Men's Basketball 2014 NCAA Tournament South Region Elite Eight Game Breakdowns

2014 NCAA Tournament South Region Elite Eight Game Breakdowns


#1 Florida vs. #11 Dayton (Memphis, Tennessee)

Everything seemed to go right for the Dayton Flyers in the Sweet Sixteen, and they handled Stanford rather easily and very impressively on their way to the Elite Eight. Stanford had a huge size advantage, so to combat that, Dayton proved itself more athletic and capable of getting into the paint. The Flyers also got a few main Cardinal players into foul trouble early, namely center Stefan Nastic. Jordan Siebert continued the trend of opponents attempting to play a zone defense against the Flyers' guards and regretting it, as he hit four threes in the game. And the team overall finished above 48% from the floor. While Ohio State in round two seemed over-seeded, and Syracuse in round three just continued their floundering ways that have been nagging them since January, this was the first game in the tournament where Dayton really flexed its muscles and proved worthy of advancing. Holding Stanford's Chasson Randle to a putrid 5-of-21 from the floor is reason enough to advance Dayton through to the Elite Eight.

The 10th-seeded Flyers' opponent is a little more of a brand name as the top-seeded Florida Gators vanquished UCLA on their way to the Elite Eight. In the Sweet Sixteen preview, it seemed like a classic offense versus defense matchup where Florida would have the edge if either team was forced to play the other's game. Early on, UCLA was getting after the ball a bit defensively, getting their hands on a number of shots and grabbing some of their eight steals. Also, the Bruins, possibly because of their guard length, were giving SEC Player of the Year Scottie Wilbekin all kinds of trouble. However, as was necessary, some of the Gators' role players filled in the lack of offensive punch. Michael Frazier poured in a team-high 17 points, which included knocking down five threes. For UCLA offensively, they just couldn't get enough going to stick with Florida all game long. Kyle Anderson battled through foul trouble, which stunted the Bruin offense. The team finished just 3-of-18 from three, even as Gator defenders often left the UCLA forwards wide open on the outside.

Since specific matchups are of the utmost importance, it may finally be the end of the line for Dayton. They had the athleticism to get by Stanford last game. That should be of little help against the vaunted Florida defense. They knocked down enough outside shots to slither past the Syracuse zone. Those open looks should be much harder to come by against UF. And they witnessed just an all-around poor offensive showing from Ohio State in their first game. While Florida doesn't have a single scorer who can light up opponents game in and game out, its roster is stacked with talented players who can get to the basket, as well as stroke it a bit from deep.

Dayton has been a wonderful story in this year's NCAA Tournament. Its early wins were cool; its victory over Stanford was unexpected and very nice. However, if the Flyers beat Florida and make it to the Final Four, it will be one of the more historic outcomes in recent tournament history. After all, the Gators have only lost twice all season, and both came at the hands of teams that made the Elite Eight.


West Region Elite Eight Game Breakdowns


Midwest Region Elite Eight Game Breakdowns


East Region Elite Eight Game Breakdowns


Tournament Central