In past NCAA Tournaments, there is usually an underdog team that overcomes the odds and plays impressive basketball to advance over more prestigious programs.
In 2014, the Cinderella team is the Dayton Flyers.
On Thursday night, the Flyers cruised to a victory over Stanford at FedExForum in Memphis to earn a spot in the Elite Eight, 82-72.
Dayton established a six-point advantage with 7:30 remaining in the first half off a three-point shot from Kyle Davis, and prevented Stanford from going on any serious runs the rest of the way. The Cardinal managed to cut the score to 64-58 with 8:10 remaining, but Dayton would score five unanswered points to thwart any chance of a comeback.
Archie Miller’s squad shot an impressive 48.3 percent from the field, and did it by distributing the ball. Of Dayton’s 28 field goals, 19 came from assists. Seven Dayton players had two or more assists.
"The way they shared the ball, the way they moved the ball. ... It was a true team effort," said Miller. "It was nice to see on the biggest stage that we were ourselves."
Eleven players scored for Dayton. Jordan Sibert led the Flyers with 18 points, while freshman Kendall Pollard added a season-high 12.
It has been an impressive tournament run for Dayton. The No. 11 seed held off Ohio State in the Round of 64 of the South Region, and then defeated No.3 Syracuse before knocking off No. 10 Stanford.
The Flyers will play the winner of UCLA-Florida on Saturday.
It was a difficult game for the Cardinal, as their shooting was off the mark from beyond the arc. The Cardinal converted just five of their 21 three-point shots, and shot just 37.9 percent overall.
Johnny Dawkins’s squad struggled with foul trouble for much of the contest. Center Stefan Nastic fouled out, while forwards Dwight Powell and Josh Huestis each finished with four fouls.
Junior guard Chasson Randle shot poorly from the field (5-21), but led all scorers with 21 points.