West Virginia-Dayton: 2009 NCAA Tournament Picks ATS, March 20

Ryan BrennanSenior Analyst IMarch 18, 2009

No. 11 Dayton Flyers vs. No. 6 West Virginia Mountaineers

NCAA Tournament First Round—Midwest Region
Friday, March 20—3:00 PM EST on CBS


Preview

The Dayton Flyers received an at-large bid to the Big Dance for their first trip since 2004. They had a very successful season, going 2-1 against Top 25 teams, and 9-4 against the RPI Top 100.

West Virginia has had a successful season as well, making it to the semifinals of the Big East Tournament before losing in overtime to Syracuse. They finished the season tied for seventh in the Big East, but they only went 4-9 against the Top 25 overall.

The Flyers gained a ton of national attention early this season when they took down Marquette at the end of November. Before the calendar turned, they went 12-1, and in their first ten games in 2009 they went 9-1.

They found their success by having a well-rounded team: sophomore forward Chris Wright was named to the All A-10 Second Team, junior guard Marcus Johnson was given honorable mention, freshman guard-forward Chris Johnson was named to the All-Rookie Team, and junior guard London Warren was named to the All-Defensive Team.

But the Mountaineers are a different beast than their fallen Big East brethren. While they have a quality backcourt, their star player resides in the frontcourt. They have two non-Top 25 losses this season—Kentucky and Cincinnati—and the rest have come from ranked opponents, including five losses to teams that were the top team at one point this season.

West Virginia's squad also features individuals who have had their own success this season—Da'Sean Butler was named to the All-Big East Second Team, Alex Ruoff was named on the Honorable Mention, and Devin Ebanks was named to the Big East All-Rookie Team.

The Mountaineers made it to the Sweet Sixteen last season before losing to Xavier in overtime, a team Dayton knows very well. This should be a great March college hoops game between two teams that received at-large bids.

By The Numbers

 RecordConfATSRPISOSPFPA
Dayton26-711-512-14279467.561.5
West Virginia23-1110-816-14211072.461.6
 FG%D. FG%3P%D. 3P%FT%RPGSPGAPGTPGBPG
Dayton42.839.633.131.764.541.06.314.113.83.5
West Virginia43.041.933.130.069.642.06.815.312.04.6

Stats Leaders

 DaytonWest Virginia
PPGC. Wright - 12.9D. Butler - 17.3
 M. Johnson - 12.2A. Ruoff - 15.9
 C. Little - 8.0D. Ebanks - 10.4
RPGC. Wright - 6.5D. Ebanks - 7.7
APGL. Warren - 4.3A. Ruoff - 3.5
SPGL. Warren - 1.6A. Ruoff - 1.7
BPGC. Wright - 1.2W. Smith - 1.6

Prediction

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