Wednesday, 11 April 2018 18:00

SEC Preview 4/12-15: WOW! What a Week!

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WOW! What a week!  The SEC could not have planned this any better.  We are down to the final weekend of the regular season and both the men's and women's titles are up for grabs and the teams involved are playing each other.  For the men it's Mississippi State at Texas A&M Friday night in what amounts to a winner-take-all match as it would be a complete shock if either team lost to LSU or Auburn Sunday after winning this match.  On the women's side you have Florida, South Carolina and Vanderbilt in a three-way tie and we get Vanderbilt at South Carolina and Vanderbilt at Florida.  Assuming that Florida and South Carolina take care of Kentucky in their other match (they both play Kentucky) the conference title comes down to who doesn't lose in the three-way battle.  Vanderbilt gets the tougher path as they have to win two big matches as Florida and South Carolina just have the one (in addition to Kentucky).

This week's focus is all about the SEC regular season titles as well as positioning for the SEC and NCAA Tournament's so the preview will be similarly focused.

Men

SEC Mens Standings 0409

All eyes are on the match for conference title in College Station this week so let's break down singles by UTR.

Position  Mississippi State   Texas A&M  
 #1  Nuno Borges  14.76  14.38   Patrick Kypson
 #2  Giovanni Oradini  14.25  14.24  Arthur Rinderknech
 #3  Strahinja Rakic  14.04  14.29  Jordi Arconada
 #4  Niclas Braun   13.61  14.02  Val Vacherot
 #5  Florian Broska   13.28  13.98  Carlos Aguilar
 #6  Trevor Foshey   13.44  13.70  Barnaby Smith


On paper it appears that the Bulldogs are going to have their work cut out for them down low.  The only decided advantage Missisippi State holds is at the top spot with Nuno Borges with the match at 2 looking like a coin toss.  For State to pull off the upset on the road it looks like their best chances are to grab doubles and three of the matches at 1,2,3 and 6.  Should be a great match and of course you can catch it all live on the A&M live video.

Alabama

Alabama gets Florida and South Carolina this week which makes it very improbable that they get a third win in the SEC but that makes things very interesting.  LSU and Auburn play each other this weekend and should LSU win that match they would pull even with Alabama in the standings and LSU owns the tiebreaker having beaten the Tide in conference play.  That could potentially drop Alabama to 12th in the SEC and force them into a first day match at the SEC Tournament.  All that being said, the first day match in the SEC Tournament would actually be a good thing for Alabama as they currently only have 4 points for their 9th win and even a win over a team like Auburn currently ranked #73 would give them 21 points.  This is one of those ironic situations where if Alabama loses both matches they really need to root for LSU to beat Auburn and drop the Tide to 12th so that they get an extra match that they need.  Yes, in this case 12th is better than 11th for Alabama.

Arkansas

The Hogs are playing for their NCAA Tournament lives this weekend.  With the projected cut line for NCAA's currently sitting at 42-43, Arkansas finds themselves in need of a good win to make the push up from #47.  In addition, the Hogs are one match below .500 and have to get the record to .500 to become NCAA eligible.  Adding a couple cupcakes to get the wins necessary might help the winning percentage but it isn't going to move the ranking up so Arkansas' lone match at home against Ole Miss this weekend becomes a must win match.  Should they lose that match they'll have to pull off a miracle in the SEC Tournament to make it.  Having said all that, Arkansas currently has three unranked wins counting in their total so they if they could manage to schedule a few matches with teams in the 60-100 range it could help them tremendously.  A quick scan for midwest teams that might help and I see Witchita State, Drake, East Tennessee State all in the 60's.  Witchita State also finds themselves on the outside looking in so maybe the Shockers would want to make a trip over to Fayetteville for a "friendly" that helps the winner's chances.

Auburn

The Tigers currently sit in last place in the conference and while they have an opportunity to move out of the cellar this weekend that is about all they are playing for.  They are a lock for the first day match in the SEC Tournament and can't make the NCAA Tournament so it's all about pride now.  As a side note @Parsa_Nemati reported yesterday that the Auburn assistant coach Mark Finnegan was relieved of his duties effective immediately so that should add a little twist to the weekend.

Florida

The Gators finish their SEC regular season with a match against Alabama at home, one you would expect the Gators to win.  That will secure the 3rd spot in the SEC standings as both Kentucky and Tennessee have a chance to tie them at 9-3, but Florida beat them both head-to-head.  While it may be a little further down the road Gator fans are probably more interested in the Mississippi State vs. Texas A&M match this weekend to see who loses and becomes the 2 seed that Florida would potentially meet in the semifinal of the SEC Tournament.

