The Dayton Flyers may be the higher seed for Friday night's NCAA tournament but the pencil ink has been used up on Wichita State so far during bracket season. For many it's all but a given that Wichita State conquers the first round and many are more focused on whether they can upset in Kentucky in round two – which a few pundits are actually predicting.
Wichita State is actually favoured pretty considerably at -6.5 for a #10 seed over a #7. Everybody knows that's one of the most prime upset spots along with 12/5 and 11/6 but it's not an upset when you're expected to win. Regardless, over 60% of the betting public is expecting Wichita State to cover the number.
The Shockers did have a pretty good year – which is an understatement with their 30-4 record. Three of the four losses were against tournament teams (Louisville, Michigan State, Oklahoma State) and another who many thought should have made it (Illinois State). The Shockers have since won 15 straight.
So why no love for Dayton? The Flyers themselves had a solid 24-7 season although they have lost their last two heading into the tournament. Wichita State has travelled well in the tournament lately, but don't overlook the fact that Dayton is less than 2 hours away from the Indianapolis South region site.
Everybody remembers the miraculous Wichita State run in the 2013 tournament where they made the Final Four only to fall short of a championship berth via a four-point loss to Louisville. They've made the 3rd round in 2014 and the Sweet 16 in 2015 but only round 2 a year ago. It might be a bit easier to overlook Dayton's recent tournament success. They were knocked out in the first round a year ago by Final Four bound Syracuse but had made it to the third in 2015 and the Elite 8 in 2014 both as #11 seeds.
Wichita State is a great team with a great coach in Gregg Marshall. Their offence is 20th in the country in PPG and 4th in 3-point percentage at 40.8%. Similarly, their defence is top 5 rated in FG% allowed at 37.8%.
All this shows why bettors are confident in Wichita State not only advancing but also covering. What Dayton's tourney history has shown though is they like having a chip on their shoulder like they did with their 11 seed success. March is made for Madness, and the Flyers are aiming to be the Busters in this matchup. Dayton plus the points is the pick.