Wednesday March 25, 2009

Let's Give Them Something to Talk About

The University's role in March Madness made headlines nationwide.

From The New York Times to ESPN to CBS Sports, the University received much acclaim for its on- and off-the-court exploits in the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament.

Media nationwide mentioned the "University of Dayton" or "Dayton Flyers" about 2,700 times during the first week of March Madness. The New York Times had 15 mentions alone; that's about 17 million impressions. Plus, there were countless mentions on ESPN and CBS Sports.

"For the University, when you look at the impact of this, it's really about the national exposure," University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran said in an interview with a local Dayton television station. "People get to see that the University of Dayton is a research institution (and) that we have a lot of big programs (and) a lot of successful programs."

It's fair to say every corner of the nation received a positive mention of the University of Dayton. And, with the Internet, those words and images will circulate for a while.

"University of Dayton Arena. If there is a better venue in which to watch college basketball than this quirky little gem of a gym, I haven't seen it," wrote Mark Story in the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader. The New York Times raved about the University of Dayton Arena and how it's a "real gem of a basketball arena."

Ohio News Network checked out University of Dayton students gathered in Humanities Plaza to watch Dayton's first two NCAA tournament games on a big screen projection TV.

Chris Wright's 27-point, 10-rebound performance in the Flyers' first-round win over West Virginia impressed CBS Sports' Pete Prisco.

"Now he's got a chance to put the program on the current national map. Maybe he can do what Larry Bird did years ago for Indiana State. The Flyers do have some success in the tournament in their history, but until Friday they hadn't won a tournament game since 1990. That means 18-year-old kids trying to decide where to go to school had never seen it before," Prisco wrote. "The Wright show changed that."

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of media relations, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.