NCAA Tournament Roundup: 'Cinderella' Dayton reaches Elite Eight with 82-72 win over Stanford

By David Brandt | Associated Press Published:

Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Jordan Sibert scored 18 points, Kendall Pollard added a season-high 12 and Dayton rolled past Stanford 82-72 on Thursday to make the NCAA Tournament's Elite Eight for the first time since 1984.

No. 11 Dayton (26-10) continued its underdog run and this one wasn't particularly close. The 6-foot-4 Sibert was spectacular, slashing to the basket and draining 3-pointers, to help the Flyers lead for almost the entire night.

Dayton showed its depth early, using 12 players in the first half to slowly wear Stanford down.

No. 10 Stanford (23-13) had the superior post play, but it wasn't enough. Chasson Randle led the Cardinal with 21 points, but shot 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 plays the winner of UCLA-Florida on Saturday.

Sibert, who began his collegiate career at Ohio State after starring at Cincinnati Princeton High School, finished 7-of-12 from the field, including 4-of-9 from 3-point range. He had plenty of help. Devin Oliver scored 12 points and Matt Kavanaugh added 10.

Dayton made just about everything it threw at the basket early. Scoochie Smith's corner 3-pointer put the Flyers ahead 15-13 early and Stanford's Dwight Powell -- who averages nearly 14 points per game -- was quickly banished to the bench with two fouls.

Foul trouble was a common early theme, and a much bigger problem for Stanford than Dayton.

The Cardinal rely on a 6-man rotation while Dayton regularly plays 11 or 12. When the Flyers would lose 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 coach Johnny Dawkins was called for a technical foul.

Sibert nailed a 3-pointer from the corner to give Dayton a 42-29 lead, though the Flyers had to settle for a 42-32 halftime advantage.

Stanford made a comeback early in the second half -- as famous Cardinal supporters Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice looked on -- thanks to strong post play.

But the Cardinal simply couldn't stay out of foul trouble. Nastic -- who was leading Stanford with 13 points at the time -- picked up his fourth foul with more than 13 minutes remaining and fouled out with more than five minutes left.

Stanford managed to pull within 64-58 after Powell made the bucket and free throw after being fouled, but the Cardinal couldn't get any closer. The Flyers simply kept sending waves at the Cardinal, scoring from inside and out in the final minutes.

Both teams had made impressive runs to make it to this point. Dayton had knocked off in-state rival Ohio State and Syracuse while Stanford has dispatched higher-seeds New Mexico and Kansas.

WEST REGIONAL

WISCONSIN 69, BAYLOR 52

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Frank Kaminsky scored 19 points and blocked six shots, and Wisconsin romped into the West Regional final with a dominant 69-52 victory over Baylor on Thursday night.

Ben Brust hit three 3-pointers and scored 14 points for the second-seeded Badgers (29-7), who jumped to a 14-point lead in the first half and never let up on the overmatched Bears (26-12).

The 7-foot Kaminsky and his disciplined teammates shredded the Baylor zone defense that played so well in the first two games. Wisconsin also methodically shut down Baylor’s talented offense while moving into its second regional final in 13 years under Bo Ryan, who has never reached a Final Four in a 700-win coaching career.

Cory Jefferson scored 15 points for the sixth-seeded Bears, who did little with their third Sweet 16 trip in five years.

Isaiah Austin and Kenny Chery scored 12 points apiece for Baylor, which made two of its 15 3-point attempts while trailing for the final 39 minutes. The Bears needed a late rally just to match their lowest-scoring performance of the season in the final seconds.

Wisconsin advanced to face the winner of top-seeded Arizona’s meeting with San Diego State in the regional final Saturday at Honda Center.

The Badgers won by countering everything the Bears do well. Wisconsin wrecked Baylor’s zone, negated their 3-point shooting acumen with perimeter defense, kept the tempo at the Badgers’ preferred speed and even held a 39-33 rebounding edge on Baylor, one of the nation’s top rebounding teams.

Kaminsky added another remarkable performance to his junior season with the Badgers, racking up 10 points and four blocked shots while Wisconsin took a 29-16 lead into halftime.

Wisconsin held Baylor to a season-low in first-half points, and the Bears managed just one more point than the lowest-scoring half in coach Scott Drew’s career at the school.

They had little reason to worry while their Badgers quickly sapped all of the drama out of these schools’ first meeting, but they let loose with boos when Baylor began intentionally fouling the Badgers in the final four minutes despite a 20-point deficit.

Wisconsin is in its 16th straight NCAA Tournament, including all 13 years under Ryan, who took over the program in 2001. The Badgers haven’t been to the Final Four since retired coach Dick Bennett got them to Indianapolis in 2000.

Baylor won’t get the chance to play in the Final Four in Arlington, Texas, about 100 miles north of its Waco campus.

Baylor’s flexible zone defense caused numerous problems for Nebraska and Creighton in the Bears’ victories last week. With a few days to prepare, Ryan clearly figured out exactly how to attack it — and the Bears had no answers.

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