Dayton at Xavier (Atlantic 10)Cintas Center - Cincinnati, OH8:00 PM EST
Like the new header? Yeah, it's come to this -- doing stuff just to see who complains. More about all of that tomorrow. For now, we have a hot game in the conference that gives fans 40 percent more than advertised, the best deal going. If you have CSTV -- and who doesn't -- you can catch it live, in color and maybe even in stereo.
Dayton: birthplace of human flight, indie-rock stronghold, undisputed capital of Hoops Nation for its countless devoted fans of college basketball in all its forms
. Home of the Flyers, 14-2 overall and 2-1 in the league. Big wins over Louisville and Pitt, and this is one of the most potent offenses you're going to find in college basketball. But people ask us why the national poll-ranked Flyers are rated so low in our computer index (144th), why we're idiots, and why we suck. First of all, there are two key injuries to super-freshman Chris Wright and now junior forward Charles Little
. As a team, UD stands 14th in the league in free throws at 65 percent, has been ineffective at sealing the perimeter (35.6 percent 3FG%, almost 200 teams are better), and doesn't force a lot of turnovers. We humans get swept up in big wins, the computer fusses about the little things that make the difference in March, and tends to offer constructive criticism. Don't shoot the messenger... oww, that hurt, too late.
The Flyers are incredible at home, were even during the down years -- they're already 10-1 there to clinch a ninth straight double-digit win total at UD Arena. Unfortunately, this game won't be played in Dayton tonight. Our hard-working virtual G!O!T!N! camera crew is headed from Kent to Cincinnati to sneak into the gleaming crown jewel of A-14 architecture, the Cintas Center. (They don't have passes, but look for the invisible people in Groucho glasses.) Dayton's had more historical success in the cross-state series (80-64), and Dayton was Xavier's first-ever basketball opponent
. And Dayton has not won in the Cintas Center, ever, and hasn't beat the X in the city of Cincinnati since Jan. 10, 1981, in the building now known as the U.S. Bank Arena. Tonight won't be any easier, as the Musketeers boast an 11-1 record at home, and have averaged a whoppin' 84 points there, their highest average since 1997-98.
As is tradition for UD-XU postseason games, the Blackburn-McCafferty trophy will be on the line (even though both schools have their own), and the game is so big that there's an MVP. Who will it be tonight? One of Xavier's six double-figure scorers? Or will UD's Brian Roberts
play out of his mind and lead the Flyers to victory?XU 69, UD 43