Flyer Frenzy: Then and Now

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The last time the University of Dayton Flyers made it to the Sweet Sixteen was 1984.

And when UD faced off against Washington 30 years ago, the campus erupted in a celebration that suddenly looks very familiar.

Fashion choices and hairstyles may have changed, but the spirit of the Flyer Faithful has not.

In 1984, the fans’ motto was “You gotta believe.” Those words were printed on buttons and displayed on signs hanging from campus housing.

In 2014, students continue to show their Flyer pride. Banners decorate many houses and the sign making continued Wednesday.

Even the celebrations after a big win, nearly identical.

March 22nd, 2014, UD beat Syracuse to make it into the Sweet Sixteen. Students filled the streets as police from several departments stood ready for any problems.

Almost 30 years before, thousands packed the fieldhouse to watch UD take on Washington on March 23rd, 1984. Flyer Fever resulted in furniture burning in the streets, and there was even an “official” campus bonfire.

But regardless of the decade, the love of the Flyers hasn’t wavered a bit.

So when the team takes the court Thursday in Memphis, the players will  once again have an entire community cheering them on. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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