Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Florida Regional
Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex (Linder Stadium) – Gainesville, FL

[9] Florida Gators (18-6) vs. [49-64] North Florida Ospreys (11-11) – Saturday Noon ET – The Florida regional is the only regional that had all four teams get in after winning their conference tournament. Florida got the SEC’s automatic bid after beating Georgia in the finals of the SEC Tournament while North Florida earned its first-ever NCAA berth after defeating USC-Upstate in the finals of the Atlantic Sun Tournament. Florida has won the doubles point nine straight times (7 of 9 opponents ranked inside top 50) and in fact they’ve only dropped three individual doubles matches in that nine-match span. UNF has won the doubles point in 12 of its last 13 matches though none of those opponents were ranked inside the top 50. 

Doubles Records: Florida 19-5, North Florida 14-6

UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Florida 84, North Florida 78

FYI, the number beside the player’s school is the player’s Universal Tennis Rating as of May 8th. For more details about UTR check out their website. 

The UTR Power 6 is the combined UTRs of the starting 6 (rounded to a whole #).  An individual win/loss to anyone with a UTR difference of 1.0 or greater would be considered an upset.   

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #10 Diego Hidalgo (UF 14.61) vs. #109 Jack Findel-Hawkins (UNF 13.55)
2. #53 Alfredo Perez (UF 14.41) vs. Lasse Muscheites (UNF 13.16)
3. #37 Elliott Orkin (UF 14.11) vs. Yannick Zuern (UNF 13.35)
4. #120 Chase Perez-Blanco (UF 14.04) vs. Julian Bradley (UNF 12.97)
5. Gordon Watson (UF 13.56) vs. Sahil Deshmukh (UNF 12.28)
6. McClain Kessler (UF 13.75) vs. Jonathan Deautriell (UNF 12.45)
O: Maxx Lipman (UF 13.26); Zachary Goldberg (UNF 12.74)

North Florida will be making the short 80-mile drive from Jacksonville to Gainesville so I expect they’ll have some support but unless they are playing Canadian doubles I don’t see anyway they win this match. I like Florida in doubles and Perez, Watson, and Kessler to finish first in singles. Prediction: Florida 4-0. 

[17-32] South Florida Bulls (20-8) vs. [33-48] St. John’s Red Storm (21-5) – Saturday 9am ET – USF got the American’s automatic bid after defeating Tulsa in the finals of the conference tournament while St. John’s punched its ticket after blanking Marquette in the finals of the Big East Tournament. USF won the doubles point in 10 of its last 11 matches (Tulane) while St. John’s went 2-3 in doubles against ranked opponents. USF has Justin Roberts slotted to play at No. 5 but he only played a handful of matches down the stretch due to an injury so it’ll be interesting to see if he plays or sits. 

Doubles Records: South Florida 22-6, St. John’s 20-6
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: South Florida 84, St. John’s 78

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #2 Roberto Cid (USF 14.82) vs. Lucas Hejhal (STJ 13.12)
2. Sasha Gozun (USF 13.86) vs. Daniel Skripnik (STJ 12.76)
3. #47 Dominic Cotrone (USF 14.41) vs. Roberto Livi (STJ 13.36)

4. Peter Bertran (USF 13.49) vs. Vaidik Munshaw (STJ 12.96)
5. Justin Roberts (USF 13.57) vs. Dusan Vukicevic (STJ 12.84)
6. Ignacio Gonzalez Muniz (USF 13.47) vs. Andrei Crapcenco (STJ 12.62)
O: Vadym Kalyuzhnyy (USF 13.11)

This is the second time in three years that St. John’s has been sent to Gainesville for the NCAA Tournament but at least they don’t have to play the No. 1 seed this time. Of course South Florida is as close as it gets to a No. 1 seed and I expect they’ll play like one in this match. I like the Bulls in doubles and Cid, Gozun, and Cotrone in singles. Prediction: South Florida 4-0

Regional Final – When the draw came out I’m sure neither Florida or South Florida was happy to see each other’s name. Florida was probably hoping that as a top 10 seed it’d see someone ranked outside the top 20 while South Florida was probably thinking as a team ranked No. 17 it’d get sent to either Oklahoma State, Illinois, or Northwestern. These teams know each other fairly well with both sending guys to the USTA/ITA Southeast Regional back in October. Roberto Cid won that event and beat half of Florida’s team including Diego Hidalgo in the finals. South Florida is just as good as Florida up top but the Gators should have the upper hand down low. I like Roberto Cid and Dominic Cotrone for USF but I think Florida takes the doubles point and gets wins from Alfredo Perez, Gordon Watson, and McClain Kessler with Chase Perez-Blanco and Peter Bertran in a third set at No. 4. Prediction: Florida 4-2

