DAYTON, OHIO (WIVB) – University of Dayton Arena is the building the Bonnies will look to win their first NCAA Tournament game since 1970, and its almost a home away from home so to speak.
In A-10 action the Bonnies are here playing against the Dayton Flyers and while it’s usually a hostile crowd, this time around they expect fans to be on their side when they tip Tuesday night against UCLA.
“Yeah, it’ll be the first time we won’t get booed,” head coach Mark Schmidt joked during Monday’s press conference. “I know that since we’re playing in an Atlantic-10 arena, we know that we’ll have a lot of fan support, not just from the Bonnies, but from the Dayton people. So, It should be a good night. It should be a great environment and we’re looking forward to it.”
“It will be nice to have some fans on our side in this building for once,” senior guard Jaylen Adams added. “I’m going to enjoy it a little bit. I think my comfort level is a definitely up.”
Playing in a familiar venue also helps take away some of the jitters of being apart of the “Big Dance” — something no member of this team has experienced.
“Everybody here is used to the rims. We’re used to the atmosphere. We know how loud it gets. We know the court,” senior Matt Mobley said. “So, I feel like it’s an advantage and we’re going to take (make) the most of it.”
“Guys have been in big games and we understand this is the NCAA Tournament,” added Schmidt. “But at the same time it’s another game and we’ve got veteran guys that have played in game games.’
On the injury front Courtney Stockard who was was injured in the A-10 Tournament, will be a game-time decision. He did participate in shoot around on Monday.
St. Bonaventure and UCLA tip-off around 9:10 Tuesday in the second of the “First Four” games at UD Arena. The game can be seen on truTV.