Thursday, 22 March 2018 04:31

SEC Preview 3/22 - 3/25

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Men

Texas A&M and Mississippi State remain atop the conference standings with 4-0 records but both will get tested this weekend. Texas A&M visits #25 Tennessee on Friday and then must travel home to host #42 Alabama on Sunday. Alabama should not pose much of a threat to the #6 Aggies, but Tennessee could put up a fight if they are on their game. I would expect that the Aggies will have Patrick Kypson back after he played in the qualifying of the Miami Open this week, an ATP 1000 event, where he upset American Tim Smyczek in the first round but lost his final qualifying match to Cameron Norrie. The match with Norrie who played for TCU last year was ironic as Kypson’s Texas A&M teammates played TCU the later that night falling to the same fate Kypson did.

The 13th ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs will get two top 25 matchups at home this week as they face #19 Vanderbilt Friday and #21 Kentucky Sunday. MSU’s top dog Nuno Borges has only lost one collegiate match this year and that was at All-American’s in the fall. He will put his undefeated dual match record on the line in potential matches with Vandy’s Cameron Klinger and Kentucky’s Ryotaro Matsumura. Matsumura has gone 11-1 in the dual match season so far with his last loss prior to that coming at the hands of Borges in the Fall National Championships 6-1, 6-3.

Georgia has had a very disappointing conference season so far sitting at 1-4 with unexpected losses to South Carolina and Arkansas. In both cases they were missing a player in the lineup and it ended up costing them. Last week Walker Duncan played doubles but was a no-go in singles both days so we will look to see if he is ready to go this weekend. Georgia has Jan Zielinski, Walker Duncan and Robert Loeb slated at 4-6 and the three of them have lost a total of four matches between them in the dual season making it even more astonishing that team has started 1-4 in the conference. Georgia should have no issues Friday with LSU regardless of the lineup but will need to be on their game Sunday as they host #25 Tennessee.

Tennessee sits at 4-1 in conference play but this weekend could make or break any hopes they have of remaining alive for the conference title in having to face A&M and Georgia. Tennessee made a lineup move this week moving Luis Valero up to #2 and dropping Preston Touliatos to #3. Frankly I’m a bit surprised it took that long as Valero is a former #1 for the Volunteers but Touliatos was on fire at the beginning of the season. However, Touliatos hs lost 4 of the last 5 matches he has completed, all at the #2 position.

Another team off to a rough start and plagued by injuries has been Ole Miss. Gustav Hansson and Fabian Fallert have been missing from the lineup since the Rebels played Vanderbilt on March 9th leaving them with only 6 players. They will need Hansson and Fallert back if they plan on turning things around as they have to visit #9 Florida Friday and then #33 South Carolina Sunday.

Alabama has struggled and without Patrick Kaukovalta it is to be expected. If Alabama is going to compete they need to get Kaukovalta back in the lineup but even though he is listed at #3 in the Bama lineup this week he may as well take a another week to get healthy as the Tide are facing a big uphill battle against Texas A&M this week as their only match.

Florida has made a minor lineup change this week moving Chase Perez-Blanco up to #5 and moving Andy Andrade down to #6 after losing 5 of his last 7 matches. I wouldn’t be totally shocked to see Florida experiment a little at 6 and give wither McClain Kessler or Jordan Belga a chance to prove themselves. Belga got significant time last season and played well but has only appeared in one dual match at Auburn so far this year beating Brandon Laubser 6-3, 6-3.

Standings

Team

Record

Mississippi State    

4-0

Texas A&M

4-0

Florida

5-1

Kentucky

4-1

Tennessee

4-1

Vanderbilt

4-1

Arkansas

2-4

South Carolina

2-4

Alabama

1-4

Georgia

1-4

LSU

1-4

Ole Miss

1-5

Auburn

0-4

  

Full Results/Schedule

Tuesday March 20
#11 TCU def. #6 Texas A&M 4-3
 
Wednesday March 21
#32 Tulane def. LSU 7-0
UCF def. #38 Arkansas 5-2
 
Friday March 23
#19 Vanderbilt at #13 Mississippi State - 4 p.m. - Live Scoring/Video
#36 Ole Miss at #9 Florida - 5 p.m. - Live Scoring/Video
#38 Arkansas at #33 South Carolina - 5:30 p.m. - Live Scoring/Video
#14 Georgia at LSU - 6 p.m. - Live Scoring/Video
#6 Texas A&M at #25 Tennessee - 6 p.m. - Live Scoring/Video
#21 Kentucky at Auburn - 7 p.m. - Live Scoring/Video
 
