First Team to Get into Final Four in Mythical March Madness

Robert Allen

Plenty of red on the floor in The Palestra, which has been as good a venue as you could ever hope for a mythical NCAA Tournament contested without crowds, pep bands, mascots, and cheerleaders. It was a shame on Saturday as the massive university of the state of Ohio, Ohio State served as the Cinderella to No. 1 seed Dayton. 

Publisher's Note: This is our go at Mythical March Madness and now entering the fourth round. The tournament and results are determined using all-time odds for each seed in NCAA Division I Men's Tournament history for advancement in each round. The roll of dice with rolls of six or below representing the higher-seeded team and rolls of seven or greater representing the lower-seeded team determine the results. If the game is written up as close then the roll of the dice went to the eighth, ninth, or tenth roll. If it is written up as a blowout then it was decided with few rolls needed. This is the Saturday action moving the tournament to the Final Four with the first two teams to clinch a ticket."

The game tipped off with Tim Clougherty tossing the ball in the air and Obi Toppin tipping the ball to point guard Jalen Crutcher. Crutcher dribbled the ball down and spotted Toppin going to the basket and the perfect lob pass became an exclamation point slam dunk to start the game. Toppin and Dayton had their tournament presence threatened in the previous round by Seton Hall, while Ohio State played their best game of the season in trouncing No. 2 seed Duke. Neither happened in the final game of this regional in Philadelphia. 

No. 1 - Dayton  82  No. 3 - Ohio State 68: Dayton advances to the Final Four of Mythical March Madness

Ohio State came down on the other end of the floor and Duane Washington Jr. launched a three from the wing that sailed through the net barely touching the twine and giving the Buckeyes the 3-2 lead. It would be their only lead. 

Toppin, Crutcher and the Flyers other forward in their three guard line-up, Ryan Mikesell combined for 61 points as Dayton held an eight-point lead midway through the first half that grew to 16 points when Crutcher hit a three at the first half buzzer from the baseline with a hand in his face. It was 44-28 at the break. 

Dayton's Jalen Crutcher scored on lay-ups, runners like this, and a pair of three pointers as well in the win over the Buckeyes. USA Today Sports Images - David Kohl

The Buckeyes, led in scoring by Andre Wesson with 18 points, but only his brother Kaleb with 12 points joining him in double figures, made a couple of mini runs in the second half but never got any closer than seven points. 

Dayton was in control the final five minutes, firm control. The Flyers will now head to Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City for the Mythical March Madness Final Four with a record of 33-2. Ohio State with a huge run, but a pop knot on the head from in-state and smaller school in Dayton finished with a 24-11 record.

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