Dayton Dozen only 40 minutes from Final Four

We know the story of the Dayton Flyers is big in the Miami Valley, and here’s one way I measure it: People I never talk with about basketball say, “How about UD.” And I probably talk an inordinate amount about basketball. My wife and daughters can verify that.

Part of my response is to hold my hand at my waist and say, “It’s great (or awesome or incredible, etc.). I’ve been a Flyer fan since I was this little.”

I get some double-takes at that and lot of “Really?”

“Yeah, my dad used to take me to a lot of games.”

While others might be jumping on the local-team-doing-good bandwagon, I’ve been along for the ride since, well, you know, “I was this little.”

One thing that makes following this team so fun is that it takes me back to when even my mom was still taller than me. And it’s good to feel that young again when your next birthday will be the first one to start with a 5.

Just like I can talk about teams from the 70s and 80s that choreographed runs in the Big Dance, I am sure that if I live to be 80 I will be regaling a grandson or two with stories of Sibert, Oliver, Pierre, Kavanaugh, Price, Sanford, Robinson, Scott, Pollard, Davis, Gavrilovic and, of course, Scoochie. The Dayton Dozen is as deep a team as we’ve ever seen, and that will be a long-remembered quality.  This is a team from top to bottom. Nobody plays filler minutes.

I picked the Flyers to beat Ohio State and Syracuse on my bracket. Another statement that draws a lot of “Really?”

Some people like @tomsizer don't believe I picked #FlyerNation to win twice. Here's some forensic evidence

A post shared by Jeff Gilbert (@jw_gilbert) on

I admit part of that was my inner-fan, but I really thought they could beat those teams. I had them losing to Kansas, but when the opponent became Stanford I was confident of a trip to the Elite 8. Now, the Final Four is 40 minutes away.

So what about Florida. Want to talk true upset? This would be it. The Gators are really good. They make big shots, defend, have good guard play, good inside play, toughness, good coaching and they are a hot team.

Sounds like another team we’ve been watching a lot of lately.

 

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