The top seeds made their mark over the last three weekends with 21 of 30 conference tournament winners having a 1 in front of its name. The only conference that didn't have a conference tournament was the Ivy League. Dartmouth finished in a three-way tie with Cornell and Harvard but the Big Green got the nod via a tiebreak. There were 18 repeat champions with only Vanderbilt and Furman able to win the tournament on its home court. The longest shot to win a conference tournament was South Florida. The Bulls entered the AAC Tournament as the No. 7 seed but they knocked No. 10 Temple, No. 2 Tulane, No. 3 SMU, and then No. 1 Tulsa to win the title. Down below I have the breakdown by seed along with the list of each conference champion.
The last of the conference tournaments finished up on Sunday so we now know the 31 automatic qualifiers. The only conference that didn't have a conference tournament was the Ivy League. Columbia finished in a three-way tie with Cornell and Harvard but the Lions got the automatic bid due to having the highest ITA ranking in last week's rankings. Down below I have a breakdown of the conference tournament winners by seed which show us that the top seed won in 19 of 30 (63%) tournaments - as a point of reference last year it was 18 of 30 (60%). There were 14 repeat champions and there was only one host, Florida Gulf Coast, that defended its turf. FGCU was also tied with San Diego as the highest seeds to win a conference tournament.
Texas Tech came into this week knowing that it's only way to earn an NCAA Tournament berth was to win the conference tournament and amazingly they now sit just one match away from accomplishing that goal. On Saturday afternoon, Texas Tech picked up its third top 10 win in the last six days after coming back from 2-0 down to defeat No. 8 Oklahoma State 4-3. Oklahoma State jumped out to the early lead after winning a close doubles point and then Artur Dubinski made it 2-0 with a straight set win at No. 5. Texas Tech came back with three-set wins from Bjorn Thomson, Alex Sendegeya, and Connor Curry to go in front 3-2 before Oklahoma State's Lukas Finzelberg won in straight sets at No. 6. Texas Tech senior Jolan Cailleau would put the Red Raiders over the top with a match clinching 6-7, 6-4, 6-1 win over No. 24 Julian Cash at No. 1.
The latest USTA Top 25 is out with both the Wake Forest men and Florida women remaining at No. 1. The men's top five stayed the same with UCLA surging up to No. 6 after defeating USC last week while USC actually comes up one spot to No. 7 after the loss. Cal moved up four spots to No. 8 after knocking off Stanford, idle Texas A&M moved up two spots to No. 9, while Oklahoma State fell four spots to No. 10 after Oklahoma whipped them. South Florida was the only newcomer in the top 25 while Tulane dropped out after UCF blanked in the AAC Tourney.
The women's top three remained the same with Vanderbilt and Stanford swapping spots for No. 4. I personally thought Vanderbilt should have been No. 1 after defeating Florida twice in the last week en route to winning by far the deepest conference in the country.
Pepperdine's win over USC helped boost the Waves ranking up two spots to No. 6, Oklahoma State came up two spots to No. 7 after roughing up West Virginia and Iowa State, Georgia fell two spots to No. 8 after losing to Auburn, Texas Tech came up one spot to No. 9, and Georgia Tech fell three spots to No. 10 after falling to Duke. Auburn made the biggest jump by rising six spots to No. 16 after beating Georgia while Texas A&M dropped the most at four spots after losing to LSU. Both USC and LSU entered the top 25 while Florida International and TCU departed.
This will be the final week of the regular season with 18 conference tournaments taking place on both the men's and women's side. Of the 18 conferences playing tournaments this week, the only two that don't have both the men and women playing are the SEC and the Patriot League. The SEC women played last week while the men will play this week and the Patriot men played last week while the women will play this week. The only conference that doesn't hold a tournament is the Ivy League.
There have been 24 conference tournaments that have been played so far and in those 24 tournaments the No. 1 seed has won 20 (.833) times. The only teams to win that weren't a top seed were Florida A&M (M-#2), Florida Gulf Coast (M-#4), North Florida (W-#2), South Florida (W-#7) - interesting that they are all from Florida! In 2016, the top seed won 38 of the 62 (.613) tournaments so that number is definitely trending much higher this year. To see a full list of winners so far click the links below for my conference tournament pages.
