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March 28, 2014

Dayton: 8 things to know



Florida's seniors have done just about everything except advance to the Final Four since arriving in Gainesville in 2010. They'll get the opportunity to change that Saturday evening at 6:09 ET in Memphis. The opponent will be No. 11 seed Dayton, this year's charming March story. It's safe to say these two teams are in no way familiar with one another. Here is a quick cheat sheet to brush up on your Flyers knowledge.

1. Dayton has made its mark as a balanced offensive team. The Flyers have three starters averaging between 11 and 12.5 points and is 24-3 when three or more players score in double figures. The record is 2-7 when that total is two players or less. In two of its three games at the NCAA Tournament, Dayton has had four players with at least 10 points. A 55-53 win against Syracuse was the exception, as only forward Dyshawn Pierre and guard Jordan Sibert scored in double figures.

2. This is the sixth time a No. 11 seed has advanced to the Elite Eight in NCAA Tournament history and the first time Dayton has made it this far in the NCAA Tournament since 1984. Former Florida assistant and current Alabama coach Anthony Grant was a freshman on that team. The Flyers - a No. 10 seed - lost 61-49 to the eventual national champion Georgetown Hoyas. Dayton has not advanced to the Final Four since 1967.

3. "Flyers" is a an homage to Orville and Wilbur Wright, two Dayton natives who are credited with creating the world's first successful airplane. They invented the Wright Flyer I in their Dayton bicycle shop. The plane was flown four times in North Carolina.

4. Archie Miller is in his third season as Dayton's coach after previously working as an assistant on brother Sean Miller's staff at Arizona. The Wildcats play Wisconsin Saturday night in the West Regional final. Already the first pair of brothers to coach their way into the same Sweet 16, they have extended the record into the Elite Eight. Before arriving at Arizona, Archie worked as an assistant at Western Kentucky, NC State, Arizona State and Ohio State. He is 35 years old.

5. Dayton lost twice as many games as Florida has all season between Jan. 18 and Jan. 29. The Flyers lost four consecutive games by an average of 9.5 points. The victors in those games: Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth, Rhode Island and St. Joseph's. Miller has called it the team's turning point and the Flyers are 13-2 since.

6. However, the Flyers were unable to win both the regular season and tournament crowns in the Atlantic-10.Dayton finished sixth in league play during the regular season and lost to St. Joseph's in the Atlantic-10 Championship Game.

7. The Flyers have held opponents below 70 points in five of their last seven games. The Gators have held opponents below 70 points in 10 consecutive games an 21 off their last 22 games.

8. Dayton has never played Florida.


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