Texas Tech Regional
McLeod Tennis Complex – Lubbock, TX
[8] Texas Tech Red Raiders (27-5) vs. [49-64] New Mexico State Aggies (12-9) – Saturday – 1pm CT – Texas Tech got in as an at-large after falling to TCU in the finals of the Big 12 Tournament while New Mexico State earned an automatic berth after defeating UMKC in the finals of the WAC Tournament. NMSU played five teams that were either ranked at the time or ranked now and it went 0-5 and was outscored 31-2. 
Doubles Records: Texas Tech 18-11, NMSU 8-12
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Texas Tech 83, NMSU 73
Projected Singles Lineups:

1. #19 Felipe Soares (TT 14.08) vs. Strahinja Trecakov (NMSU 12.23)
2. #98 Hugo Dojas (TT 13.70) vs. Christofer Goncalves (NMSU 12.71)
3. Alex Sendegeya (TT 13.78) vs. Liam Goldberg (NMSU 12.49) 
4. Jolan Cailleau (TT 13.89) vs. Stijn de Haan (NMSU 11.99)
5. Connor Curry (TT 13.45) vs. Mauri Benitez (NMSU 12.13)
6. Bjorn Thomson (TT 13.60) vs. Enrique Asmar (NMSU 11.90)

New Mexico State had success at the WAC Tournament which was held in Brownsville, Texas but I don’t see any success for them in Lubbock. Red Raiders run roughshod all over the Aggies and win it going away. Prediction: Texas Tech 4-0

[17-32] SMU Mustangs (20-8) vs. [33-48] Washington Huskies (17-9) – Saturday – 10am CT – SMU got in as an at-large after falling to Tulsa in the semifinals of the AAC Tournament while Washington got in as an at-large after falling to Cal in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament. SMU had a nice season and picked up top 25 wins over Oklahoma State, South Florida and Tulsa. Washington jump started its season with a win at home over Texas and then pretty much locked up its bid when it upset USC in late March. 

Interesting stat: Washington was just 1-6 on the road with that one win being a 4-3 win over Utah in the Pac-12 Tournament. 

Doubles Records: SMU 20-8, Washington 16-9
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: SMU 81, Washington 80
Projected Singles Lineups:

1. #73 Hunter Johnson (SMU 13.61) vs. #118 Mitch Stewart (UW 14.26)
2. #112 Nate Lammons (SMU 13.91) vs. Enzo Sommer (UW 13.51)
3. Samm Butler (SMU 13.85) vs. Gal Hakak (UW 13.68)
4. Markus Kerner (SMU 12.84) vs. Jake Douglas (UW 13.36)
5. Ronald Slobodchikov (SMU 13.47) vs. Sebastian Hawken (UW 12.63)
6. Yates Johnson (SMU 13.24) vs. Piers Foley (UW 12.37)
O: Kawika Lam (UW 12.20)

SMU will definitely be more at home because its Dallas campus is just 350 miles from Lubbock while Washington has to make the 1800 mile plane ride from Seattle.  This match will start at 8 a.m. pacific time so if Washington comes out a step slow it’s going to be in trouble because I don’t see the Huskies winning without the doubles point. Hunter Johnson played at No. 2 singles in the conference tournament but he’s back up to No. 1 after starting 12 of 24 matches at the top spot during the regular season.

I like SMU in doubles and Ronald Slobodchikov and Yates Johnson in singles so it’ll be just a matter of finding one more point somewhere in the top four. UW’s Mitch Stewart and Jake Douglas will be favored at No. 1 and No. 4 with both No. 2 and No. 3 almost to close to call. I’ll say Nate Lammons clinches the win with a three-setter over Enzo Sommer to give SMU the win. Prediction: SMU 4-1

Regional Final: SMU played seven different teams this season from the state of Texas but Texas Tech wasn’t one of them. Texas Tech has been too solid this year to get tripped up in this one but I think SMU keeps it interesting for a few hours. I wouldn’t be surprised if SMU took the doubles point and possibly No. 3 singles but I like the home team everywhere else. Prediction: Texas Tech 4-1

Coming up next: Ohio State and Texas A&M regionals…..