Dayton, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Serving as the visiting team in their own arena, the Dayton Flyers play their first game of the 2015 NCAA Tournament against the Boise State Broncos on Wednesday night.
Both teams were given a No. 11 seed in the event, and the winner will move on to face No. 6 seed Providence in the second round on Friday.
Dayton is in the NCAA Tournament for the second straight year, the team advancing all the way to the Elite Eight in 2014. Overall, this is the Flyers' 16th NCAA Tournament appearance where they own an all-time record of 17-17.
The Flyers are 25-8 this season, and finished 16-0 at home. In all, UD has won 21 straight home games, but they enter this event having split their last four games regardless of locale, with the most recent resulting in a 71-65 loss to VCU in the championship game of the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament last Sunday.
Boise State lost in the semifinal round of its conference tournament, that being the Mountain West to Wyoming, 71-66 in overtime, putting an end to the team's seven-game win streak, Still, at 25-8 overall, the Broncos were rewarded with an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, marking their seventh appearance all-time. BSU has never won a game in the Big Dance, and the No. 11 seed is its highest since the field expanded to 64 games in 1985.
This bout marks the first meeting between these two schools in men's basketball.
Boise State is led by the Mountain West Player of the Year Derrick Marks (19.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.0 apg) and James Webb III (11.3 ppg, 7.9 rpg), who was named the MWC Newcomer of the Year, in addition to the All-Mountain West Second Team, and the All-Defensive Team. The Broncos are netting 70.8 ppg while permitting 60.3 ppg, and they are one of the better 3-point shooting teams around as they connect on 39.4 percent of their long-range launches. Defensively, they limit the opposition to 41.5 percent field goal efficiency, which includes a 30.8 percent showing beyond the arc. They have also proven to be an opportunistic bunch in goading foes into nearly 13 turnovers per outing. They are also +2.5 in rebounding margin.
Dayton comes in with nearly the same scoring averages, as it puts up 68.2 ppg while allowing 60.9 ppg, producing behind typical shooting outputs of .463 overall and .352 beyond the arc. The Flyers are led by a trio of double-digit scorers in Jordan Sibert (16.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 2.0 apg), Kendall Pollard (12.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg) and Dyshawn Pierre (12.7 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.9 apg). Rebounding has not been the strong suit for UD, as it is in the red when it comes to corralling loose balls (-1.1), but it too does a solid job forcing the opposition into its share of mistakes, coming up with 13.6 turnovers per contest.