2024 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament: Today at 4:30 PM, #10 Nevada (Mountain West) plays #7 Dayton (A-10)

By Joe Coopersmith




Nevada (26-7, 13-5 Mountain West) vs. Dayton (24-7, 14-4 Atlantic 10)

Thursday, March 21 – 1:30 p.m. (PT) – Delta Center

TV: TBS (Brad Nessler // Brendan Haywood // Dana Jacobson)

Radio: KNEV 95.5 FM/The Varsity Network app (John Ramey // Len Stevens)

Live Streamhttps://www.tbs.com/watchtbs

Live Stats: https://shorturl.at/rsAN1

RENO, Nev. – After earning an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season and the 11th time in program history, the Nevada Men’s Basketball team is set to face Dayton in the First Round of the West Region.

Nevada earned the No. 10 seed in the West Region, while Dayton received the No. 7 seed. The two squads will face off for the first time throughout history at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on Thursday afternoon.

The contest is slated to tip off at 1:30 p.m. (PT) and will be available for viewing on TBS. The game will air over the radio on KNEV 95.5 FM and through the Varsity Network app, beginning with a pregame show 30 minutes prior to tip.

Led by one of the most successful coaches in Division I Basketball, Steve Alford, Nevada has compiled one of the best individual seasons in program history thus far. The Pack earned 26 victories throughout the regular season, marking the third most wins in a regular season in program history. Nevada defeated three AP ranked opponents, which also set a program record, and the Pack finished second in a loaded Mountain West Conference.

Nevada has gotten it done at a high level at home, on the road, and in neutral site contests this season, as the Pack was 15-2 on their home court, 8-3 in true road games, and 3-2 in neutral site games.

The Pack’s at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament not only marked Nevada’s 11th all-time appearance in March Madness, but also represents Alford’s 13th career appearance in the exclusive event. Alford has made it to four Sweet Sixteens, and he owns a record of 11-12 in the NCAA Tournament throughout his career. After leading Nevada to the NCAA Tournament last season, Alford became one of just four head coaches throughout history to take five different Division I programs to the Tournament. If Nevada is victorious in their first-round matchup, Alford will become one of two coaches all-time to win an NCAA Tournament game at five different schools, joining Lon Kruger in the exclusive club.

After dropping four of five contests in mid-late January, Nevada has been playing at an elite level, as the Pack won 10 of their final 11 regular season games, including earning seven consecutive victories to close out the regular season, before falling to Colorado State in their first game of the Mountain West Tournament.

Since the beginning of February, which marked the beginning of Nevada’s tremendous run leading up to the NCAA Tournament, the Pack’s offensive production and efficiency have notably increased.

Over Nevada’s past 12 games, the Pack is averaging 77.3 points per game, while shooting an exceptional 48.7 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from behind the arc. Nevada is averaging 16.9 assists per contest and burying eight 3-pointers per game over the 10-2 stretch.

Nevada is coming off a difficult loss to Colorado State in the Quarterfinals of the Mountain West Tournament, as the Pack fell behind early in the game and was unable to make up the deficit, despite multiple attempts to get back into the contest down the stretch.

Jarod Lucas led the way for Nevada, scoring a team-high 18 points, while also pulling down three rebounds. The 18 points scored by Lucas marked the ninth consecutive contest in which he has scored 18+ points, as well as the 30th game this season that he has reached double figures in scoring for the Pack.

One of the most prolific scorers on the entire West Coast, Lucas, a 2023-24 All-Mountain West Second Team honoree, as well as an NABC All-District Second Team honoree, continues to rank within the top-10 of the Mountain West in a multitude of offensive statistical categories. Entering the NCAA Tournament, Lucas ranks second in the conference in free throw percentage (89.9%), third in scoring (17.8 PPG), third in made free throws (161), third in made 3-pointers (77), and sixth in 3-point field goal percentage (39.7%).

Lucas in particular has elevated his play over the Pack’s 10-2 stretch entering the NCAA Tournament; and, the fifth-year senior is playing the best basketball of his career as of late. Over Nevada’s past 12 games, Lucas is averaging 18.9 points per game on 42.3 percent shooting from the field and 41.3 percent from behind the arc, while knocking down 2.6 3-pointers per contest. Lucas is also pulling down 3.0 rebounds per game, and he has made an average of 5.3 free throws per contest during the stretch.

In five neutral site contests this season, Lucas has been sensational for the Pack. In neutral site games, he is averaging 19.0 points and 3.2 rebounds per game, while shooting 44.4 percent from the field, 34.2 percent from behind the arc, and 96.3 percent at the free throw line. As a member of the Oregon State team that made it to the Elite Eight in 2021, Lucas will be making his third NCAA Tournament appearance this Thursday.

In the Pack’s loss to Colorado State, Kenan Blackshear battled through sickness to turn in an impressive performance for Nevada. Blackshear scored 16 points on 6-9 shooting from the field, in addition to dishing out a team-high six assists and grabbing four rebounds.

