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Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Dayton Flyers - 3/20/14 South Region

Dayton Flyers (23-10) at Ohio State Buckeyes (25-9)

College Basketball: Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 12:15 pm (First Niagara Center)

The Line: Ohio State Buckeyes -6 -- Over/Under: 130 See the Latest Odds


The Ohio State Buckeyes and Dayton Flyers will square off in the first NCAA tournament game of the Thursday schedule. Both teams received an at-large bid after putting together respectable seasons.

Dayton won 10 of its last 12 games and does so by playing well on both sides of the ball. The Flyers average 73.4 points on 46.6 percent shooting and allow 67.6 points on 43.9 percent shooting. Dayton has three players averaging at least all points and it shoots 37.8 percent from beyond the arc as a team. The Flyers are led by junior guard Jordan Sibert, who averages 12.5 points per game. The Flyers weakness would be that they shoot just 68.1 percent from the free throw line. The Dayton Flyers are 17-12 ATS overall this season.

Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Dayton Flyers - 3/20/14 South Region

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State is going to go as far as its defense takes it. Led by senior guard Aaron Craft, the Buckeyes allow just 59.8 points on 40.5 percent shooting and have held seven of their last nine opponents under 70 points. Offensively, the Buckeyes average 69.8 points on 44.8 percent shooting. Junior forward LaQuinton Ross leads Ohio State with 15.4 points and 6.1 rebounds. However, much like Dayton, Ohio State shoots just 68.9 percent from the free throw line. The Ohio State Buckeyes are 15-18 ATS overall. 

The Flyers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 non-conference games. The Buckeyes are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games overall and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 NCAA Tournament games. 

I picked Dayton to advance in my bracket, as the Flyers are the hotter and more complete team at both ends of the court. Ohio State struggles to score from the field and the free throw line, forcing itself to play elite level defense just to get by.

I’m not sure how many times the Buckeyes can keep putting pressure on themselves to win these close games.

The trends scream to take Dayton and with the way the Flyers have played recently, I think it’s a no-brainer.

Take the points.

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