Dayton survives Nevada upset bid, will face Arizona in 2nd round of NCAA Tournament

Mar 21, 2024, 3:59 PM | Updated: 4:04 pm

Dayton Flyers celebrate...

The Dayton Flyers celebrate defeating the Nevada Wolf Pack 63-60 in the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Delta Center on March 21, 2024 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The No. 7 seed Dayton Flyers narrowly escaped a first-round NCAA Tournament upset on Thursday, taking down the No. 10 seed Nevada Wolf Pack, 63-60.

Dayton will now take on the No. 2 seeded Arizona Wildcats in the second round of the tournament on Saturday.

The Flyers got the win, but it didn’t look that way for most of the matchup.

Nevada, not Dayton, was the leader at halftime behind a 35-24 advantage that included a massive 16-0 run to end the first half.

The Wolf Pack’s momentum continued on into most of the second half, seeing its lead grow to as much as 17 points.

But a 20-2 run by the Flyers would hand Dayton back a 59-58 lead with 2:01 left to play.

Nevada would respond with a make by Kenan Blackshear to regain the lead with 58 second to play, but it would be Nick Santos who closed things out for Dayton with a layup and two made free throws to take the win.

Leading the way for the Flyers was forward DaRon Holmes, who recorded 18 points, nine rebounds, one assist and three steals. Guard Koby Brea added anohter 15 points to go along with two rebounds, three assists and one steal.

Dayton now takes on a Wildcats team that just throttled Long Beach State, 85-65, to advance to Round 2. Guard Kylan Boswell led the way for Arizona behind 20 points and eight assists. Fellow guard Caleb Love added 18 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.

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