Georgia

It's hard to even know what to say here as there are so many unknowns.  What is known is that the Bulldogs currently sit at 10-9 and can't afford to lose two matches this weekend and drop below .500.  If they do they will likely need to schedule a double header against a patsy to pick up a couple wins and make them NCAA eligible on the off chance they also lose in their first match of the SEC Tournament.  What isn't known is the status of Emil Reinberg, Walker Duncan and Robert Loeb.  Loeb played last week at Alabama and picked up a nice win over Patrick Kaukovalta so you have to figure he will be in the lineup.  I think Reinberg is healthy and sat out for other reasons last week so I expect him to be in the lineup as well.  That just leaves Duncan.  Duncan is nursing a bad back and another two weeks rest before the SEC Tournament would seem like a good thing so it's very possible that he still sits, but given the magnitude of these matches he could very well make his return as well.  Georgia is at home and plays host to #22 Vanderbilt and #18 Kentucky so if you're in the area get to Magill this weekend as the intensity is sure to be there.

Kentucky

Kentucky gets a tough final weekend as they go on the road to face Tennessee and Georgia.  The Wildcats have fared very well at home this year getting to play a number of matches indoors, but they are 3-6 on the road so this will be a test for sure.  The implications are huge for Kentucky as a couple of road wins over top 25 teams would give them hope of making the top 16 and hosting the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.  Barring an unexpected Florida loss to Alabama the Wildcats can't make the top 4 in the SEC for the double-bye so they are set for a second day match at the SEC Tournament.

LSU

It's been a rough innaugural year for the Brandi's at LSU but they get a chance to cap it with a win this weekend as they face Auburn before hosting Mississippi State on Sunday.  The match with Auburn could possibly earn them a first round bye in the SEC Tournament should Alabama fall to Florida and South Carolina as expected so it gives the Tigers a little something extra to play for.

Mississippi State

The Bulldogs find themselves at 10-0 in conference play headed to College Station for a showdown with the Aggies Friday night.  Friday Night Lights right?  Oh wait, wrong sport.  Anyhow, the match between the #5 Aggies and the #7 Bulldogs is huge as the winner takes home the regular season conference title (assuming they don't drop a shocker to LSU or Auburn Sunday) and the enviable #1 seed in the SEC Tournament.

Ole Miss

Ole Miss comes into the weekend at #37 and precariously close to the cut line for NCAA's.  The only match the Rebels have remaining is at #47 Arkansas, a match they can't afford to lose or they will be in need of a good win in the SEC Tournament.  As far as the SEC Tournament goes the Rebels are currently tied for 10th with Arkansas and are locked into a second day match getting a first round bye.

South Carolina

The Gamecocks come in at #27 this week and are a lock for an NCAA Tournament at-large bid so it's all about the SEC now.  They host Alabama in a match they ought to win to finish the season 7-5 in the SEC and in 6th or 7th place.  That will be good enough to give the Gamecocks a first round bye and then a second round match against likely the 10th or 11th seed.  South Carolina is one of two SEC teams that scheduled one more non-conference match prior to the SEC Tournament as they visit Clemson on April 20.

Tennessee

The Vols open the weekend hosting Kentucky in a match with big implications for the SEC Tournament.  The winner puts themselves in the drivers seat to finish 4th in the conference and get the double-bye but they both finish Sunday with tough matches as well so anything can happen.  Once the #18 Wildcats leave Knoxville the #22 Commodores come to town.  Not only does Tennessee have a chance to finish 4th in the conference this wekend, but winning those two matches gives them a chance to think about hosting for NCAA's.  The What-If calculator at collegetennisranks.com shows that those two wins move the Vols to #17 although there are other teams with results that still need to factor in as well.

Texas A&M

The Aggies host Mississippi State and Auburn this weekend with all eyes on the former.  If I haven't beaten it to death already Mississippi State vs. Texas A&M is the place to be Friday Night.  Winner takes the regular season crown and probably a top 5 ranking (for now).

Vanderbilt

The Commodores currently sit in the 6th spot in the SEC but they still have a shot at 4th and the double-bye in the SEC Tournament.  How do they get there you ask?  First and foremost the Dores have to win their two matches against Georgia and Tennessee on the road.  That's no small feat, but it is mandatory if they want to finish 4th.  With Vandy and Kentucky both visiting Tennessee this weekend and those three teams battling for the #4 spot it's wide open. 