Sunday March 25
#38 Arkansas at #9 Florida - 1 p.m. - Live Scoring/Video
#25 Tennessee at #14 Georgia - 1 p.m. - Live Scoring/Video
#22 Memphis at LSU - 1 p.m. - Live Scoring/Video
#36 Ole Miss at #33 South Carolina - 1 p.m. - Live Scoring/Video
#42 Alabama at #6 Texas A&M - 2 p.m. - Live Scoring/Video
#21 Kentucky at #13 Mississippi State - 2 p.m. - Live Scoring/Video
#19 Vanderbilt at Auburn - 2 p.m. - Live Scoring/Video
Alabama State at Auburn - 5:30 p.m. - Live Scoring/Video
 

Women

South Carolina holds the top spot in the conference on the heels of their big win at Georgia last weekend. As you would expect from a conference with 7 teams in the top 20, there are no easy weekends and this will be no exception for the conference leaders. South Carolina will head to Auburn on Thursday for a road battle between two top 15 teams. The Gamecocks have won 9 straight and have only lost 5 points during that streak. Needless to say the entire team is hot and slowing them down is going to take a great team effort.

Auburn has won 5 straight and will host South Carolina and Florida this weekend. We have already talked about the Gamecocks but the short-handed Gators had been on a 6-match win streak until they were upended by Georgia last Friday. Florida seems to be a mere shadow of the team that won the 2017 National Championship with only 6 women on the roster but those 6 have managed to go 5-1 in the conference thus far.

The marquee matchup this weekend will see #9 Georgia visit #3 Vanderbilt. Both teams have one conference loss and will be trying to avoid falling 2 losses behind if South Carolina stays undefeated. The match is probably even more important for Georgia as a loss for them would give them losses to both South Carolina and Vanderbilt and make it very tough to win the conference regular season.

One team that seems to be out of place is #11 Ole Miss but don’t be deceived. They are 2-4 in the conference but those losses have come to South Carolina, Florida, Vanderbilt and Auburn, all at the top of the conference and all in the top 20. Look for Ole Miss to claw back to 4-4 this weekend with matches at Arkansas and Missouri.

Undoubtedly one of the hottest teams in the SEC right now has to be the Mississippi State Bulldogs coming off two big upset wins over Vandy and Kentucky last weekend that vaulted them in the ITA rankings from #62 to #24. They have a great opportunity to continue their roll on the road this week at Missouri and Arkansas.

Standings

Team

Record

South Carolina   

6-0

Florida

5-1

Vanderbilt

5-1

Auburn

4-1

Georgia

4-1

Kentucky

3-3

LSU

3-3

Mississippi State   

3-3

Texas A&M

3-3

Ole Miss

2-4

Arkansas

1-4

Alabama

0-5

Missouri

0-5

Tennessee

0-5

 

Full Results/Schedule

Thursday March 22
#18 Florida at Alabama - 6 p.m.  - Live Scoring/Video
#10 South Carolina at #15 Auburn - 7 p.m. - Live Scoring/Video
 
Friday March 23
#37 Tennessee at #3 Vanderbilt - 4 p.m. - Live Scoring/Video
#11 Ole Miss at #46 Arkansas - 6 p.m. - Live Scoring
#9 Georgia at #20 Kentucky - 6 p.m. - Live Scoring
#40 LSU at #34 Texas A&M - 6 p.m. - Live Scoring/Video
#24 Mississippi State at Missouri - 6 p.m. - Live Scoring/Video
 
Saturday March 24
#18 Florida at #15 Auburn - 1 p.m. - Live Scoring/Video
#10 South Carolina at Alabama - 2 p.m. - Live Scoring/Video
 
Sunday Match 25
#37 Tennessee at #20 Kentucky - 12 p.m. - Live Scoring
#9 Georgia at #3 Vanderbilt - 2 p.m. - Live Scoring/Video
#11 Ole Miss at Missouri - 2 p.m. - Live Scoring/Video
#24 Mississippi State at #46 Arkansas - 2 p.m. - Live Scoring
 
 

Weekly Depth Chart

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Read 944 times Last modified on Thursday, 22 March 2018 05:34

1 comment

  • Comment Link Matt Thursday, 22 March 2018 19:43 posted by Matt

    Thank,s Chris. Awesome!!

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