TV Schedule: Friday, Jan. 15, 7:00 p.m. ET, ESPN
Arena: University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio
Line: Dayton (-5)
The Dayton Flyers rebounded from their disappointing loss to the La Salle Explorers with a great win over the Davidson Wildcats, remaining just one game behind the VCU Rams and St. Bonaventure Bonnies in the hunt for the Atlantic 10 Conference regular season title and a No. 1 seed in the A-10 tournament. However, Dayton’s next opponents, the George Washington Colonials, are also just one game behind the top two teams in the A-10, meaning that their Friday night showdown could have massive implications on the outcome of the conference — and potentially one team’s 2016 NCAA tournament hopes.
Although George Washington boasts better wins than Dayton on the season, the Colonials have struggled on the road, losing to both the DePaul Blue Demons and the Saint Louis Billikens. GW may have defeated the Virginia Cavaliers earlier this year, but their 2016 NCAA tournament hopes could be slipping away if they do not start winning on the road against weaker opponents.
That being said, Dayton is one of the best teams in the A-10 and should win this one behind the play of Charles Cooke and Scoochie Smith. George Washington’s offense has struggled at times this season, and Dayton’s solid defense should be able to capitalize at home.
The Flyers’ loss to La Salle was a fluke, and this team should make the 2016 NCAA tournament whether they win the A-10 tournament or not. Expect a great game between two of the best teams in the A-10, but Dayton will come out on top.
Prediction: Dayton 67, George Washington 62