1. X marks the spot: Cultural references have well documented the last time the University of Dayton men’s basketball team beat Xavier in Cincinnati. Ronald Reagan was settling into his first term. John Lennon’s “(Just Like) Starting Over” was the top song on the Billboard 100. New York Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning was 10 days old. Gas cost $1.38 per gallon. The year was 1981. The Flyers attempt to end a 27-game losing streak at Xavier 9 p.m. Wednesday. UD came close last season before falling 86-83 in overtime. Is this the year? Dayton leads the overall series 84-74, but Xavier has won 24 of the 33 meetings since 2000.
2. Harbaugh’s connected to Miami Valley: Whatever you want to call Sunday’s game — the SuperBaugh or the HarBowl — the two coaches who lead their teams into Super Bowl XLVII (Baltimore’s John and San Francisco’s Jim) have roots to the area. Their father, Jack, got his first coaching job at Eaton High School. Two successful seasons later he guided Xenia High to the Western Ohio League championship. John also played defensive back for the Miami RedHawks before graduating in 1984. Jack and Jackie Harbaugh still have friends in the Dayton area.
3. Whose No. 1?: The road to Columbus starts Sunday. High school girls basketball coaches gather at various sites to determine the seeds for the Ohio High School Athletic Association sectional tournament. The top seeds are more obvious in some sectionals while coaches have a tough choice in others. Fairmont might have been considered a lock at No. 1 in the Division I Dayton open sectional until Centerville handed them their first loss last week. And in the Division III sectional at Tipp City, only two of these three — Anna, Miami East and Versailles, a combined 46-7 — will advance to district.
4. Baked Alaska?: The Miami RedHawks look to keep their hold on second place in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association when they host the Alaska Nanooks on Friday and Saturday, both at 7:05 p.m. Miami (15-6-5) enters ranked No. 5 in the nation. Alaska (11-8-4), fifth in the CCHA, received a vote in the poll. Miami swept the series in Alaska on Nov. 30-Dec. 1, winning 5-2 and 4-0.
5. Edison puts charge into OCCAC: The Edison Chargers can put a jolt into their Ohio Community College Athletic Conference title aspirations with a pair of wins this week. Edison (9-7 overall, 3-1 OCCAC) hosts Owens CC (14-7, 3-1) on Wednesday and travels to Lakeland CC (14-4, 4-0) on Saturday. The Chargers are led by former Thurgood Marshall head coach John Ralph. Former Northridge graduate Jordan Taylor leads the Chargers with 14.7 points per game and is followed by Covington’s Eric Beckstedt (14.1), Tippecanoe’s Brandon Ervin (13.9) and Northmont’s Nick Tingle (12.6). They’ll need every bit of those points and more against a Lakeland team averaging 92 points and an Owens team averaging 85, tops in the OCCAC.