ALBANY, N.Y. -- The Flyers have landed in the Elite Eight.
Seventh-seeded Dayton is the NCAA tournament's official giant killer, topping last week's upset of No. 2 seed Kentucky with a convincing 82-66 victory over third-seeded Louisville at the Times-Union Center.
With a run-and-gun offense taken straight from the Steve Nash-Phoenix Suns playbook and a poised, acting like-they've-been-here demeanor, the Flyers have proven they belong with the nation's top programs.
Propelled by Andrea Hoover's 26 points, Dayton neutralized Louisville's vaunted defensive pressure, overcoming 14 first-half turnovers to take a 30-29 halftime lead, then coughing up the ball just five times in the second half to take complete control. Coach Jim Jabir's squad shot 50.9 percent from the field, and an incredible 26-of-30 from the line (86.7 percent).
The Flyers put on a defensive show of their own, forcing Louisville into a miserable 23-for-73 shooting night, including just 1-of-15 from 3-point range.
Now, Dayton has another chance to prove it belongs Monday night, when the upstart faces top-ranked UConn, the two-time defending NCAA champ.
Key stat: For nearly the entire game, Dayton didn't miss at the line, converting its first 17 free throws after going 28 of 31 from the line against Kentucky. Hoover led the way, sinking all 15 of her foul shots.
Turning point: Myisha Hines-Allen put Louisville on her back with three straight buckets midway through the second half, including an 18-foot jumper to close what had been a 10-point Flyers lead to 55-53 with 8:40 to play. But Dayton's Ally Malott, who had struggled all game, made a strong drive to the basket and drew Hines-Allen's fourth foul. Malott finished the layup and converted the free throw for a three-point play that sent the Cards' hot hand to the bench. It started a 13-0 run that booked the Flyers' date with the Huskies.
Key player: Hoover, who along with Amber Deane handled every pressure defense Louisville could muster. Hoover became the first player in NCAA tournament history to shoot 100 percent from the line on a minimum of 12 attempts.
How it was won: Dayton harried Louisville's perimeter players all game, taking away open looks from behind the arc and contributing to the Cards' 1-for-15 day from 3-point range. Offensively, Dayton pushed the pace but rarely played out of control.
What's next: UConn. Which means two sleepless nights, and two days of convincing themselves that they're glad they were placed into this part of the bracket. Remember, playing the Huskies Monday night is a "great opportunity."