If you haven't checked out my conference tournament central pages you've been cheating yourself because I've got all the links and info that you need in one place - won't find that anywhere else. Here is the link for my men's page and here is the link for my women's page. Some of the conferences don't play a full round robin and are waiting for the ITA rankings to come out tomorrow because in many cases those are used to determine seeding. I'll continue to update my pages as all the draws become available.
Top seed Vanderbilt knocked off top ranked Florida 4-3 to win the SEC Championship in match that was played indoors at Vanderbilt. Florida played without Josie Kuhlman (#2 singles/#3 doubles) who was sick with a stomach illness but the Gators still rolled through the doubles point to take the early lead. Vandy's Astra Sharma tied the match with a win at No. 1 but Florida's Kourtney Keegan made it 2-1 with a win at No. 5. Vandy's Sydney Campbell pulled out a three set win at No. 2 to even the match at 2-2 but Florida's Anna Danilina put the Gators back in front with a three set win at No. 4. Vandy's Christina Rosca tied the match at 3-3 with a three set win at No. 3 so the final match to go on court in the five-court facility would decide the championship.
Vanderbilt sophomore Fernanda Contreras won the first nine games of the match to go in front of Florida senior Spencer Liang 6-0, 3-0 but Liang came back to take the next five to go up 5-3. Contreras broke Liang from 15/40 with a lob winner to make it 5-4 and then she hit a service winner on the no-ad point to hold for 5-5. Contreras would go on to win the next eight points to close it out 6-0, 7-5 to give Vanderbilt its second SEC Tournament Championship in school history.
A year ago Texas Tech won 28 matches and hosted a NCAA Regional but going into tonight's match against No. 4 Baylor the Red Raiders were winless in the Big 12 while having an overall record of just 10-14. Baylor was down a man with Jimmy Bendeck (#4 singles/#2 doubles) a late scratch so BU had to make adjustments to both its doubles and singles lineup. Texas Tech took advantage of the shift and picked up wins at No. 2 and No. 3 to take the early 1-0 lead. In singles play, Texas Tech would add five first sets and both Jolan Cailleau and Jackson Cobb would win in straight sets to make it 3-0. Baylor fought back to get splits at No. 3, No. 4, and No. 5 while Texas Tech got a split at No. 2.
Baylor's Johannes Schretter, Max Tchoutakian, and Will Little would each pull through to tie the match at 3-3. Texas Tech senior Carlos DiLaura led Baylor freshman Constantin Frantzen 4-1 in the third at No. 5 but Frantzen took the next two to pull within 4-3. DiLaura broke back for 5-3 but Frantzen broke and held for 5-5 and two games later it went to a tiebreak. DiLaura went up 4-0 in the tiebreak but Frantzen rallied to tie it at 6-6. Frantzen had match points at 7-6 and 8-7 but DiLaura pulled it out 10-8.
UCLA and Ohio State both won outright regular season conference titles on Friday night with the Bruins defeating crosstown rival No. 6 USC 4-1 while the Buckeyes beat up No. 21 Northwestern 6-1. UCLA jumped out to the early 1-0 lead after claiming the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 and then the Bruins added four first sets in singles. Evan Zhu and Logan Staggs won in straight sets at No. 3 and No. 4 to make it 3-0 but USC would get on the board with a straight set win from Thibault Forget at No. 5. USC was getting close to a win at No. 6 and had an early break lead in the third at No. 1 but UCLA's Martin Redlicki would squash any hopes of a comeback after he closed out Nick Crystal 7-6, 7-6 at No. 2. UCLA and USC will both gets byes into the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament which begins on Wednesday in Ojai.
How is seeding done at most conferences?
