Dayton Flyers in Battle 4 Atlantis: Seven things to know

Flyers play Butler and then Virginia or Middle Tennessee State


Dayton could face Florida, where three of its coaches once worked, on final day of event.

The Dayton Flyers and Butler Bulldogs played regularly between 1979 and 1993 — first as non-conference opponents and then as members of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference. The matchup made sense. Only 121 miles separate Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis and UD Arena.

They have met just twice since 1993, however, and both teams will have to travel about 1,090 miles for the 24th meeting in the series. Dayton and Butler will play in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

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The bracket was announced Tuesday. Here are seven things to know about the tournament:

1. Primetime game: Dayton and Butler will play at 7 p.m. Nov. 21. The game will be televised on ESPN3 or ESPNews.

In other first-round action, Florida plays Oklahoma at noon (ESPN). Wisconsin plays Stanford at 2:30 p.m. (ESPN or ESPN2). Virginia plays Middle Tennessee State at 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2).

2. Losing streak: Butler leads the all-time series against Dayton 13-10 and has won six straight games. Dayton’s last victory came on Feb. 21, 1991: 116-98 at UD Arena. Chip Jones led Dayton with 28 points, and Norm Grevey scored 25.

The last two meetings, both in 2013, came during Butler’s one season in the Atlantic 10 Conference. In a three-year span, Butler moved from the Horizon League to the A-10 to the Big East.

3. Consistent winner: Butler has played in the NCAA tournament 10 times in the last 12 seasons. It finished 21-14 last season, the first for head coach LaVall Jordan, who was hired when Chris Holtmann left for Ohio State.

» TOUGH FIELD: A look at the teams in the Battle 4 Atlantis

Butler lost senior Kelan Martin, a 2,047-point career scorer. Its top returning scorer is junior guard Kamar Baldwin (15.7 points per game). The team has two seniors: guard Paul Jorgenson (10.2) and center Nate Fowler (5.9). Jon Rothstein, of CBS Sports, picked Butler to finish ninth in the 10-team Big East.

4. Second round: Dayton will play Virginia or Middle Tennessee State on Nov. 22, which is Thanksgiving Day. Dayton will play in the semifinals at 4 p.m. if it beats Butler or in the loser’s bracket at 9:30 p.m.

Dayton hasn’t played Virginia, which became the first No. 1 seed to lose in the first round of the NCAA tournament in March, since 1987. The Flyers have played Middle Tennessee State only once, winning 90-63 in 1965.

5. Coaching connections: Virginia is the alma mater of Dayton assistant coach Anthony Solomon. The Flyers could also run into the Florida Gators at some point in the tournament. Dayton head coach Anthony Grant and assistant coaches Darren Hertz and Donnie Jones all worked at Florida under Billy Donovan.

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6. Quick turnaround: Dayton will play its final game in the tournament on Nov. 23. The teams play three games in three days at this event. The last four years — in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, Advocare Invitational, Wooden Legacy and Charleston Classic — Dayton has played three games in four days.

7. History lesson: This is the eighth year for the Battle 4 Atlantis. Dayton will play in the event for the first time. The Flyers haven’t won an in-season tournament since the Old Spice Classic in 2011. They finished 1-2 last season at the Charleston Classic.

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