Dayton basketball: Flyers should be a lock to get a No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament

Mythical March Madness, NCAA Tournament (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
Mythical March Madness, NCAA Tournament (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

The Dayton Flyers have been a force in college basketball this season but did fellow mid-major San Diego State’s loss clinch a 1-seed for Obi Toppin’s team?

Perfection was in order for Obi Toppin and the Dayton Flyers on Saturday. With an emphatic 76-51 victory over George Washington, the Flyers completed an 18-0 regular-season sweep of the Atlantic-10 and their 20th consecutive victory overall. And as they hope to continue that pristine record in the A-10 Tournament, they have a No. 1 seed in the 2020 NCAA Tournament in mind.

Ranked No. 3 in the latest AP Top 25 poll, Dayton clearly had a good shot already of earning a 1-seed in March Madness. Completing a perfect regular season in conference play only further strengthens their case as well. They are undeniably among the elite of college basketball in the 2019-20 season.

However, the Flyers may have gotten an even bigger boost from the San Diego State Aztecs, the other mid-major darling of this season, on Saturday. After losing just one regular-season game on the year, the Aztecs dropped the Mountain West Conference Tournament championship game to Utah State in a thriller.

Now the question is if the San Diego State loss is enough to clinch a 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament for Dayton, regardless of what happens in the A-10 Tournament.

To this point, Dayton has done everything necessary to earn their spot as a No. 1 seed in March Madness. Not only did they go 18-0 in the Atlantic-10 but they’re 29-2 overall with their only two losses coming against Kansas and Colorado, both occurring in overtime at neutral sites. That’s as impressive of a résumé as you’ll find in college basketball.

While that may be the case, the deed isn’t done for the Flyers. They are a 1-seed as of right now but an early exit — or perhaps even a loss at all — in the A-10 Tournament could knock them down to a No. 2 seed, especially if ACC regular-season champion Florida State can go on a run in their conference tournament.

If, however, Dayton can remain perfect in the Atlantic 10 as the postseason rolls around, they’re surely destined to be the 1-line come Selection Sunday. As it has been all season, the ball is in their court. And with what they’ve done against conference competition to this point, now’s probably not the time to bet against the Flyers.

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