BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) – University of Dayton fans are sitting in bars, sitting on campus, cheering on their team as the Flyers take on The Ohio State University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Dayton coach Archie Miller has known Ohio State’s Thad Matta long enough to not be fooled by his mentor’s friendly, outgoing demeanor.
Miller spent two seasons working as Matta’s assistant at Columbus, and knows how competitive his old boss is.
As if the so-called “Battle of Ohio” needed further subplots with Ohio State (25-6), the South Region’s sixth seed, preparing to face 11th-seeded Dayton (23-10) in the second round of the NCAA tournament in Buffalo on Thursday.
The coaches have known each other for some 20 years, since Matta was an assistant at Miami, Ohio, and first came across Miller in elementary school. Dayton guard Jordan Sibert spent two seasons with the Buckeyes before transferring.
And then there’s the matter of in-state bragging rights between schools separated by 75 miles.