There are some conferences that play a round robin format during the regular season and some that do not. The ones that do not play a full round robin format usually seed the conference tournament based off the most recent ITA rankings. The next thing you're probably wondering is what if there aren't any teams ranked in the ITA top 50 - then what? The conferences and schools are able to see the unpublished rankings so that way they can seed accordingly.
|W-Conference||Dates||Location||Host School||2016 Champion|
|SWAC||4/14 - 4/16||New Orleans||Alcorn State|
|AAC||4/19 - 4/22||Lake Nona, FL||Central Florida||Tulsa|
|SEC||4/19 - 4/23||Nashvillle||Vanderbilt||Florida|
|MEAC||4/20 - 4/22||Norfolk||Norfolk State||South Carolina State|
|Big South||4/20 - 4/23||Winston-Salem||Winthrop|
|Colonial||4/20 - 4/23||Elon, NC||Elon||William & Mary|
|Conference USA||4/20 - 4/23||Denton, TX||North Texas||Rice|
|Sun Belt||4/20 - 4/23||New Orleans||Georgia State|
|Atlantic Sun||4/21 - 4/23||Naples, FL||Florida Gulf Coast||North Florida|
|Northeast||4/21 - 4/23||West Windsor, NJ||Fairleigh Dickinson|
|Ohio Valley||4/21 - 4/23||Nashville, TN||Belmont/Tenn State||SIU Edwardsville|
|Southern||4/21 - 4/23||Greenville, SC||Furman||East Tennessee State|
|ACC||4/26 - 4/30||Rome, Georgia||North Carolina|
|Pac-12||4/26 - 4/30||Ojai, CA||Individual only||Stanford|
|WCC||4/27 - 4/29||Claremont, CA||Pepperdine|
|Atlantic 10||4/27 - 4/30||Lake Nona, FL||VCU|
|Big East||4/27 - 4/30||Cayce, SC||Xavier|
|Big Sky||4/27 - 4/30||Phoenix||Idaho|
|Big Ten||4/27 - 4/30||Champaign||Illinois||Ohio State|
|Big 12||4/27 - 4/30||Norman||Oklahoma||Oklahoma State|
|Big West||4/27 - 4/30||Indian Wells||UC Santa Barbara|
|Mountain West||4/27 - 4/30||Las Vegas||UNLV||UNLV|
|Patriot||4/27 - 4/30||Bethlehem, PA||Lehigh||Boston U|
|Summit||4/28 - 4/29||Indianapolis, IN||IUPUI||Denver|
|Horizon||4/28 - 4/30||Ann Arbor, MI||Detroit||Youngstown State|
|Missouri Valley||4/28 - 4/30||Normal, IL||Illinois State||Wichita State|
|Southland||4/28 - 4/30||Beaumont, TX||Lamar||Texas A&M Corpus|
|WAC||4/28 - 4/30||Las Cruces, NM||New Mexico State||UTRGV|
|Mid-American||4/28 - 4/30||Muncie, IN||Ball State||Ball State|
|MAAC||4/29 - 4/30||West Windsor, NJ||Quinnipiac|
#9 Florida State def. #8 Virginia 4-2 - Live Scoring
#1 North Carolina vs. #9 Florida State 4-1 - Live Scoring
Pac-12 Conference - Ojai, Ca - April 26-30
#8 Utah def. #9 Arizona 4-2
#1 Stanford def. #8 Utah 4-0
#1 Stanford def. #5 Oregon 4-0
Thursday (First Round)
#9 Nebraska def. #8 Minnesota 4-3
#1 Ohio State def. #9 Nebraska 4-0
#1 Ohio State def. #4 Illinois 4-3
#1 Ohio State def. #2 Michigan 4-0 - Live Scoring/Big Ten Network Broadcast
Thursday (First Round)
#8 Kansas State def. #9 Iowa State 4-1
#7 Kansas def. #10 West Virginia 4-1
Sunday (Finals) - 4 p.m. CT
Wednesday (First Round)
#4 Davidson def. #13 St. Bonaventure 4-0
#5 St. Louis def. #4 Davidson 4-2
#1 St. John's def. #8 Creighton 4-1
#1 St. John's def. #4 Xavier 4-3
#2 DePaul def. #1 St. John's 4-3 - Live Scoring
#3 Montana State def. #6 North Dakota 4-0
#1 Northern Arizona def. #4 Idaho State 4-0
#2 Idaho def. #1 Northern Arizona 4-3 - Live Scoring
Big West Conference - Indian Wells, CA - April 27-30
