TV Schedule: Tuesday, Jan. 12, 8:00 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network
Arena: University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio
Although they have lost three of their last six games, the Davidson Wildcats have won back-to-back games for the first time since early December. Next up for the Wildcats, however, is a difficult trip to Dayton, Ohio, to face off with the 12-3 Dayton Flyers.
The Flyers jumped out to an early 2-0 record in conference play, but they fell short to the La Salle Explorers in their last game on the road, 61-57. Before the loss to the Explorers, Dayton had only lost to teams that should easily make the 2016 NCAA tournament, meaning that their loss to La Salle could loom large in March if they continue to drop games to subpar in-conference opposition like the Explorers.
That being said, both of these teams deserve to make the 2016 NCAA tournament. Dayton will likely just need to avoid bad losses, whereas Davidson will need to start racking up wins against above average opposition now. A win on Tuesday night would be a great step forward for both teams, because Dayton wants to earn a favorable NCAA tournament seed and Davidson desperately needs a win over one of the best teams in the A-10 to keep their floundering tournament hopes alive.
However, these two teams are polar opposites when it comes to offense and defense. Davidson is one of the better offensive teams in the country and one of the worst on defense; Dayton is a great defensive team whose offense tends to look stagnant. When this is the case, we usually get a fast paced, high scoring game in which whoever has the ball last wins.
Expect Jack Gibbs to have a massive game for the Wildcats, but his effort will be outdone in the end by Charles Cooke and Scoochie Smith, who will have one of their best games offensively of the season against the Wildcats’ porous defense.
Prediction: Dayton 82, Davidson 79