The Big East has it's second loss of the day, and their second loss in the Tournament. This was a painful game to watch, and the Friars season has ended in the most anticlimactic way possible. The Friars fell to Dayton 66 to 53, and it was the worst game the Friars have played all season. I have watched every dribble, and have sat courtside for over half of their home games this season and I could not have possibly imagined the Friars would play this badly.
Here are three things we learned.
1. I think Dayton Playing their first two Tournament Games in Dayton and Columbus may have helped
If you can't tell already, I was a little sarcastic in the way I stated the first reason we learned. Of course it helped. I have heard Dayton fans complaining on Twitter since Selection Sunday about how unfair their seed was. Well, guess what Flyer fans, you got to play two home games in the NCAA Tournament and the committee did you a HUGE favor. With that being said, there is no way that should have been allowed to happen. That's like St. John's having their first game in Carnesecca Arena, and then having their next game in Madison Square Garden. Imagine the outrage that would come from the sports world and media if Syracuse had their play-in game at the Carrier Dome. It would be on SportsCenter on a continuous loop for the next thirty six hours. This got completely screwed up, and the committee should have put Texas and UCLA in the play-in game instead of Dayton, who should have been given a nine seed.
2. That was the worst officiating I have ever seen
I know you have all probably said that hundreds of times about a hundred different games, but this poor officiating was one for the ages. It first started with Kris Dunn getting a flagrant for, clearly, accidentally elbowing Kyle Davis. It looked crystal clear that it was accidental, and Dunn looked like he was trying to move his arms away from the player but instead, he got a personal foul. I love college basketball, but there are so many problems that can be easily pointed out by even a casual fan. The flagrant foul system is totally damaging the game, and the technical on Ed Cooley during a time out was the call that put the game out of reach for the Friars. There was a timeout called by the Friars when they were down by eight, and Ed Cooley pushed a chair to the ground out of disgust. It wasn't thrown across the court out of rage like Bobby Knight, but it was just a simple push to get his team motivated. Cooley got a tech, and it was one of the worst calls I've seen in college basketball this season. Give me a break, it's March Madness! I have seen coaches do that about a hundred times at the college and the professional level. It was just a coach trying to get his players motivated but instead, got Dayton to stretch the lead to double digits. If this game was at the Dunkin' Donuts Center or Boston Garden, I doubt these calls would have been made.
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3. Kris Dunn needs to stay one more year
The talks about Dunn going to the NBA are only going to occur more often from here on out. He is the best player in the Big East, but like Ed Cooley said,"He has only scratched the surface of his potential." He has barely played basketball for the past two years, and he needs one more year to get himself ready to play at an NBA level. This game certainly did not help his draft stock and Dunn cannot have has last game as a Friar be losing to Dayton in the first round. That's just way too depressing to think about.