Wednesday, 18 May 2016 23:14

NCAA Round of 16 Previews - UCLA/Stanford, Wake/Oklahoma, Georgia/USC, UNC/Miss St

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[3] UCLA Bruins (24-2) vs. [17-32] Stanford Cardinal (15-10)  - Friday 8pm ET - UCLA booked its spot in the Sweet 16 after shutting out both Weber State and San Diego while Stanford knocked off Notre Dame 4-1 and Northwestern 4-3. UCLA is the only team to make the Sweet 16 every year since the tournament was expanded to 64 teams in 1999 while Stanford is back in the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2012. This will be the fourth meeting of the year with UCLA taking the previous three. 

Interesting notes: Stanford won the doubles point in each of those three previous matches yet UCLA came back and won each time. UCLA will have played the exact same singles lineup in all four matches while Tom Fawcett is the only Stanford player to have stayed in the same spot all year. Michael Genender started the year at #6 singles but has worked his way up to #2. 

Regular Season Meeting 1 

#2 UCLA 4, #32 Stanford 1 
Apr 22, 2016 at Ojai, Calif. (Libbey Park) 
Doubles competition 
1. #39 Fawcett/Romanowicz (STAN) def. #5 McDonald/Redlicki (UCLA) 6-2 
2. Wilczynski/Paige (STAN) def. Di Giulio/Sell (UCLA) 7-5 
3. Cressy/Rapp (UCLA) vs. Kumar/Goldberg (STAN) 6-5, unfinished 
Singles competition 
1. #10 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA) def. #12 Tom Fawcett (STAN) 6-4, 6-3 
2. #42 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) vs. Michael Genender (STAN) 7-5, 4-3, unfinished 
3. #55 Gage Brymer (UCLA) def. #77 David Wilczynski (STAN) 6-2, 6-4 
4. #92 Karue Sell (UCLA) def. Nolan Paige (STAN) 6-2, 6-2 
5. Logan Staggs (UCLA) vs. Maciek Romanowicz (STAN) 6-3, 3-6, 1-0, unfinished 
6. Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA) def. Sameer Kumar (STAN) 6-3, 6-1 
Match Notes 
Stanford 14-10; National ranking #32 
UCLA 21-2; National ranking #2 
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (4,6,1,3) 
Pac-12 Championship Semifinals


Regular Season Meeting 2 

#5 UCLA 4, #36 Stanford 1 
Apr 01, 2016 at Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Tennis Center) 
Doubles competition 
1. #4 McDonald/Redlicki (UCLA) vs. Fawcett/Romanowicz (STAN) 4-5, unfinished 
2. Paige/Wilczynski (STAN) def. Di Giulio/Sell (UCLA) 6-4 
3. Goldberg/Kumar (STAN) def. Brymer/Cressy (UCLA) 6-3 
Singles competition 
1. #9 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA) vs. #6 Tom Fawcett (STAN) 4-6, 7-5, unfinished 
2. #49 Martin Redlicki (UCLA) def. #56 David Wilczynski (STAN) 7-5, 7-6 (7-4) 
3. Michael Genender (STAN) vs. #41 Gage Brymer (UCLA) 6-4, 5-6, unfinished 
4. #98 Karue Sell (UCLA) def. #101 Sameer Kumar (STAN) 6-4, 6-4 
5. Logan Staggs (UCLA) def. Nolan Paige (STAN) 6-2, 6-2 
6. Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA) def. #110 Maciek Romanowicz (STAN) 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 
Match Notes 
Stanford 9-7; National ranking #36 
UCLA 15-2; National ranking #5 
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (5,4,2,6)


