The VCU Rams (17-8, 7-5 Atlantic 10) host the No. 5 Dayton Flyers (23-2, 12-0 A-10) Tuesday night inside the Stuart Siegel Center in Richmond, Va. Dayton looks to continue its perfect A-10 conference record and sweep the season series against the Flyers.
The Flyers dropped VCU at home (79-65) back in January that included a 22-0 run in the second half. VCU will try and end a two-game losing A-10 losing streak. The Flyers are a three-point favorite at VCU.
What to Know – Dayton
Not even ranked in the preseason, the Dayton Flyers have had a banner season so far in the A-10. The Flyers are 23-2 this season, with its only losses coming at the hands of Kansas (90-84) and Colorado in overtime (78-76).
Dayton is undefeated in conference play and has not dropped a game since Dec. 21. With six games left before the conference tournament, the Flyers are trying to make a case for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
The Flyers feature one of the most prolific offensive attacks in the nation, with four individuals averaging 10 points or more per game. A-10 Rookie of the Year last season, forward Obi Toppin has picked up right where he left off.
The redshirt sophomore is averaging a team-high 19.7 points per game. Dayton also gets scoring output from junior guard Jalen Crutcher (14.8 ppg), senior guard Trey Landers (10.8 ppg) and redshirt junior guard Ibi Watson (10.6 ppg).
Dayton’s +15.6 scoring margin is 5th in the nation and best in the A-10. Its scoring margin is fueled by scoring 81.2 points per game and allowing just 65.6. The Flyers rank in the top ten in both NET and KenPom rankings.
What to Know – VCU
Having lost three of its last four, the Rams are now on the bubble to make the NCAA Tournament. A victory over the Flyers would give last season’s A-10 Coach of the Year Mike Rhoades’ squad a major boost in the eyes of the selection committee. VCU has an excellent 13-2 record on its home floor this season.
Similar to the Flyers, the Rams have a balanced scoring attack with three players providing a bulk of the scoring. Junior forward Marcus Santos-Silva is the team’s leading scoring averaging 12.7 points per game.
Guards De’Riante Jenkins (11.0 ppg) and Marcus Evans (10.3 ppg) add additional scoring options from the backcourt. Evans sat out Saturday’s contest, and his status is unknown for Tuesday’s battle. Jenkins poured in 16 points the last time these two teams met.
VCU has the third-best scoring defense in the conference, allowing 64.3 points per game to go along with its 72.0 ppg average on offense. The Flyers are also top in the conference and 5th in the nation with a 5.2 turnover margin.
Creating turnovers will be key if the Rams have any chance to upset the Flyers.
The Pick is In
Dayton has yet to drop a true road game this season but is just 2-4 ATS. However, with VCU guard Marcus Evans status for Tuesday’s game in question and the team trending the wrong way, we like the Flyers -3.