A 2023-24 All-Mountain West Second Team honoree, in addition to earning NABC District 17 Second Team honors, Blackshear has been one of the premier point guards on the West Coast throughout the entire season, and he ranks within the top-25 of the Mountain West in numerous statistical categories. Entering Thursday afternoon’s contest, Blackshear ranks seventh in the conference in assists per game (4.9 APG), 10th in scoring (15.1 PPG), 10th in steals per game (1.4 SPG), 22nd in rebounds per game (4.9 RPG), and 23rd in field goal percentage (49.9%).

Blackshear has been particularly exceptional in the second half of contests for Nevada this season, as he has consistently come through for the Pack down the stretch of games. In the second half of contests this season, Blackshear is averaging 8.7 points and 2.5 assists per game, while shooting 55.7 percent from the field. In the first half of games this season, he is averaging 6.1 points and 2.3 assists, while shooting 42.8 percent from the field.

In five neutral site contests this season, Blackshear has played at a prolific level, as he is averaging 16.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game, while shooting an outstanding 63.3 percent from the field for Nevada. He had one of the best performances of his career in a neutral site victory over Georgia Tech earlier this season, where he scored 30 points on 11-14 shooting from the field, grabbed five rebounds, and dished out four assists. He was a critical asset that helped the Pack win the 2023 Diamond Head Classic Championship.

Nick Davidson was limited to just 25 minutes of action in the Pack’s loss to Colorado State in the Mountain West Tournament; however, he still managed to score nine points and pull down six rebounds in the game.

A 2023-24 All-Mountain West Third Team honoree, Davidson has had a breakout sophomore campaign for Nevada. Davidson has significantly elevated his game since the commencement of Mountain West play, and he has been instrumental during the Pack’s 10-2 run in their past 12 games.

In conference play this season, Davidson averaged 13.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per game, while shooting 54.7 percent from the field, 31.5 percent from behind the arc, and 74.6 percent at the free throw line. During Nevada’s past 12 games, Davidson has played at an exceptional level for the Pack. The redshirt sophomore is averaging 15.0 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, while shooting 58.3 percent from the field, 34.2 percent from behind the arc, and 75.0 percent at the free throw line throughout Nevada’s 10-2 stretch entering the NCAA Tournament. Davidson has recorded seven double-doubles this season, six of which came during Mountain West play.

Senior forward Tre Coleman also did not have his best outing during the Pack’s loss to Colorado State in the Mountain West Tournament; but, Coleman has been playing incredibly well for Nevada this season since the Pack entered conference play. A 2023-24 All-Mountain West Defensive Team honoree, Coleman has been vital on the defensive end of the court for Nevada the past two seasons. Offensively, Coleman has made a significant increase in his play this season, especially since the Pack opened conference play in early January. In 18 Mountain West games this season, Coleman averaged 9.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game, while shooting 46.5 percent from the field and 43.3 percent from behind the arc. In 15 non-conference games this season, Coleman averaged 7.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game, while shooting 44.2 percent from the field and 23.7 percent from behind the arc.

Daniel Foster and Hunter McIntosh have each played a significant role in Nevada’s success this season. Foster has appeared in all 33 games while making four starts, serving as an elite defender for the Pack, and he has done an exceptional job of rebounding, particularly on the offensive glass. McIntosh has been one of the best 3-point shooters in the country this season, and he has consistently provided a strong offensive burst off the bench for Nevada. McIntosh currently ranks first in the Mountain West in 3-point field goal percentage this season (44.9%).

As a team, Nevada continues to rank as one of the premier defensive squads in the country this season. Ahead of Thursday’s matchup, the Pack is 41st in the nation in opponent field goal percentage (41.7%), 48th in the country in scoring defense (67.1 PPG), and 74th in the nation in opponent 3-point field goal percentage (31.8%).

Nevada has also continued to rank as one of the most prolific teams in the country in terms of taking care of the ball. The Pack is tied for 36th in the nation in fewest turnovers per game (10.0), 30th in the country in assist/turnover ratio (1.51), and 61st in the nation in turnover margin (+1.9).

Nevada’s offense has continued to improve throughout the season, and the Pack is currently 41st in the country in field goal percentage (47.5%) and 46th in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage (36.5%).

The Pack will aim to secure their first NCAA Tournament victory since 2018 and advance to the Second Round; however, a high-powered Dayton team that ranks as one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country stands in the way of Nevada’s aspirations.

Scouting Dayton

Dayton enters Thursday’s contest with an overall record of 24-7, including a mark of 14-4 in the Atlantic-10.

The Flyers put together one of longest winning streaks in the country this season, reeling off 13 consecutive victories at one point; however, Dayton is 5-4 in their past nine contests following the impressive win streak.

The Flyers are one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country, as they rank third in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage this season, shooting an exceptional 40.2 percent from behind the arc throughout the year.

