Small Conference Game of the Day – December 19

Iona at Dayton, 7:00PM Eastern, NBC Sports Network

The SCGD heads to Dayton, Ohio tonight for a very interesting matchup between Tim Cluess’s Iona Gaels and Archie Miller’s Dayton Flyers.  Iona enters this game with a 5-3 record and coming off a disappointing home loss to St. Bonaventure this past weekend.  However, the Gaels are still the most likely team to contend with Manhattan for the MAAC championship this season, even if not in the at-large bid discussion.  According to KenPom, Iona’s adjusted offensive efficiency rates #34 in the country, easily making them the tops in that department in the MAAC.

The Dayton Flyers, on the other hand, are still attempting to rebound from a loss two games ago at Illinois State.  Before that loss the Flyers had slipped into the Top 25 rankings, on the strength of wins over Georgia Tech, Gonzaga and California.  The Flyers still have four more non-conference games left after tonight, including a home game against USC and a trip to Marshall Henderson country (a/k/a Ole Miss).  If they can run through these last five game before A-10 play without any blemishes, they should be in prime position for an NCAA tournament appearance even if they slip up a few times in what should be a very entertaining A-10 season.  These games are of some extra importance though given that the quirks of the A-10 schedule have the Flyers only playing UMass, George Washington, VCU and St. Louis once each — a schedule which should let them seriously contend for the regular season title but also will not give them as much of a boost in ratings such as RPI, BPI and KenPom as some of the other teams in the conference will get.

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