The Dayton Flyers have all the trappings of a classic Cinderella team: low seed (11), big victories (Ohio State and Syracuse), and an overall surprising run in the NCAA tournament (only 3.1 percent of CBS Sports brackets had Dayton advancing to the Sweet Sixteen). But closer inspection reveals that the school in fact has a very rich basketball tradition. While the Flyers may appear to be this year's Cinderella on paper, they have more in common with the powerhouse teams joining them in the Sweet Sixteen than one might think.
Below are 11 things about the school and program that you might not have known:
Last season Dayton had the 26th highest men's basketball attendance in the NCAA.
The Flyers boasted a higher average attendance (12,438) than seven of the other teams joining them in the Sweet Sixteen, including Michigan (12,138), UConn (10,728), Florida (10,677), UCLA (9,549) and Baylor (6,705). This is especially impressive when you consider that the school's fall 2013 enrollment was just 10,856 total students.
The Flyers all-time record at UD Arena is an impressive 550-196 (.737 win percentage). This home-court advantage exists in no small part because of "The Red Scare," Dayton's student section.
Make no mistake, this is a basketball school.
Dayton is one of the most affordable cities in America.
Forbes recently ranked Dayton at the fourth-most-affordable city in America. It's also home to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, in case you're looking for a gift shop to blow all that money you saved by moving to Dayton.
Their school president is kind of a bro.
Following the Flyers upset of Syracuse, school president Daniel Curran didn't just sit in his office and send a polite email to alumni requesting donations. Nope, Dan was right in the thick of a gigantic celebration on campus that required police intervention (five arrests were reportedly made).
President Curran, carried down Kiefaber as students shout "Dan! Dan! Dan!" pic.twitter.com/ZGmHw36dkj
— William Garbe (@wgarbe) March 23, 2014
We're not sure what Dan was up to after crowd surfing, but this seems like the natural progression...
Sure enough, a parody Facebook account for Curran soon emerged, which caused quite a stir with this message:
In addition to possessing a great basketball program, Dayton also has some top-notch trolls.
The guy who invented "Control-Alt-Delete" went there.
Indeed, the man who has been a savior to us all -- David Bradley, the inventor of the Control-Alt-Delete command -- is a Dayton alumnus.
Other notable alumni include Dan Patrick, Jon Gruden, and Erma Bombeck.
This team still has a long way to go to match the school's best-ever NCAA tournament performance.
While the Flyers run to the Sweet Sixteen is definitely impressive, they still have a ways to go to match the performance of the 1967 team. Those Flyers made it all the way to the national championship game before eventually falling to UCLA, who was led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor). In 1984, Dayton made it all the way to the Elite Eight as a 10-seed, where their run was ended by another dominant center, Georgetown's Patrick Ewing.
The school opened in 1850 under the name "St. Mary's School for Boys."
According to the university's official website:
"On July 1, 1850, St. Mary's School for Boys, a frame building that not long before had housed farm hands, opened its doors to 14 primary students from Dayton. Known at various times as St. Mary's School, St. Mary's Institute and St. Mary's College, the school assumed its present identity in 1920."
Good change, although I wouldn't mind getting my hands on a super throwback "St. Mary's School for Boys" basketball jersey.
Dayton's coach, Archie Miller, is the brother of Arizona coach Sean Miller.
35-year-old Dayton coach Archie Miller is joined in the Sweet Sixteen by his older brother, 45-year-old Arizona coach Sean Miller. Greg Gumbel briefly mixed up the two siblings while speaking to Archie, in what quickly became one of the more awkward TV interviews I've ever seen.
Archie served as an assistant coach under Sean for two years at Arizona from 2009-2011 before taking the top job for the Flyers. For obvious reasons, the school seems to like him, as they just agreed to a contract extension through 2019.
The two brothers have never faced each other as college head coaches, but would be slated to meet if both of their teams advance to the Final Four.
Archie Miller's wife might be getting more press than any player on the roster.
Wow! Same shirt as Maui! ❤ SO, proud of this team! #DaytonFlyers #ADVANCE #MARCHMADNESS pic.twitter.com/D6Y6vWGesx
— Morgan Miller (@BballWife4Life) March 20, 2014
If you dig the shirt, you can get one for yourself at LogosAtPlay.com.
Since 2005, the size of the campus has nearly doubled and it's beautiful.
Since 2005, the University of Dayton has nearly doubled in size geographically because of land purchases.
The Chronicle of Higher Education has said of the university's recent transformation, "The pace of change at the University of Dayton in the past decade has been among the most rapid and substantial seen at any American university." The extra land has created a very beautiful campus, at least according to the American Society of Landscape Architects, who gave the school an Honor Award last summer.
Their nickname, 'The Flyers,' is a nod to the Wright Brothers.
Because Orville and Wilbur Wright were from Dayton, so that's pretty cool.
One of the team's most valuable players isn't even on the roster.
14-year-old Trevin Gray became involved with Dayton's basketball program through TEAM Impact, a non-profit organization that aims to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening illnesses. It didn't take long for Gray to catch on as an honorary team member. As sophomore guard Devon Scott explained, "We see Trevin two-to-three times a week, at games and practices. He is one of us and that's how we treat him ... I gave him a practice shirt and told him, 'You're part of this team. You need to look like it.' He got a big kick out of that."
Trevin will be rooting hard for the team as they play in the Sweet Sixteen, and maybe that should give you a reason to cheer for them too.