Regular Season Meeting 3 

#4 UCLA 4, #29 Stanford 3 
February 27, 2016 at Palo Alto, California (Taube Family Tennis Stadium) 
Doubles competition 
1. No. 3 McDonald/Redlicki (UCLA) d. Fawcett/Romanowicz (STAN) 6-3 
2. Paige/Wilczynski (STAN) d. Di Giulio/Sell (UCLA) 6-4 
3. Goldberg/Kumar (STAN) d. Brymer/Maxime Cressy 6-2 
Singles competition 
1. #19 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA 14.91) d. #4 Tom Fawcett (STAN 14.77) 6-3, 7-5 
2. #36 Martin Redlicki (UCLA 13.86) d. #48 David Wilczynski (STAN 13.84) 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 
3. #102 Nolan Paige (STAN 13.35) d. #46 Gage Brymer (UCLA 14.10) 7-5, 6-4 
4. #94 Karue Sell (UCLA 14.34) d. #88 Sameer Kumar (STAN 13.99) 6-2, 6-2 
5. Logan Staggs (UCLA 13.32) d. #114 Maciek Romanowicz (STAN 13.38) 6-4, 6-3 
6. #112 Michael Genender (STAN 13.38) d. Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA 13.46) 6-1, 6-4 
Match Notes: 
UCLA 9-2; National ranking #4 
Stanford 5-6; National ranking #29 
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (4,1,2,3,6,5)


Doubles Records: UCLA 20-6, Stanford 18-6
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: UCLA 85, Stanford 82

FYI, the number beside the player's school is the player's Universal Tennis Rating as of May 18th. 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. #6 Mackenzie McDonald (UCLA 14.95) vs. #15 Tom Fawcett (ST 14.62) 
2. #38 Martin Redlicki (UCLA 14.03) vs. Michael Genender (ST 13.53)
3. #58 Gage Brymer (UCLA 14.14) vs. #87 David Wilczynski (ST 13.64)
4. #101 Karue Sell (UCLA 14.50) vs. Nolan Paige (ST 13.36)
5. Logan Staggs (UCLA 13.57) vs. Sameer Kumar (ST 13.64)
6. Joseph Di Giulio (UCLA 13.70) vs. Maciek Romanowicz (ST 13.57)
O: Austin Rapp (UCLA 13.22); Brandon Sutter (ST 12.68)

Who Is Streaking (>2)
UCLA: McDonald +12, Redlicki +10, Brymer +7, Di Giulio +6
Stanford: Wilczynski -3

Dual-Match Singles Records
1. McDonald 14-1 vs. Fawcett 16-5
2. Redlicki 17-3 vs. Genender 7-7
3. Brymer 13-5 vs. Wilczynski 6-11
4. Sell 19-2 vs. Paige 11-11
5. Staggs 14-6 vs. Kumar 11-8
6. Di Giulio 17-4 vs. Romanowicz 15-5

H2H Records (This Season)
McDonalds leads Fawcett 2-0
Brymer leads Wilczynski 1-0
Sell leads Paige 1-0
Di Giulio leads Romanowicz 1-0
Dubs - Fawcett/Romanowicz vs. McDonald/Redlicki tied 1-1
Dubs - Paige/Wilczynski leads Sell/Di Giulio 3-0
Dubs - Goldberg/Kumar leads Brymer/Cressy 2-0

UCLA is showing Gage Brymer and Austin Rapp as its #3 doubles pairing although I wouldn't be surprised to see Brymer removed and replaced with Max Cressy since Cressy and Rapp led Goldberg and Kumar the last time they played. I think UCLA has a better chance at the doubles point but I've still go to take Stanford because you just can't ignore that H2H. Stanford's best chance at winning this match is to take the doubles point and to pick up singles wins from David Wilczynski, Sameer Kumar, and Maciek Romanowicz because I don't see McDonald, Redlicki, or Sell losing. Having said that I like McDonald, Redlicki, Sell, and Di Giulio for UCLA while I think Wilczynski surprises Brymer with Staggs and Kumar early in a third set at the time of the clinch.. Prediction: UCLA 4-2. 



[6] Wake Forest Demon Deacons (31-5) vs. [11] Oklahoma Sooners (17-10) - Friday 8pm ET - Wake advanced to the Sweet 16 with a shutout over Coastal Carolina and a tight 4-2 win over Michigan while Oklahoma blanked UT Arlington before holding off Oregon 4-2. Wake won both regular season meetings however Andrew Harris didn't play singles in either. Harris's addition to the singles lineup means the only potential rematch will be at #4 between Romain Bogaerts and Alex Ghilea. Bogaerts didn't play at all in the Coastal Carolina match due to an injured knee but he did play singles in the Michigan match however he retired early in the second set. I'd be very surprised if Bogaerts didn't play but if he does it'll be a question of how well he can play. 