Individually, Dayton is led by AP Second Team All-American DaRon Holmes II. Holmes has been sensational for the Flyers throughout the season, averaging a team-high 20.4 points per game on 54.5 percent shooting from the field and 38.5 percent from behind the arc. Holmes is also pulling down a team-high 8.4 rebounds per game, in addition to averaging 2.1 blocks per contest. Holmes has scored in double figures in 28 of 31 contests this season, and he has recorded 12 double-doubles.

6-foot-7 forward Nate Santos joins Holmes in the front court, as the duo has proven to be one of the most formidable in the country. Santos ranks second on the team in scoring (12.0 PPG) and rebounding (6.4 RPG), while shooting 47.9 percent from the field and 42.7 percent from behind the arc.

The Flyers’ boast a dangerous back court, led by guards Kobe Elvis, Javon Bennett, and Enoch Cheeks. Elvis and Bennett have proven to be excellent facilitators, as they rank first and second on the team in assists this season. Cheeks has been outstanding on the defensive end of the court, averaging a team-high 1.2 steals per game.

Dayton has one of the most dangerous bench players in the country in junior guard Koby Brea. Brea has been lethal from behind the arc this season, as he ranks first in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage with a tremendous clip of 49.2 percent. Brea is third on the team in scoring, averaging 10.9 points per contest.

Nevada will have to protect the 3-point line and limit the production of Holmes in order to advance to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament and face the winner of No. 2 Arizona and No. 15 Long Beach State.

Series History

Thursday afternoon’s contest will mark the first-ever matchup between Dayton and Nevada.

Follow The Pack 

Follow Nevada Men’s Basketball on social media at @NevadaHoops (X), @nevadahoops (Instagram), and on Facebook at @NevadaMBB


UD Will Play Nevada In Salt Lake City





DAYTON — The University of Dayton men’s basketball team will take on Nevada in the first round of the 2024 NCAA tournament in Salt Lake City, UT on Thursday March 21st.  Game time is 4:30 p.m. ET.  Dayton is 24-7 overall and was third in the A-10 at 14-4.

The game will be carried by WHIO Radio, televised on TBS and streamed on NCAA.com.  Streaming live stats are available at DaytonFlyers.com.

Dayton coach Anthony Grant is one of six coaches who has his alma mater in this year’s tournament. The others are Hubert Davis of North Carolina, Jamie Dixon of TCU, Andy Kennedy of UAB, Matt Painter of Purdue and Jon Scheyer of Duke.

• Anthony Grant is on the Naismith National Coach of the Year the Late-Season Watch List, and will be recognized as an NABC Guardian of the Game at this year’s Final Four.
• DaRon Holmes II was named A-10 Co-Player of the Year and A-10 Defensive Player of the Year. He was the only player on the first team and the all-defensive team.
• Holmes is on four prestigious preseason watch lists — Atlanta Tip-Off Club’s Naismith Award (1 of 10 semifinalists ), the Los Angeles Athletic Club’s John R. Wooden Award (15-man ballot), the USBWA Oscar Robertson Watch List (top 40) and the Karl Malone Award (Top 5 finalist).
• Holmes leads the A-10 in scoring (20.4) and rebounding (8.4).  He is the only player in the league’s top 10 in scoring, rebounding, FG%, and blocked shots.
• Holmes is now the Dayton career record holder for blocked shots (213) and dunks (237).
• He is one of two players in D-I who has more than 65 blocks, 65 dunks and 65 assists this season.  Zach Edey is the other.  Holmes has 66, 67 and 78 respectively.   Holmes also has 30 threes and is shooting .385 (30-78) from deep.  He had just seven threes coming into the year.
• He has already been named an All-American by The Sporting News (second team),Associated Press (second team) ESPN.com (third team) and Field of 68 (third team).
• Nate Santos is Third Team All-Atlantic 10…  He was named to the Charleston Classic All-Tournament Team.  UD finished second in Charleston, falling in the finals to Houston.
• Santos needed 10 games to match what he scored in two years at Pitt (116 points in 54 G).
• Koby Brea is the A-10 Sixth Man of the Year for the second time in his career.  He is just the second two-time Sixth Man (James Posey of Xavier in 1997 and 1998). Brea leads the nation in 3-pt. FG% (min. 2.5/game.).  Brea is shooting .492 (91-185).
• As a team, Dayton is third in D-I in 3-pt. FG% (.402, 295-734).  The school record is .392.
• Brea is third at UD in career 3-pt. FG% (.430, 215-500).  Norm Grevey is second (.432).
• Kobe Elvis missed his first free throw of the season, and made his next 37, breaking old the UD record held by Damon Goodwin and Darrell Davis.  He was A-10 Player of the Week twice.
• Javon Bennett leads the A-10 in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.4) by nearly a full assist (2.6).
• Enoch Cheeks has scored in double figures in eight of the last 11 games (twice in first 20).
• Malachi Smith was injured seven minutes into the opener, and after successful surgery to repair a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee, is out for the rest of the year.

• Thursday’s winner will play the winner of Arizona vs. Long Beach State on Saturday.