By Tim Graham
The Ohio State Buckeyes weren't merely going to show up this afternoon and advance to the field of 32.
The sixth-seeded Buckeyes have won at least three NCAA tournament games each of the past three seasons, but the 11th-seeded Dayton Flyers are proving that little is automatic in March.
Dayton leads the intrastate powerhouse, 33-30, at halftime in the First Niagara Center.
Dayton center Matt Kavanaugh and Ohio State guard Aaron Craft are the leading scorers so far with nine points apiece. Dayton forward Dyshawn Pierre and Ohio State center Amir Williams each has six rebounds.
The Buckeyes are shooting only 44 percent, while the Flyers are at 50 percent with a slightly better performance in turnovers and identical rebunding numbers.
Ohio State breezed to a 5-0 lead, but Dayton found its legs and pulled ahead 4:22 into the first half.
Dayton guard Jordan Sibert, a transfer from Ohio State two years ago, got his team on the scoreboard with a three-pointer in front of the Ohio State bench and briefly stared at his former teammates.
Soon after, Devin Oliver added a spirited dunk to tie the score and then a three-pointer off a pass from Sibert for a 10-7 Dayton lead.
Dayton was ahead for over seven minutes until Craft made a couple free throws to give Ohio State a 22-21 edge 8:15 before halftime.
The margin has stayed close since, with multiple lead changes in the final three minutes. Dayton lurched ahead by five points 83 seconds before halftime.
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