Oklahoma will also have the crowd on its side with its Norman campus just 130 miles away plus I'm sure there is a large OU alumni base in Tulsa. 

Regular Season Meeting 1 

#11 Wake Forest 5, #2 Oklahoma 2 
Jan 31, 2016 at Norman, Okla. (Headington Family Tennis Center) 
Singles competition 
1. #26 Skander Mansouri (WF 14.26) def. #60 Axel Alvarez (OU 14.51) 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-4 
2. Petros Chrysochos (WF 14.02) def. Spencer Papa (OU 14.14) 6-2, 6-2 
3. Romain Bogaerts (WF 14.00) def. #92 Alex Ghilea (OU 14.14) 7-5, 6-1
4. Florin Bragusi (OU 13.87) def. #103 Jon Ho (WF 14.00) 6-4, 4-5, retired 
5. Maxime Mora (OU 13.53) def. Dennis Uspensky (WF 13.61) 7-5, 6-3 
6. Christian Seraphim (WF 13.54) def. Andre Biro (OU 13.75) 6-4, 6-3 
Doubles competition 
1. #25 Christian Seraphim/Skander Mansouri (WF) def. Axel Alvarez/Spencer Papa (OU) 7-5 
2. Petros Chrysochos/Jon Ho (WF) def. Austin Siegel/Alex Ghilea (OU) 6-1 
3. Romain Bogaerts/Dennis Uspensky (WF) vs. Maxime Mora/Florin Bragusi (OU) 5-4*, unf. 
Match Notes 
Wake Forest 5-1, 0-0 ACC; National ranking #11 
Oklahoma 2-1, 0-0 Big 12; National ranking #2
Order of finish: Doubles (2,1); Singles (2,6,3,5,4,1)


Regular Season Meeting 2 

#10 Wake Forest 4, #5 Oklahoma 1 
Feb 12, 2016 at Charlottesville, VA (Boar's Head Sports Club) 
Singles competition 
1. #28 Skander Mansouri (WF 14.29) vs. #60 Axel Alvarez Llamas (OU 14.52) 7-6, 6-6*, unf 
2. #125 Petros Chrysochos (WF 14.02) def. Spencer Papa (OU 13.98) 6-4, 6-3 
3. #85 Alex Ghilea (OU 14.09) def. #79 Jon Ho (WF 14.07) 7-6, 7-5 
4. Romain Bogaerts (WF 14.01) def. Florin Bragusi (OU 13.85) 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 
5. Maxime Mora (OU 13.56) vs. Dennis Uspensky (WF 13.47) 7-5, 2-6, 4-4, unf 
6. Christian Seraphim (WF 13.55) def. Andre Biro (OU 13.74) 6-1, 6-4 
Doubles competition 
1. Skander Mansouri/Christian Seraphim (WF) def. Andrew Harris/Alex Ghilea (OU) 6-1 
2. Jon Ho/Petros Chrysochos (WF) def. Spencer Papa/Axel Alvarez Llamas (OU) 6-3 
3. Romain Bogaerts/Dennis Uspensky (WF) vs. Austin Siegel/Andre Biro (OU) 5-4, unf. 
Match Notes: 
Wake Forest 8-1; National ranking #10 
Oklahoma 3-3; National ranking #5 
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2); Singles (6,2,3,4)
ITA National Team Indoor First Round


Doubles Records: Wake Forest 28-7, Oklahoma 14-12
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Wake Forest 84, Oklahoma 84

