The Dayton Flyers and Stanford Cardinals met today in the Sweet Sixteen - Both trying to continue their Cinderella story. Dayton had already upset Ohio State and Syracuse, while Stanford had already upset New Mexico and the Kansas Jayhawks.
Dayton had got past OSU and the Orange with efficient offense, momentum, and hustle. Dayton is not the most talented team with no one scoring outrageous amount of points, but their assist totals, and hustle moved them past the 6 and 3 seed. The Flyers were moving the ball both games, and ended with 12 assists in both games. Hustle is hard to measure, but their steals and blocks show some indication of the hustle (17 steals, 4 blocks).
Stanford had upset New Mexico and Kansas with great defense. Stanford's offense is, at most, mediocre, and their defense is their best side of the court. Stanford forced New Mexico into 36% shooting and 10 turnovers, and of course, they shut down Andrew Wiggins (4 points) and Kansas (32% shooting and 14 turnovers) in the second round.
After both crushed 2 teams dreams of making the Final Four, they advanced to the Sweet Sixteen to match up against each other. When Stanford and Dayton met up today, Dayton immediately came out swinging.
Dayton jumped out to a 10 point lead in the first half, and held Stanford to 32 points. Stanford, on the other hand, allowed the Flyers to score 42 points in the first half.
In the second half, no team was able to push or lower the Flyer's lead. Give Stanford credit, as they did not give up after the disappointing first half, and kept pushing Dayton to their limit. However, Dayton just seemed to energized and motivated today, and would never let up the lead.
The Dayton Flyers bench seemed to be on their feet the entire second half, and they had reason to be. Dayton was grabbing all the loose balls and rebounds, were converting "and-one's," and were running on the fast break.
Dayton converted a total of 6 lay ups, plus a foul, and Stanford was at a loss for solutions. The Dayton Flyer's were going crazy in the stands, bench, and on the court. The momentum was with the Flyers the entire second half, and Stanford did not have one joyous moment the later half of the game.
Finally, Dayton was forcing Stanford into turnovers and then converting on the fast break. The Dayton Flyers had 8 steals (forced Stanford into 12 turnovers), and ended the game with 19 assists! Again, leading back to the momentum factor, Dayton was loving the running style of play today, and now, they will be advancing to the Elite Eight.
Stanford was playing poorly on offense (38% shooting from the field and 12 turnovers), and the other side of the court was no better: Dayton shot 48% from the field, with only 9 turnovers, and a total of 82 points.
At the end of the day, Dayton played an all around motivated game, and the Flyers will be advancing to the Elite Eight!