Led by Jordan Sibert, the Dayton Flyers have continued to disprove the doubters.
The Dayton Flyers are not worried about the doubters.
Their only aim is to stay focused on winning games, which in turn, would silence any questions outside observers have had about the No. 11 seed in the South Region of the NCAA Tournament.
After beating the Nos. 6 (Ohio State), 3 (Syracuse) and 10 (Stanford) seeds in the South Region, the Flyers could silence any remaining questions tomorrow when they take on the men's basketball tournament's top overall seed, the Florida Gators, in the Elite Eight at the FedEx Forum in Memphis.
"People have been doubting us and not giving us a lot of credit," redshirt-junior guard Jordan Sibert said Thursday night. "But I know these guys. I know what Coach (Archie Miller) wants. We all want to win.
"At the end of the day, we all want to be winners and be considered winners. We fight every day in practice. We compete every day. No matter what, we just want to go out there and show people that we can compete with anybody and handle anybody.
"We've just been doing that, and we just want to keep it going."
After a 70-67 loss to the St. Joseph's Hawks in the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament in Brooklyn, N.Y., the Flyers thought they would be headed to the National Invitational Tournament (NIT), but on Selection Sunday, they were one of five teams in their conference to be awarded an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Since then, Dayton has been a thorn in the side of the Buckeyes, Orange and Cardinal.
Against Stanford, the Flyers led throughout much of the game, and cruised to a 10-point win, just their third victory by 10 or more points since Feb. 19.
"It was definitely a relief," Sibert said. "It's kind of nerve‑racking when you have to get that stop and you have to make a game‑winning shot to get the win. My teammates did a great job of applying pressure.
"Credit to Stanford. They did a great job, making it tough for us all day. At the end of the game, my teammates did a great job of executing, offensively and defensively, and we were able to stretch our lead."
The Flyers were able to stretch their lead because they pushed the tempo for the entire game.
Dayton scored 36 points in the paint, 14 on fast breaks, and had 11 on second-chance opportunities. The Flyers also turned Stanford's 10 turnovers into 16 points, and outscored Stanford's bench, 34-2.
"It was kind of tough, though, with their length," Sibert said of scoring in the paint. "They were definitely a long team. Ball pressure was definitely high on their part, but I felt like, whenever we had a chance to get it in, we did a good job of getting it in, and we did a good job of finishing around the basket and making everybody else better."