Schedule

Friday April 13
#45 Alabama at #10 Florida
#73 Auburn at #91 LSU
#22 Vanderbilt at #25 Georgia
#18 Kentucky at #21 Tennessee
#7 Mississippi State at #5 Texas A&M

Sunday April 15
#45 Alabama at #27 South Carolina
#37 Ole Miss at #47 Arkansas
#73 Auburn at #5 Texas A&M
#18 Kentucky at #25 Georgia
#7 Mississippi State at #91 LSU
#22 Vanderbilt at #21 Tennessee

Depth Charts

Full depth charts are shown below.  A summary of changes this week:

  • Alabama - Patrick Kaukovalta moves up to #3 and Edson Ortiz drops to #4, Riccardo Roberto moves up to #6 and Zhe Zhou drops to #7
  • Arkansas - Oscar Mesquida moves up to #2 and Adam Sanjurjo drops to #3, Jose Alonso moves into #3 doubles in place of Alex Reco
  • Auburn - Michael Durham moves into #9 and Alex Rushin drops to #10
  • Florida - Andy Andrade moves up to #5 and Duarte Vale drops to #6
  • Georgia - Emil Reinberg is inserted at #3 and Walker Duncan is inserted at #5, doubles pairings all change (but no Duncan listed)
  • Kentucky - Enzo Wallart moves up to #3 and Trey yates drops to #4, Alex Dominguez inserted at #9 and Jake Stefanik drops to #10
  • LSU - no changes
  • Mississippi State - no changes
  • Ole Miss - Filip Kraljevic moves up to #3 and Fabian Fallert drops to #4
  • South Carolina - Thomas Mayronne moves up to #3 and Yancy Dennis drops to #4
  • Tennessee - no changes
  • Texas A&M - swaps partners at #1 and #2 doubles now Rinderknech/Aguilar at #1 and Arconada/Kypson at #2
  • Vanderbilt - Danny Valent moves up to #1 and Cam Klinger drops to #2

  SEC Mens Lineups 0409 Printable

 Women

SEC Womens Standings 0409

The SEC regular season finishes with two huge matches this week as #10 Florida, #7 South Carolina and #3 Vanderbilt all come in at 10-1.  How are we going to decide the champion?  How about they just play each other?  Fantastic.  Vanderbilt at South Carolina on Thursday and Vanderbilt at Florida on Saturday, and Florida and South Carolina both get Kentucky for their other match.  Whichever team goes 2-0 on the week wins the conference.  So how do the matchups look?  Let's break them down by UTR just like we did the men.

Position  Vanderbilt   South Carolina 
#1  Astra Sharma  12.12  11.37  Ingrid Martins
#2  Fernanda Contreras  11.99  11.71  Hadley Berg
#3  Christina Rosca  11.43  11.45  Mia Horvit
#4  Amanda Meyer  11.38  11.04  Paige Cline
#5  Emma Kurtz  11.19  11.47  Megan Davies
#6  Summer Dvorak  10.92  10.66  Kennedy Wicker

 

Position  Vanderbilt   Florida 
#1  Astra Sharma  12.12   12.26  Anna Danilina
#2  Fernanda Contreras  11.99  11.72  Josie Kuhlman
#3  Christina Rosca  11.43  11.42  McCartney Kessler
#4  Amanda Meyer  11.38  10.94  Victoria Emma
#5  Emma Kurtz  11.19  10.59  Peggy Porter
#6  Summer Dvorak  10.92  10.65  Katie Kubicz


The Lady Commodores appear to be the favorite in both matches but keep in mind that's two tough matches and both of them on the road.  If they can go into Columbia and Gainesville and walk out with two wins then hats off, you deserve the title.  

Alabama

Alabama appears to be out of the mix for an NCAA Tournament bid and is locked into a first day SEC Tournament match so not much to play for here. 

Arkansas

Alabama is out of the mix for an NCAA Tournament bid and is locked into a first day SEC Tournament match so not much to play for here. 

Auburn

Auburn keeps sliding every week and now finds themselves at #20 and out of a hosting position for NCAA's.  This week they get Texas A&M and LSU at home, both of which would be wins that count and help get them back closer to hosting.  They are out of the running for a top 4 seed in the SEC Tournament but the bigger need this weekend is replacing a couple poor quality wins. 

Florida

Beat Kentucky and Vanderbilt and you win the SEC regular season.  That's what the ladies have to be thinking.  If not, they still end up with a double-bye in the SEC Tournament and are in a good position right now at #10 to host in NCAA's. 

Georgia

Georgia gets what should be a couple wins this weekend with Arkansas and Missouri and that will lock up the 4th place finish in the SEC and double-bye in the SEC Tournament. 

Kentucky

Tough road swing for the Wildcats as they head to Florida and South Carolina this wekeend trying to play spoiler.  Should the ladies be able to pull off one of those upsets they will get put themselves into the mix for trying to host but would still need another big win in the SEC Tournament.  Barring an upset this weekend they will be headed to the NCAA's as a 2/3 seed somewhere in all likelihood regardless of what happens in the SEC Tournament.  

