DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Thirty years have gone by since the Dayton Flyers last saw the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.
Flyers past and present are finding they have a lot in common during another improbable championship run.
“We can do it,” said Dan Christie. “We can definitely do it.”
Aside from the music, the hair, and the uniforms of 1984, the similarities are obvious to Christie. He was a point guard for the Flyers from 1983 until 1987.
“I see a lot of good chemistry with the team this year,” said Christie. “They seem to care about each other. You can go a long way with that kind of chemistry.”)
It is the same type of team Christie was part of when the Flyers went as far as the Elite 8. On the way, they beat higher-ranked teams like Washington, LSU, and Oklahoma.
During the run, they got some help from a hot-shooting Roosevelt Chapman.
“Nobody expected us to beat LSU and Chapman made the comment that we had to play Oklahoma who had Wayman Tisdale,” said Christie. “He made the comment, ‘We’ll see who the real All-American is going to be’.”
That comment quickly became part of the chants from the University of Dayton faithful leading up to the Elite 8 game against Georgetown.
“We stumbled and fumbled around early that year in ’83-’84,” said Don Donoher, coach of the Flyers from 1964 to 1989. “And then late in the year, we got going.”
It is just another similarity Donoher sees in this year’s team.
He does not see the current Flyers comparing to the squad from 1984, however. Donoher believes this team has a potential to reach the national championship game like the team from 1967.
“They’re as good as anybody,” said Donoher. “If you keep making those big plays at the end, you can go all the way in this thing.”
The Dayton Flyers will take on Stanford Thursday night at 7:15 p.m. in Memphis, Tenn.