It isn’t often that two double-digit seeds face off in the Sweet 16, but that’s the case in the 2014 NCAA Tournament. No.11 Dayton takes on No.10 Stanford for the right to play in the South Region finals.
The winner will likely become the standout Cinderella team in March Madness. The game is set to begin at 7:15 p.m. ET on Thursday night in Memphis.
The Cardinal have reached the Sweet 16 by playing some of the best defense in the tournament. In their first game, Stanford held New Mexico to 53 points, which is more than 21 points below their season average. Against one of the best offenses in the nation, the Cardinal surrendered just 57 points to Kansas, limiting them to less than 33 percent field-goal shooting.
"What we've done very well the last several games is we defended at a high, high level every possession," head coach Johnny Dawkins said. "We always talk about the importance of defending every possession. It's one thing to say that -- it's another thing to go out and execute it."
The Flyers may be ranked No.11 in the South region, but they are playing like a top-seeded team. Since the start of February, Dayton has been on a roll, losing only to Saint Joseph’s, who’s had their number this season. After going toe-to-toe with Ohio State and Syracuse, the Flyers have proven that they need to be taken seriously in this tournament.
“We’ve had great character and we’ve had great camaraderie all year,” head coach Archie Miller said, via the New York Post. “It started to take hold in February. We didn’t win the Atlantic 10, which we wanted to do, but I think towards the end of the season there were very few Atlantic 10 teams playing as well as us.”
Stanford is favored for the first time in the tournament, giving Dayton 3.5 points. The Flyers remain the underdog for a third straight contest. The over/under has been set at 133 points.
The betting public appears to favor the Cardinal. The line has moved by a point, since it opened, in favor of Stanford. They are 19-12-2 against the spread this year.
TV and Online Info
The Stanford-Dayton matchup is scheduled as the very first of the Sweet 16. It will be broadcast nationally on CBS. Viewers can also watch a free live stream of the contest with March Madness Live.
On Saturday, Dayton’s game with Syracuse topped the ratings, among adults between the ages of 18 and 49. However, with two low-seeded teams, this figures to be the least anticipated game of the tournament’s second week.