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #13 Skander Mansouri (WF 14.41) vs. #97 Andrew Harris (OU 14.76)
2. #27 Petros Chrysochos (WF 14.60) vs. #25 Axel Alvarez (OU 14.29)
3. Jon Ho (13.56) vs. #82 Spencer Papa (OU 13.96)
4. Romain Bogaerts (WF 13.97) vs. #61 Alex Ghilea (OU 14.02)
5. Christian Seraphim (WF 13.92) vs. Florin Bragusi (OU 13.85) 
6. Dennis Uspensky (WF 13.98) vs. Andre Biro (OU 13.74)
O: #116 Maksim Kan (WF 13.35); Maxime Mora (OU 13.68)

Dual-Match Singles Records
1. Mansouri 19-6 vs. Harris 5-1
2. Chrysochos 23-4 vs. Alvarez 11-8
3. Ho 17-12 vs. Papa 9-9
4. Bogaerts 22-7 vs. Ghilea 10-6
5. Seraphim 23-5 vs. Bragusi 9-6
6. Uspensky 27-5 vs. Biro 16-5
O: Kan 8-0/Mora 13-7

Wake won the doubles point in both of the regular season meetings and I see no reason why they won't make it three in a row. John Roddick has Andre Biro listed at the #6 spot in the singles lineup however I wouldn't be surprised if Maxime Mora gets the nod in this one due to his earlier success against Uspensky. 

I can see this match going one of two ways - either Wake wins a 4-3 thriller with Chrysochos clinching at #2 or Oklahoma wins 4-1 or 4-2. Before the tournament started I had this penciled in as a 4-3 Wake Forest win because I figured they'd take doubles, 1 of the top 3, and 2 of the bottom 3 however the Bogaerts injury has made me rethink things.

If Bogaerts was a 100% I'd take him over Ghilea but since it sounds like he won't be so I'm going to take "The Machine" in straights. I also like Andrew Harris and Spencer Papa at 1 and 3 so it comes down to whether I think Wake can win the remaining three courts. I like Seraphim's chances against Bragusi at 5 and Chrysochos and Alvarez should be a good one but I'm going to take Biro/Mora over Uspensky in a mild upset. I think Oklahoma is coming in under the radar but after this one they won't be. Upset Prediction: Oklahoma 4-2. 



[7] Georgia Bulldogs (22-4) vs. [10] USC Trojans (17-6) - Friday 5pm ET - Georgia rolls in into the Sweet 16 after a 4-0 win over South Carolina State and a 4-1 win over Baylor while USC blanked UNLV and then held off Georgia Tech 4-2. Georgia and USC were scheduled to meet back in late January at the Pac-12/SEC Showdown however the match was cancelled due to rain. Both teams are dealing with injury issues with Georgia's Austin Smith retiring in his match against Baylor with a right shoulder injury while USC's Jake DeVine didn't play at all last week with an undisclosed injury. 

Doubles Records: Georgia 18-7, USC 9-13
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: Georgia 84, USC 84

Projected Singles Lineups
1. #17 Austin Smith (UGA 14.52) vs. #23 Max de Vroome (USC 14.44) 
2. #32 Wayne Montgomery (UGA 13.98) vs. #41 Nick Crystal (USC 14.31)
3. #64 Paul Oosterbaan (UGA 14.01) vs. #69 Logan Smith (USC 13.70)
4. #123 Walker Duncan (UGA 13.62) vs. #102 Jake DeVine (USC 13.78)
5. Jan Zielinski (UGA 13.76) vs. #121 Thibault Forget (USC 14.14)
6. Nick Wood (UGA 13.80) vs. Jack Jaede (USC 13.15)
O: Emil Reinberg (UGA 13.42); Rob Bellamy (USC 13.43); Laurens Verboven (USC 13.10)

Dual-Match Singles Records
1. Smith 19-5 vs. de Vroome 11-6
2. Montgomery 13-10 vs. Crystal 14-5
3. Oosterbaan 15-7 vs. Smith 14-7
4. Duncan 14-4 vs. DeVine 12-5
5. Zielinski 9-6 vs. Forget 17-1
6. Wood 14-2 vs. Jaede 8-4
O: Reinberg 10-3/Bellamy 2-2/Verboven 3-6

USC has the worst doubles record of all the remaining teams with the Trojans only winning the point 41% of the time so needless to say I'll take Georgia there. 

