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Dayton continues NCAA sanctioned season ending home stand

Somehow the mid major from just up north is getting an incredible handout from the NCAA.

Just your standard sea of red neutral crowd
Just your standard sea of red neutral crowd
Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

It was absurd enough that the NCAA Selection Committee rewarded Dayton for a decent year by giving them a home game in the first four, but things have careered toward the sublime. Based on the point advantage that playing at home usually gives teams, it's easily possible to argue that the obvious foul at the end of that first game shouldn't have even mattered because Boise State should have iced it by then. That wasn't good enough for the powers that be though.

No, next Dayton had to travel just like a real tournament team. They loaded up the buses that would take them to the airport and headed out. Those buses then drove right past the airport and less than an hour down the road to Columbus, where Dayton had the good fortune to play what was functionally another home game. The arena was packed with red by the time the game started, and the crowd clearly made a difference in the game.

If that wasn't bad enough, Dayton also benefited from one of the worst calls of the tournament when Ed Cooley received a technical foul for slamming down a chair. During a timeout. In his own huddle. While talking to his own players. Not content to let what was, at that point, a dramatic game continue to play out, the referees were quick to assess a technical to Cooley for...something. I'm honestly uncertain exactly what it is a coach can be addressing his own team about that makes it necessary for a referee to seek him out and T him up.

This reads a bit like a screed against Dayton, which it really isn't. Dayton needs to be loathed on their own merit, it almost cheapens it to have to assign other reasons. What is just beyond asinine is that the committee decided a team that was in the low 20s or high 30s in every computer system was the last at large team in. The committee then compounded that error by letting that team play in their home arena, and then compounded that by letting that team get another home game with a win. It stings for Xavier fans that the team was Dayton, but it's the NCAA that's at fault here.

And probably Doug Gottlieb, too.