UD and its fans bask in the limelight of the basketball team’s success


Photo: Sam Barton

After this column was written, The Flyers won an 82-72 victory over Stanford, earning them admission into the Elite Eight. Riot squads flocked to UD to quell potential rioting.

By Jake Shook, Flyer Staff

It’s been 30 years since a University of Dayton president has had a reason to crowd-surf across a massive swarm of students during a party in UD’s infamous “Ghetto.”

The 11-seeded Dayton Flyers Men’s Basketball Team has become this year’s “Cinderella Story” during their improbable run of upsets in the annual NCAA Tournament known as March Madness.

Led by senior forward Devin Oliver and redshirt junior guard Jordan Sibert, the Flyers have stunned the nation with their upset wins over sixth-seeded Ohio State and third-seeded Syracuse at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, N.Y. Both games came down to a last-second shot for the opposing team, which they missed.

And it’s fair to say that Dayton Head Coach Archie Miller is thanking the basketball Gods. “Buffalo’s been good to us these last couple of days on the buzzer shots,” Miller told the Associated Press. While Dayton’s B-list roster of players has found their 15 minutes of fame, Miller is taking the recent national recognition all the way to the bank. UD signed the third-year coach to an extension that lasts through the 2019 season.

There’s another group that is openly showing appreciation for the school’s basketball team: the UD student body. A mob of Dayton students flooded onto Kiefaber Street in the student housing region of UD to celebrate the Flyers’ victory the only way they knew how, by smashing cars and lighting various objects on fire. But the students weren’t the only ones celebrating in the streets. University of Dayton President Daniel Curran was filmed crowd-surfing across the chaos.

Police forces didn’t appear to approve of the party as much as President Curran, as police in riot gear marched down Kiefaber around 1 a.m., threatening party-goers with nightsticks and pepper spray if they didn’t go indoors. At least 5 arrests have been confirmed.

Regardless of the negative attention to student “activities,” the Flyers basketball team has made a national name for themselves as this year’s “Cinderella.” They will take on the 10-seeded Stanford Cardinal on Thursday, March 27, with a trip to the Elite 8 and maybe a party invitation or two on the line.