As the chilly months of January and February prepare us for the Madness that is March, a number of teams will seemingly pop out of the proverbial woodwork and into the national consciousness. One of those teams will likely be the Dayton Flyers of the University of Dayton in Ohio, so here's a little background with which you can amaze your friends come tourney time.
The Flyers are 13-1 on the season and 1-0 in the conference, with wins over three ranked teams: Louisville (70-65), Pittsburgh (80-55) and Rhode Island (92-83). The only loss suffered by the Flyers was in their second game of the season, on November 17, at George Mason, 67-56. They've since won 12 straight.
The University of Dayton was founded in 1850 by the Society of Mary (the Marianists). It is a Catholic school which evolved from a boarding school for boys (St. Mary's School for Boys) built on 125 acres of farmland and became the University of Dayton in 1920. It is the largest private college in the state of Ohio.
Over the last nine years, UD has had 23 conference championships and 17 teams reach the post-season. The basketball program rates as one of the best in the nation, in an elite group graduating basketball athletes at a rate of better than 85%.
The basketball program has incredible fan acceptance. For seven straight years Dayton basketball has finished in the top 25 in the nation in attendance.
Head coach: Brian Gregory
Brian Roberts, 6'2" senior guard, leads the team with 4.6 assists and 19.4 points per game.
Chris Wright, 6'8" freshman forward, 6 rebounds (leads team), 10.4 points per game.
Marcus Johnson, 6'3" sophomore guard, 9.6 ppg.
Forwards Charles Little (6'6" junior) and Kurt Huelsman (6'10" sophomore) each average 4.9 rebounds per game and are the 4th and 5th leading scorers on the team.
Only six of the players on the team are from Ohio, but four of them - Roberts, Johnson, Wright and Huelsman - are starters. Oddly enough, Little, the other starter, hails from Cleveland... Tennessee.
Team colors: Red and Blue
Official website: www.udayton.edu