Archie Miller's underdog Dayton reaches Elite Eight



Like a red and blue blur, Dayton was pressing and passing, shooting and scoring. The waves never seemed to stop coming, with 10, 11 and then 12 players giving quality minutes.

An exhausted and foul-plagued Stanford simply couldn't keep up.

The underdog Flyers -- No. 11 seed in the South Region -- are now in the Elite Eight for the first time since 1984 after an emphatic 82-72 victory against Stanford Thursday night at FedEx Forum.

"We had 11 guys score in the game and from top to bottom, we kept coming and coming," Dayton coach Archie Miller said. "The way they shared the ball and moved the ball ... it was a true team effort. It's nice that on the biggest stage, we acted like ourselves."

Jordan Sibert led the way with 18 points and freshman Kendall Pollard contributed a season-high 12 as Dayton (26-10) made sure this one wasn't particularly close after slipping by in the first two rounds. The 6-foot-4 Sibert slashed to the basket and drilled 3-pointers, helping help the Flyers stay ahead for just about the entire game.

Dayton made use of its deep bench early, using a dozen players in the first half to wear down the Cardinal.

"They were relentless," Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said. "That's the best way I can put it."

No. 10 Stanford (23-13) had the superior post play, but it wasn't enough. Chasson Randle led the Cardinal with 21 points, but was 5 of 21 from the field. Dwight Powell added 17 and Stefan Nastic -- who fouled out with more than five minutes left -- had 15.

Dayton, the last remaining of the six Atlantic 10 teams in the field of 68, plays Saturday for a trip to the Final Four.

Sibert finished 7 of 12 from the field, including 4 of 9 from 3-point range. He had plenty of help, including from Pollard, a 6-foot-6 guard who continually got to the basket and helped the Flyers stretch their lead in the first half.

"People have been doubting us and not giving us a lot of credit," Sibert said. "I know these guys. I know what Coach wants. We all want to win. At the end of the day, we all want to be considered winners."

Pollard was averaging two points per game, but Miller didn't hesitate to give him more minutes once he got hot.

"This guy's a big-time winner," Miller said. "He's not afraid of anything."

Devin Oliver scored 12 points and Matt Kavanaugh added 10. Dayton's bench outscored Stanford's, 34-2.

The Flyers were good in just about every facet, shooting 48.3 percent and dishing 19 assists on 28 field goals.

They made just about everything they threw up early. Scoochie Smith's corner 3-pointer put the Flyers ahead, 15-13, and Stanford's Powell -- who averages nearly 14 points a game -- was quickly banished to the bench with two fouls.

Foul trouble was an early theme, and a much bigger problem for Stanford.

The Cardinal rely on a six-man rotation. When the Flyers lost a man to foul trouble, they simply replaced him with someone who was just as capable.

Things went from bad to worse for Stanford late in the first half. The Cardinal fell behind by double-digits and Dawkins was called for a technical foul. Dawkins said it was the right call.

"I was just more or less trying to get my team going," he said. "I thought we were losing momentum, we had already burned a timeout and it was a situation where I wanted to get our guys fired up."


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