#1 Hawaii def. #8 UC Irvine 4-0
#1 Hawaii def. #4 Cal State Fullerton 4-1- Live Scoring
#2 UC Santa Barbara def. #1 Hawaii 4-1 - Live Scoring
Horizon League - Ann Arbor, MI - April 28-30
#1 Youngstown State def. #6 Wright State 4-2 - ESPN3/Horizon Twitter
Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) - West Windsor, NJ - April 29-30
#1 Quinnipiac def. #4 Fairfield 4-0
Mid-American Conference (MAC) - Muncie, IN - April 28-30
#4 Miami OH def. #5 Northern Illinois 4-1
#4 Miami OH def. #1 Ball State 4-2 - Live Scoring
Mountain West Conference - Las Vegas, NV - April 27-30
#3 San Jose State def. #1 UNLV 4-0 - Live Scoring/Streaming Broadcast
#8 Stony Brook def. #9 Northern Iowa 4-0 - Live Scoring
#1 Wichita State def. #4 Evansville 4-0 - Live Scoring
Southland Conference - Beaumont, TX - April 28-30
#1 Texas A&M Corpus Christi def. #3 Central Arkansas 4-2 - TAMUCC Twitter/Southland Twitter
#1 Denver def. #2 South Dakota 4-0
West Coast Conference - Claremont, CA - April 27-29
#6 BYU def. #3 St. Mary's 4-3
#1 Pepperdine def. #4 San Diego 4-0
#1 Pepperdine def. #2 Gonzaga 4-0
#5 Seattle def. #4 Chicago State 4-1
#1 UMKC def. #5 Seattle 4-1
#1 UMKC def. #2 New Mexico State 4-1 - WAC Twitter/New Mexico State Twitter
Week of April 17th-23rd
#11 Tennessee def. #14 Alabama 4-0
#3 Florida vs. #10 Auburn 4-2
Big South - Winston-Salem, NC - April 20-23
Thursday (First Round):
Wednesday (First Round)
#7 South Florida def. #10 Temple 4-0
#1 Tulsa def. #4 Cincinnati 4-0
#7 South Florida def. #1 Tulsa 4-2 - Broadcast
Atlantic Sun - Naples, FL - April 21 - 23
#3 NJIT vs. #6 Kennesaw State 4-3
#1 FGCU def. #4 Stetson 4-1 - Live Scoring
Conference USA - Denton, TX - April 20 - 23
Mid Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) - Norfolk, VA - April 20-22
#1S South Carolina State def. #1N Hampton 4-3
Northeast Conference - West Windsor, NJ - April 21-23
#1 LIU Brooklyn def. #8 St. Francis Brooklyn 4-0
Ohio Valley - Nashville, TN - April 21-23
#3 Eastern Kentucky def. #6 Murray State 4-2
#3 Eastern Kentucky def. #2 UT Martin 4-3
#1 Furman def. #2 East Tennessee State 4-2
Sun Belt - New Orleans - April 20-23
#1 Louisiana-Monroe vs. #8 Texas State 4-0 - Live Scoring
Week of April 10th-16th
#4 Alcorn State def. #6 Grambling 4-0
#1 Alabama State def. #4 Alcorn State 4-0
Monday was a light day for competition with many teams gearing up for conference tournaments this weekend but there was one match of substance that took place in Tampa between No. 26 South Florida and No. 34 Memphis. Memphis put itself in great shape to take the doubles point after winning 6-3 at No. 1 and leading 4-0 at No. 2 but South Florida's Justin Roberts and Peter Bertran came storming back to win the decider in a tiebreak by an 8-6 score. In singles action, South Florida took opening sets at 2, 3, 5, and 6 and Alberto Barroso Campos and Vadym Kalyuzhnyy would close out their matches at 3 and 5 in straight sets to make it 3-0. USF junior Peter Bertran would get the clincher at No. 4 with a come from behind 1-6, 6-3, 6-0 win and with that win South Florida locked up the top seed in this week's American Conference Tournament which will be held in Orlando at the USTA National Campus.