Dayton Could Win 'the Whole Thing' in NCAA Tournament: Analyst

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
March 09, 2020 - 1:10 pm

This year, the NCAA Tournament could be even more wide open than usual – not just in terms of first-round upsets, but in terms of teams making it to Atlanta and, potentially, winning the whole thing.

In fact, No. 3 Dayton (29-2), which missed the tournament each of the last two seasons, is in the running for a No. 1 seed.

“They have to win out,” CBS Sports college basketball analyst Jerry Palm said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “They have to win the A-10 Tournament, and if they do that, then I think they have a very good chance to be the fourth No. 1 seed. It’s a terrific team.”

Obi Toppin leads Dayton in scoring (20.0 points per game), rebounds (7.5) and blocks (1.2), but this is far from a one-man team. Four Flyers are averaging double figures, including Jalen Crutcher, who is averaging 15.1 points and a team-high 4.9 assists while shooting 42.4 percent from three-point range.

“[Toppin is] an NBA guy, but Jalen Crutcher is a great No. 2,” Palm said. “Between the two of them, they make their offense so efficient, and their defense is terrific, too. Really, the only negative for Dayton’s resume is they don’t have a great win. Their best win is Saint Mary’s, but they’re two [games] from undefeated.”

Dayton’s two losses came in overtime: one to Kansas (28-3), one to Colorado (21-10). The Flyers, who have won 20 straight games, have not lost since Dec. 21.

“I like Dayton,” Palm said. “I think Dayton is capable of winning the whole thing.”

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