breaking news

Police, state troopers investigating accident on U.S. 40, east of Springfield

Flyers, others bracing for tense league finish


Dayton coach Archie Miller is in a position he certainly wanted to avoid going into the last week of the regular season, but being in a desperate fight for the final spot in the Atlantic 10 tournament is bringing out the best in his team.

The Flyers (16-12, 6-8 A-10) have won three of their last four games and are tied for 11th in the conference with Charlotte (18-10, 6-8) and George Washington (12-15, 6-8). In their last two outings, they’ve produced field-goal percentages of 55 and 61.7 and finally broke through with their first league road win.

“We had a huge week just in terms of understanding where we are and reality and moving toward the postseason with the conference tournament,” Miller said. “The league is so deep right now that every game for us really matters — not that they all didn’t. But there’s a heightened sense of awareness with our players right now.”

The rest of the teams on the “bubble” for the 12-team conference tourney have the same mindset. The Flyers host St. Bonaventure (14-13, 7-7) on Wednesday and then visit GW on Saturday. Six teams are either 6-8 or 7-7 and are fighting for five spots, meaning a 7-9 league record might not be good enough since the 12th seed could be decided by tiebreakers.

“It’s coming down to the end. Every game is important. We know what’s at stake,” St. Bonaventure coach Mark Schmidt said. “One of the teams is going to be left out, and the team that’s left out is going to be a really good team. That’s why this league is so good and so balanced.”

GW coach Mark Lonergan is glad first-round games will be played at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn rather than at campus sites as in past years. The Colonials played at Dayton on the final Saturday last season and returned to UD Arena for their tourney opener the following Tuesday.

But while travel requirements will be the same for all participants, he has a beef with the league leaving out four of its 16 teams.

“I think that’s really disappointing. I felt that way this summer,” he said. “But decisions had to be made for financial reasons or whatever.

“The 13th team is going to be a pretty good team. It might be a team that’s hot that just didn’t get enough wins. It might be a team like us. We’ve beaten some pretty good teams. I just don’t know of any other league where only 12 of 16 make it.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Bengals rookie reluctant to talk, eager to shine
Bengals rookie reluctant to talk, eager to shine

There are two nights during Jordan Willis’ brief NFL career that illustrate who he is as a person. The first was April 28, the day the Cincinnati Bengals drafted Willis in the third round out of Kansas State. While other prospective picks were partying with friends and family while watching the draft on television, Willis was sitting alone in...
Springfield North football: Top 7 players in Panthers history
Springfield North football: Top 7 players in Panthers history

As rivalries go, Springfield North and South had it going on as good as any in the state for its time in the spotlight. Football games at Evans Stadium on Clifton Avenue were a must-see event. Growing up to be a celebrated Panther or Wildcat was a handed-down and expected tradition. North always seemed to be in catch-up mode to South in football, especially...
Observations from Bengals training camp
Observations from Bengals training camp

The Cincinnati Bengals held their final full practice of training camp Wednesday, and the first one void of any fans. After a walk-through Thursday, the Bengals will take Friday off and then face Kansas City on Saturday at Paul Brown Stadium. After that, the schedule shifts into regular-season mode, where media are kicked out of practice after 30 minutes...
Versatile Woeber leads Catholic Central golf team
Versatile Woeber leads Catholic Central golf team

Jacob Woeber plays four sports at Catholic Central, including two in the fall. And he enjoys each one so much that you might have trouble pinning him down if you ask him to name his favorite. He’s a goalkeeper on the soccer team and a top-notch golfer. He also plays basketball and tennis. So, which does he like best? “Honestly, it&rsquo...
High School Football: First-year Urbana coach excited to lead Climbers
High School Football: First-year Urbana coach excited to lead Climbers

What drew Carlton Cotner to become the new football coach at Urbana? The chance to put the winning back in the Hillclimbers’ tradition. “The pride people have in this place is something that just attracts you to it,” Cotner said. MORE FOOTBALL PREVIEWS »Catholic Central short on players, but not expectations »Wildcats...
More Stories