I expect Austin Smith to play but I think he's going to have a hard time beating de Vroome especially if that shoulder effects his serve. Nick Crystal has won 11 of his last 12 matches while Wayne Montgomery has won 6 of his last 7. This is a match that USC has to win because it sounds like Jake DeVine is iffy and if he can't go that will make USC a tad vulnerable at the bottom two spots. Paul Oosterbaan has won 7 of his last 8 while Logan Smith has split his last 6. Thibault Forget has won 6 straight and 17 of his last 18 so he'll be a pretty heavy favorite against either Walker Duncan or Jan Zielinski. Nick Wood has won 11 of his last 12 so he'll be favored over whoever he faces at #6. 

I'm going to take de Vroome, Crystal, and Forget at 1, 2, and 4 for USC and Oosterbaan, Zielinski, and Wood at 3, 5, and 6 for UGA. I'll take Georgia to win the match but if Jake DeVine is able to play at #4 and he happens to beat Walker Duncan then this match probably goes the other way. Prediction: Georgia 4-3. 




[2] North Carolina Tar Heels (27-4) vs. [17-32] Mississippi State Bulldogs (18-8) - Friday 5pm ET - North Carolina booked its spot in the Sweet 16 with a pair of 4-0 wins over the College of Charleston and Tulane while Mississippi State beat Memphis 4-1 and then rocked Illinois 4-0. Mississippi State was a slight underdog last weekend against Illinois but they'll be a heavy underdog in this one with North Carolina having spent most of the year inside the top 5. 

Doubles Records: North Carolina 24-7, Mississippi State 12-13
UTR Starting 6 Power Rating: North Carolina 84, Mississippi State 82

Projected Singles Lineups

1. #26 Brayden Schnur (UNC 14.06) vs. #34 Mate Cutura (MSU 13.57)
2. #28 Ronnie Schneider (UNC 14.14) vs. #54 Rishab Agarwal (MSU 13.90)
3. #46 Brett Clark (UNC 14.22) vs. #70 Nuno Borges (MSU 14.34)
4. Jack Murray (UNC 13.94) vs. Niclas Braun (MSU 13.73)
5. #117 Robert Kelly (UNC 13.98) vs. Strahinja Rakic (MSU 13.65)
6. Anu Kodali (UNC 13.29) vs. Luka Sucevic (MSU 12.94)
O: Bo Boyden (UNC 13.22); Trevor Foshey (MSU 12.61) 

Dual-Match Singles Records
1. Schnur 8-10 vs. Cutura 5-10
2. Schneider 21-5 vs. Agarwal 16-7
3. Clark 22-5 vs. Borges 20-3
4. Murray 19-5 vs. Braun 16-4
5. Kelly 25-4 vs. Rakic 14-8
6. Kodali 13-5 vs. Sucevic 10-3

Mississippi State hadn't won the doubles point in consecutive matches since February but they managed to do it last weekend against Memphis and Illinois. I don't see it happening for a third match in a row because North Carolina has the ITA #3 team playing at #1 and the ITA #27 team playing at #2. 

It's interesting that both Brayden Schnur and Mate Cutura have sub .500 dual-match records because every one else in the lineup has a winning record. Ronnie Schneider is riding a 6-match winning streak while Rishab Agarwal has split his last 6. Nuno Borges is State's hottest player after winning 7 straight and 10 of his last 11 while his opponent Brett Clark has won 7 of his last 8. Neither Jack Murray or Niclas Braun have been lighting up recently with Murray having lost 4 of his last 7 while Braun has split his last 6. Robert Kelly has won 6 of his last 9 with all 3 losses being 7-6 in the third while Strahinja Rakic has won 4 of his last 6 but his last 3 went unfinished. Luca Sucevic has won 4 of his last 5 while Anu Kodali has split his last 6.

I'm going to take UNC in doubles and Schnur, Schneider, and Kelly in singles while I think Braun wins at 4 for State with the other two matches in a third set. North Carolina will win but Mississippi State will make them earn it. Prediction: North Carolina 4-1. 








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