7:15 PM ET, March 27, 2014
FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Like a red and blue blur, the Dayton Flyers were pressing and passing, shooting and scoring. The waves never seemed to stop coming, with 10, 11 and then 12 players giving them quality minutes.
An exhausted and foul-plagued Stanford simply couldn't keep up.
The underdog Flyers -- an 11 seed in this South Region -- are now in the Elite Eight for the first time since 1984 after an emphatic 82-72 victory over Stanford on Thursday night.
"We had 11 guys score in the game and from top to bottom, we kept coming and coming," Dayton coach Archie Miller said. "The way they shared the ball and moved the ball ... it was a true team effort. It's nice that on the biggest stage, we acted like ourselves."
Jordan Sibert scored 18 points and freshman Kendall Pollard added a season-high 12, as Dayton (26-10) made sure this one wasn't particularly close after slipping by in the first two rounds. The 6-foot-4 Sibert was spectacular, slashing to the basket and draining 3-pointers, to help the Flyers lead for almost the entire night.
Dayton showed its depth early, using a dozen players in the first half to wear down Stanford.
"They were relentless," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "That's the best way I can put it."
No. 10 Stanford (23-13) had the superior post play, but it wasn't enough. Chasson Randle led the Cardinal with 21 points, but shot 5 of 21 from the field. Dwight Powell added 17 and Stefan Nastic -- who fouled out with more than five minutes left -- had 15.
Dayton, the last remaining of the six Atlantic 10 teams in the field of 68, will play top overall seed Florida on Saturday. The Gators beat UCLA 79-68 late Thursday night.
Sibert finished 7 of 12 from the field, including 4 of 9 from 3-point range. He had plenty of help, including from Pollard, a 6-foot-6 guard who continually got to the basket and helped the Flyers stretch their lead in the first half.
"People have been doubting us and not giving us a lot of credit," Sibert said. "I know these guys. I know what coach wants. We all want to win. At the end of the day we all want to be considered winners."
Pollard was averaging two points per game, but Miller didn't hesitate to give him big minutes once he got hot.
"This guy's a big-time winner," Miller said. "He's not afraid of anything."
The Flyers were good in just about every facet, shooting 48.3 percent (28 of 58) and dishing 19 assists on 28 field goals.
They made just about everything they threw at the basket early. Scoochie Smith's corner 3-pointer put the Flyers ahead 15-13 early and Stanford's Powell -- who averages nearly 14 points per game -- was quickly banished to the bench with two fouls.
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Foul trouble was an early theme, and a much bigger problem for Stanford.
The Cardinal rely on a six-man rotation. When the Flyers would lose a man to foul trouble, they simply replaced him with someone who was just as capable.
Things went from bad to worse for Stanford late in the first half. The Cardinal fell behind by double-digits and Dawkins was called for a technical foul. Dawkins said it was the right call.
"I was just more or less trying to get my team going," Dawkins said. "I thought we were losing momentum, we had already burned a timeout and it was a situation where I wanted to get our guys fired up."
It didn't work.
Sibert nailed a 3-pointer from the corner to give Dayton a 42-29 lead, though the Flyers had to settle for a 42-32 halftime advantage.
Stanford made a comeback early in the second half -- as famous Cardinal supporters Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice looked on -- thanks to strong post play.
But the Cardinal simply couldn't stay out of foul trouble. Nastic -- who was leading Stanford with 13 points at the time -- picked up his fourth foul with more than 13 minutes remaining and fouled out with more than five minutes left.
Stanford managed to pull within 64-58 after Powell made the bucket and free throw after being fouled, but the Cardinal couldn't get any closer. The Flyers simply kept sending waves at the Cardinal, scoring from inside and out in the final minutes.
Both teams had made impressive runs to make it to this point. Dayton had knocked off in-state rival Ohio State and Syracuse while Stanford has dispatched higher-seeds New Mexico and Kansas.
NCAA Mens Tournament
MEMPHIS, TN - MARCH 27: Jordan Sibert #24 of the Dayton Flyers reacts against the Stanford Cardinal during a...(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Around The NCAA Tournament
Deciding factor: Dayton's transition game. As they've done all season, the Flyers got out on the break and outscored Stanford by 15 on fast-break points.
Player of the game: Jordan Sibert. The junior guard -- Dayton's leading scorer -- scored 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting, including four 3-pointers.
Key stat: Bench production. Dayton's bench outscored Stanford's by a count of 34-2. The Flyers' bench also scored 16 points in the paint while the Cardinal's bench was scoreless down low.
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||28-58 (.483)||22-58 (.379)|
|3P Made-Attempted||8-23 (.348)||5-21 (.238)|
|FT Made-Attempted||18-26 (.692)||23-33 (.697)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||25 (0/0)||24 (0/0)|
|» Mar 27, 2014||DAY 82, @STAN 72||Recap|
Since the NCAA Tournament began seeding teams in 1979, Dayton is the sixth 11 seed to reach the Elite 8. Three of the previous five 11 seeds have gone on to the Final Four.[+]
11 Seeds in Elite 8 - Since 1979
In its 10-point win Thursday, Dayton outscored Stanford by 15 transition points. It was the third-straight game that the Flyers were outscored in the half court, but still won due to its transition differential.[+]
This is the 3rd time Dayton will play in the Elite 8 and the 1st time since 1984. Both times Dayton made it to the Elite 8, the team they ended up losing to that year won the national title (Georgetown in 1984, UCLA in 1967). And the only time they won in the Elite 8, they made it all the way to the national championship game.[+]
Dayton in Elite 8 All-Time
Dayton's starting 5 of Jordan Sibert, Devin Oliver, Dyshawn Pierre, Khari Price and Matt Kavanaugh were outscored by 5 points while on the floor together against Stanford, allowing Stanford to shoot 71 percent (10-of-14) on field goals. With all other lineup combinations, Dayton held Stanford to 60 fewer points per 100 possessions and outscored the Cardinal by 15 points.[+]
Dayton by 5-Man Lineup - Sweet 16 vs Stanford
Dayton's bench outscored Stanford's 34-2 Thursday, the second-largest bench differential in the 2014 Men's Basketball Championship.[+]
Stanford vs Dayton could be dubbed the meeting of the true Cinderella... Thursday's Sweet 16 matchup between 10-seed Stanford and 11-seed Dayton is the first Sweet 16 matchup between teams which won its games in the Round of 64 and Round of 32 by 5 points or fewer as a lower seed. In other words, both teams pulled upsets over higher seeded teams in close fashion to get here. And potentially to the winner, a date with No. 1 overall seed Florida in the Elite 8, should the Gators defeat UCLA.
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