By Spencer Impellizzeri @Spence_I on March 26, 2014
With wins over instate power Ohio State and a Syracuse team that spent a majority of the season ranked No. 1, the Dayton Flyers find themselves in the Sweet 16 for the first time in 30 years. They are a true Cinderella team, as they come from a non-power conference and are an 11 seed. Their run isn't done yet, as they have a shot to advance against 10th seed Stanford.
Here's a look at the five players who must deliver for Dayton to advance.
Khari Price runs the point for Dayton, and he will play a big role for the Flyers in the Sweet 16. Price doesn't lead the team in assists, but he does provide the Flyers with an outside shooting threat and is reliable from the free throw line. Price shoots over 40 percent from three point range and is a 87.9 percent free throw shooter. Free throw shooting is key in the NCAA Tournament, and Price gives the Flyers a reliable option in crunch time.
Vee Sanford doesn't start for Dayton, but he has been instrumental to the Flyers' success in the tournament. Sanford hit the game winner against Ohio State that sent Dayton to the third round, and is a crucial part of this Dayton team. The senior has seen his minutes and points per game average drop from last season, but he is still capable of the scoring outbursts he has shown in the past. Sanford will have a big role for Dayton in the Sweet 16.
Dyshawn Pierre provides the Flyers with a strong inside presence, averaging 11.2 points and 5.7 rebound per game, but Pierre has provided much more than that for Dayton during the NCAA Tournament. Pierre has been clutch so far during the tournament, especially at the free throw line. He is a combined 10-for-12 from the line in the tournament, with five of those makes coming in crunch time. Pierre will need to continue this performance for Dayton.
Devin Oliver is the Flyers' top post player, and he will be key in the Sweet 16. Against a Stanford team that starts four players over 6-foot-6, Dayton will have their hands full. Oliver will likely draw the task of defending 6-foot-10 forward Dwight Powell, and if he can contain him, the Flyers will have a great shot at moving on the the Elite 8.
Dayton would probably be watching the Sweet 16 from home if it wasn't for Jordan Sibert. He leads the team in scoring and three point shooting. He has been held to less than his average in both NCAA Tournament games, but he stepped up late in the win over Syracuse. Up three with just under a minute left, Sibert drilled a three that gave Dayton a six point lead they never relinquished. Sibert will need to perform for Dayton to advance.
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