LSU

LSU is on the bubble for making NCAAs and really need to beat Alabama on the road to help their cause, or in this case not hurt their cause.  A loss to Alabama would hurt.  The Sunday match at Auburn would not be nearly as damaging a loss but the upside is huge and a win would virtually make them a lock for NCAAs. 

Mississippi State

The Bulldogs finish the regular season with only one match this week and that is playing host to in-state rival Ole Miss.  The Bulldogs had been very impressive at home this year before being absolutely whitewashed by Georgia on Monday and will need to return to that form if they want to pull off the upset here.  At #27 with only a match against the #6 team left plus the SEC Tournament the Bulldogs are a virtual lock for the NCAA Tournament with no shot of hosting (not even with a win over Ole Miss) so no big implications here.

Missouri

Nothing but pride to play for in Columbia, and this week they aren't even in Columbia.  A trek to Tennessee and Georgia is on tap for the Tigers. 

Ole Miss

The Rebels look to be a virtual lock to host NCAAs regardless of what happens in their match with Mississippi State or the SEC Tournament.  The bigger hope for the Rebels this week is that Georgia would somehow lose one of their matches which would allow them to end in a tie for 4th but own the tiebreak and get a double-bye in the SEC Tournament.

South Carolina

If the Gamecocks can win two matches this weekend they will be SEC regular season champions.  That's about all they are playing for this wek, but that's enough isn't it?  The Gamecocks are a lock to host NCAAs and have already secured the double-bye for the SEC Tournament. 

Tennessee

Tennessee looks to be in good shape for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament but they need to win the two matches they are favored in this weekend and avoid the bad loss. The Vols are probably still destined for a first day match in the SEC Tournament against Missouri who they happen to play this week so the two teams can get familiar. 

Texas A&M

The Aggies currently sit at #32 and are in decent shape for making the NCAA Tournament with matches at Auburn and Alabama this week.  Even a couple losses still puts the Aggies in the high 30's and probably in the NCAA Tournament but if they can just pick up one win this weekend they are a virtual lock. 

Vanderbilt

Same story as Florida and South Carolina here, win both your matches and you're SEC regular season champs.  You're a lock to host NCAA's, it all about the SEC now. 

 

Schedule

Thursday April 12
#49 Arkansas at #8 Georgia
#23 Kentucky at #10 Florida
#96 Missouri at #31 Tennessee
#3 Vanderbilt at #7 South Carolina

Friday April 13
#39 LSU at #64 Alabama
#32 Texas A&M at #20 Auburn
#6 Ole Miss at #27 Mississippi State

Saturday April 14
#49 Arkansas at #31 Tennessee
#3 Vanderbilt at #10 Florida
#96 Missouri at #8 Georgia
#23 Kentucky at #7 South Carolina

Sunday April 15
#32 Texas A&M at #64 Alabama
#39 LSU at #20 Auburn

 

Depth Charts

Full depth charts are shown below.  A summary of changes this week:

  • Alabama - moves #4 doubles up to #3 and swaps partners in #1 and #2 doubles
  • Arkansas - no changes
  • Auburn - moves Andie Dikosaveljevic to #3 and drops Madeline Meredith to #4, changes up #2 and #3 doubles
  • Florida - no changes
  • Georgia - no changes
  • Kentucky - McKenzie Moorhead takes the #7 spot from Abby Kosharek
  • LSU - Eden Richardson moves up to #2 and Jessica Golovin drops to #3
  • Mississippi State - no changes
  • Missouri - Mackenzy Middlebrooks moves to #2 and Taylor Gruber drops to #3, Clare Raley moves up to #5 and Ellie Wright drops to #6
  • Ole Miss - Anna Vrbenska moves up to #4 and Natalie Suk drops to #5
  • South Carolina - Hadley Berg moves up to #2 and Mia Horvit drops to #3, Kennedy Wicker moves up to #6 and Rachel Rohrabacher drops to #7, Kennedy Wicker moves into Rachel Rohrabacher's spot in #3 doubles
  • Tennessee - no changes
  • Texas A&M - swapped partners at #2 and #3 doubles
  • Vanderbilt - no changes

SEC Womens Lineups 0409 Printable

Read 1069 times Last modified on Thursday, 12 April 2018 16:17

2 comments

  • Comment Link Randall Thursday, 12 April 2018 23:34 posted by Randall

    Shouldn't DeVincentis be playing #1 for Auburn by now. It's almost a stack at this point. he's very clearly their best player.

  • Comment Link Chris Halioris Sunday, 15 April 2018 17:41 posted by Chris Halioris

    There's no doubt about that, but all things considered such as Nguyen being a senior and Auburn being the conference doormat I don't think anyone is really complaining. Probably because it is likely more for player development than it is a stack given their position.

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