round 2

  • Date: Saturday, March 23, 2024
  • Time: 9:45 a.m. MST
  • Venue: Delta Center, Salt Lake City, UT

Arizona vs. Dayton NCAA Tournament Round 2 odds

Line: Arizona -9.5
O/U: 149.5

DraftKings odds have Arizona as a 9.5-point favorite, but the 'Cats are an abhorrent 0-5 against the spread this year. It's a pretty safe move to bet against Arizona covering the spread, especially considering how high-octane Dayton can be. The Flyers punched the pedal through the floor against the Wolfpack, and no lead Arizona establishes will ever be truly safe. This will be a close one.

Arizona vs. Dayton NCAA Tournament Round 2 prediction

Arizona shouldn't worry about changing things unless they stop working. Leaning on Boswell and Ballo as the leaders and primary scoring threats from the perimeter and post, respectively, will be the game plan. It's never a bad idea to get the ball in Caleb Love's hands, but if his shots stay cold, he needs to switch his focus early to the other aspects of the game like his rebounds and assists.

Dayton is certainly a one-man show, and Holmes will find a way to produce; he was one rebound short of a double-double in the Round of 64. That doesn't mean the rest of the team can be written off, though. They battled through a thunderous comeback and were stiff on the defensive end of the court. It'll be a tug-of-war of pace, but Arizona will outgun the Flyers and take the close win.

Prediction: Arizona wins 89-85

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