Busting Brackets

VCU vs No. 25 Dayton: 2023-24 college basketball game preview, TV schedule

VCU and No. 25 Dayton face off in the final game of the regular season ahead of the Atlantic 10 Tournament in Brooklyn next week. Who has the edge in this matchup?

Dayton v VCU
Dayton v VCU / Ryan M. Kelly/GettyImages

With one regular season game left for each team ahead of the Atlantic 10 tournament, we can expect a highly anticipated matchup between two of the league's top teams on Friday night. While the Richmond Spiders have already secured the top seed for the first time in program history, it will be a battle for the remaining top seeds for the conference tournament. In fact, VCU is right behind Dayton in the A-10 standings, making this Friday night game even more critical for both squads.

TV schedule: Friday, March 8, 7:00 p.m. EST ESPN2

Arena: UD Arena in Dayton, Ohio

Despite being ranked the 25th-best team in the nation, Dayton holds the third seed in the Atlantic 10 behind Richmond and Loyola Chicago; however, with a win against VCU and a Ramblers loss to La Salle on Saturday, they can secure the second seed in the tournament. Dayton's loss to the Ramblers in Chicago last weekend hurt them, but a win against Saint Louis last time out helped them snap a three-game road losing streak and get back on track.

The Flyers are 14-0 at UD Arena this year and will look to make it a perfect season on their home court against the Rams. They'll be led by early A-10 Player of the Year candidate Daron Holmes II, who leads the conference in points, averaging 20.1 and shooting 55.3 percent, and junior guard Koby Brea, who has been red-hot lately, averaging 3.2 made three-pointers over the last 10 games. We can expect Holmes II and Brea to give the Flyers a spark on offense against a solid defensive team in VCU.

On the flip side, VCU is 11-6 in conference play, most recently coming off back-to-back losses to Richmond and Duquesne; however, Friday night presents an opportunity for the Rams to get back in the win column before heading to Brooklyn. VCU is led by senior guard Max Shulga, averaging 15.0 points per game and 4.9 rebounds. The Rams are fourth in the Atlantic 10 in defensive rebounds, averaging 24.6 per game, with Shulga averaging 4.6. We can expect the Utah State transfer to impact both ends of the floor significantly.

Latest Bubble Watch. dark. Next. Latest Bubble Watch

While VCU could gain momentum ahead of the tournament, the Flyers should handle business on Friday night. I think the Rams will give Dayton a run for their money, but in the end, they will outplay VCU on their home court, which they've done all season long at the UD Arena. I wouldn't be surprised if Holmes II and Brea take over and lead the Flyers to victory to give Dayton a chance to secure the second seed in the A-10 tournament next week.

Prediction: Dayton 76, VCU 68