Dayton beat Boise State 56-55 tonight to advance to the first round proper of the NCAA tournament, but Boise State and their fans will spend the next couple of weeks believing they were jobbed. Boise State's Derrick Marks saw his last second three-point attempt miss badly, but he'll argue that he only missed because Kyle Davis fouled him. The referees made no call.
While controversial calls and no-calls aren't an infrequent occurrence and don't necessarily mean anything shady is afoot, the NCAA really set themselves up for disaster with this one, as the no-call benefiting Dayton was made on their home floor. Dayton's gym was chosen as the site for the ostensibly neutral court First Four games years ago*. But even knowing this, the tournament selection committee decided to place Dayton in the play-in round, essentially giving them a home game against Boise.
But three days ago, the NCAA said it was all good. Of course they did. Via the Dayton Daily News:
NCAA tournament selection committee chairman Scott Barnes acknowledged that the Flyers will have a homecourt advantage, but said putting UD in its home arena "falls within the context" of the committee's procedures.
"It was talked about quite a lot and revisited as late as last night," Barnes said on CBS' Selection Show.
Dayton will face Providence on Friday, this time traveling far from home ... to Columbus, 70 miles away.