MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Neither Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins nor Dayton's Archie Miller believes the Flyers' substantial edge in depth will make a big difference when the teams meet Thursday in the Sweet 16.
Dawkins has "shortened" his bench during the NCAA tournament, giving his reserves an average of just 29 minutes playing time through two games. They played a combined 46 minutes per game over Stanford's first 33 games.
Dayton, meanwhile, has 11 players averaging double-digit minutes in NCAA play. The Flyers' bench has outscored its Stanford counterparts 56-11.
Miller, younger brother of Arizona coach Sean Miller, said his team's depth has been a benefit over the course of the season. It's good for team morale, he said, and it provides the Flyers enough capable players to conduct competitive practices.
"I also think the NCAA tournament, with the media timeouts, I'm not sure depth's really an issue," Miller said, referring to the long breaks during the games. "Once you get late in the year, you're fresh. When you're on this stage, it's about adrenaline."
Dawkins is impressed with Dayton's numbers but content with the hand he's been dealt.
"He definitely has great depth, and he utilizes it," Dawkins said of Miller. "For us, we've played with our main guys the majority of the season, and that's who we are. I think our kids are accustomed to that. They're in sort of a comfort zone that way."
The Lobos and Jayhawks couldn't hurt them from deep, shooting a combined 9 for 37, just 24.3 percent.
Dayton presents a different challenge. Smaller, but quick and aggressive, the Flyers shoot 37.6 percent from beyond the arc. Three Dayton players convert 40 percent or better from 3-point distance, led by junior Jordan Sibert (79 for 184) at 42.9.
"They keep the floor spaced very well," Dawkins said. "Not only are those guys great shooters, but they handle the basketball very well. They post a difficult challenge.
"We have to be aware of where they are and ready to defend them."
It's happened just twice previously since the NCAA tournament field expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
In 1997, No. 10 Providence beat No. 14 Chattanooga 71-65, then lost to Arizona in the Elite Eight.
But three years ago, underdog Virginia Commonwealth sparkled on the big stage.
The No. 11 Rams defeated No. 10 Florida State 72-71 in overtime at the Sweet 16, then upset No. 1 Kansas 71-61 to advance to the Four Four. The magic ended there for VCU in a 70-62 loss to No. 8 Butler.
ESPN.com reseeded the 16 teams still playing and made Stanford the best of four No. 2 seeds, ranking the Cardinal fifth overall. ESPN rated Arizona, Florida, Kentucky and Virginia as its four top seeds.
USA Today disagrees. In its ranking of the 16 surviving teams, the newspaper had Stanford No. 16. Its top four: Arizona, Michigan State, Florida and Kentucky.
Follow Jeff Faraudo on Twitter at twitter.com/JeffFaraudo.