The 2018-19 season continues for the Dayton Flyers, who earned a No. 5 seed in the NIT and a road game against No. 4 seed Colorado (21-12) in Boulder, Colo., on Tuesday. The game will start at 11 p.m. (9 p.m. Mountain time).
“We’re excited we get a chance to continue to play,” Dayton coach Anthony Grant said. “We’re happy for Josh (Cunningham) and Jack (Westerfield) that they get a chance to continue their careers and play with their brothers, and obviously, for our team, we’ve got a lot of young guys and the chance to play in the postseason and gain that experience and the chance to compete for a championship, all those things are a positive things. I think it’s a great opportunity for us.”
The game matches the Flyers against former Dayton commit McKinley Wright, Colorado’s starting point guard. He changed his mind after Archie Miller left for Indiana and Dayton hired Anthony Grant. Wright averages 13.1 points and 4.8 assists.
Share Share Colorado earns berth in NIT, will play Dayton at CU Events Center tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports The season will continue. It was a stressful Selection Sunday, but we can take a breath now that the Colorado Buffaloes have been selected to the NIT. It was a great draw as the Buffs are a 4-seed and will play against Dayton. As the better seed, Colorado will host the game at the CU Events Center on Tuesday night.
Dayton has played once before in Boulder, losing 77-59 to Colorado on Jan. 10, 1987, in Anthony Grant's senior year. He had seven points. pic.twitter.com/pMNnk55mhX
Colorado has a good shot to advance in the NIT. Tad Boyle called his guys a tournament team because of the way they are built. As they have shown this past week, it doesnt matter if shots are falling or if they cant hold on to the ball — this team is going to play defense and rebound, and thats enough to keep any game close. Because of how hard they fight, they only need a few made shots to beat anyone, and that plays well in tournaments.
Dayton and Colorado will also play in the 2019-20 regular season on Dec. 21 in the Chicago Legends at the United Center.
Dayton will play in the NIT for the first time since 2012 when it lost 84-75 at Iowa in the first round. That was the fourth NIT appearance in five seasons.
This will be Dayton’s 25th NIT appearance. It ranks second behind St. John’s (30) in total appearances. It has a 40-22 record and won the championship in 1962, 1968 and 2010 and finished as runner-up in 1951, 1952, 1955, 1956 and 1958.
Dayton (21-11) heads to the NIT after a quarterfinal loss to Saint Louis in the Atlantic 10 tournament in Brooklyn, N.Y. The No. 6 seed Billikens won the A-10 title on Sunday by beating No. 4 seed St. Bonaventure 55-53.
If Dayton beats Colorado, it could play Anthony Grant’s former team, Alabama in the second round. Alabama plays Norfolk State on Wednesday. The other games in Dayton’s corner of the bracket are: Toledo at Xavier and South Dakota State at Texas.
The Buffaloes on Sunday received an invitation to the NIT, earning a No. 4 seed and a first-round date Tuesday night against Dayton (9 p.m., ESPN2). It is the 11th NIT bid in program history and the third in nine seasons under head coach Tad Boyle.
The Buffs also went to the NIT at the end of Boyle’s first season in 2011, putting together a run to the Final Four that proved to be a springboard to three straight NCAA Tournament appearances and four in five seasons the following years. CU also ended a disappointing 2016-17 season with a first-round NIT loss at Central Florida.
It will be the 26th postseason appearance all-time for the CU program and the eighth in Boyle’s nine years, though that run includes a 2015 appearance in the third-tier CBI tournament that Boyle has said the past two years he would not do again.
For this year’s young Buffs, which ended the season on a 10-3 run, the opportunity to keep competing in a tournament setting could provide a similar springboard as the 2011 team for a club that expects to return in its entirety.
The winner will play the winner between eighth-seeded Norfolk State and Alabama, one of the field’s four No. 1 seeds alongside UNC-Greensboro, Indiana, and TCU.