Saturday, 21 April 2018 21:52

NCAA Men: The Race to Host - 4/21 Update

With all the regular season conference play winding down it's that time of year where teams gear up for conference tournaments (except the Ivy League, those smart guys sit back and watch... wait it's better to play more to have a chance to improve your ranking right? not sure who the smart one's are here).  At the same time everyone is gearing up for conference tournaments all the teams that have a legitimate shot at hosting start looking at the rankings trying to figure out if they have a shot of making the top 16 to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.  So of course you are wondering, how's it look for my team?  Well, ask no more.  Below you'll find the outlook for each team and as events occur that change the outlook I'll update the post and put an update date on it.  So without further ado...

Published in Blogs
Sunday, 15 April 2018 19:06

NCAA Men: The Race to Host - as of 4/15

With all the regular season conference play winding down it's that time of year where teams gear up for conference tournaments (except the Ivy League, those smart guys sit back and watch... wait it's better to play more to have a chance to improve your ranking right? not sure who the smart one's are here).  At the same time everyone is gearing up for conference tournaments all the teams that have a legitimate shot at hosting start looking at the rankings trying to figure out if they have a shot of making the top 16 to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.  So of course you are wondering, how's it look for my team?  Well, ask no more.  Below you'll find the outlook for each team and as events occur that change the outlook I'll update the post and put an update date on it.  So without further ado...

Published in Blogs

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. 

Published in Blogs

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.  

Published in Blogs

The ITA released its latest team, singles, and doubles rankings today with the Wake Forest men and Florida women remaining in the top spots. In the men's team rankings Stanford made the biggest jump inside the top 25 with the Cardinal coming up four spots to No. 15 after defeating USC last week. Notre Dame made the biggest overall leap in the top 50 with the Irish rising 11 spots after winning at Florida State. 

In the women's top 25, Mississippi State was the only team to move more than two spots with the Bulldogs falling four spots to No. 20 after losses to Florida and South Carolina. Arizona State, Oklahoma, and Wichita State each rose seven spots last week to No. 29, No. 34, and No. 43 respectively. 

These team rankings were comprised of each team's nine best wins and all losses and it'll stay at nine up through the selection of the NCAA field. If you want to get an early look at what next week's rankings look like you can view my real-time rankings which are available to all College Tennis Today subscribers. If you enjoy the content that I put out and you've been thinking about subscribing now is the perfect time with the NCAA Tournament coming up next month. You can do a monthly option for $9.99 a month ($.33 a day) and there is no long term commitment. Subscribe for as long or as little as you want.  

Published in Blogs

The ITA released its latest team, singles, and doubles rankings today with the Wake Forest men and Florida women remaining in the top spots. In the men's team rankings, Ohio State stayed at No. 2, Baylor moved up one spot to No. 3, Virginia dropped one spot to No. 4, and USC remained at No. 5. TCU was the only team to enter the top 10 after picking up wins last week over #7 Texas A&M, #8 Oklahoma State, and #16 Oklahoma. On the women's side, Georgia moved up one spot to No. 2, Ohio State fell one spot to No. 3, North Carolina fell two spots to No. 4, and Texas Tech moved up one spot to No. 5. Georgia Tech made a nice jump up to No. 6 after picking up a win over North Carolina in Chapel Hill last Saturday.  

These team rankings were comprised of each team's eight best wins and all losses but next week it moves to each team's nine best wins and it'll stay at nine up through the selection of the NCAA field.

Published in Blogs
Thursday, 14 April 2016 19:37

Conference Tournaments & The Bubble Watch

If you hadn't noticed there are three conference tournaments taking place this week and then they'll be another 27 that will take place over the next two weeks. I have a Conference Tournament Central tab at the top of my site that will keep you in the loop on each so check it out.

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 75 - then what? The conferences are sent a list of the expanded ITA rankings that includes just the schools in their conference so that way they can seed accordingly.

Below I'll go through each conference with my best guess on the number of teams that I anticipate qualifying for this year's NCAA tournament. There will be a lot of one bid leagues since the at-large cut-off is usually right around 42.

American Athletic Conference (AAC) - Memphis, TN
Locks - #19 South Florida, #24 Tulsa, #27 SMU, #28 Tulane
Bubble - #38 Memphis
Expected number of NCAA bids - 5
Comments - Memphis has a chance to move off the bubble if they can beat South Florida at home this Sunday or if they can beat either Tulsa, SMU, or Tulane in the AAC quarterfinals. I think Memphis is going to find a way to beat one of those teams at the conference tournament, which it hosts, and will end up making the field.

Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) - Cary, NC
Locks - #1 Virginia, #5 North Carolina, #7 Wake Forest #22 Florida State, #30 Georgia Tech
Bubble - #40 Virginia Tech, #42 NC State, #43 Notre Dame
Expected number of NCAA bids - 7
Comments - If Virginia Tech beats Miami this week and then wins at least once match at the ACC Tournament I think they are good to go. Notre Dame and NC State play this Sunday in Raleigh in what may be an elimination match. Notre Dame has a 13-12 record so if it loses to NC State it would need to win it's opening round match at the ACC Tournament to keep its record above .500. If the Irish finished the season with a 13-14 record they would be left out of the NCAAs regardless of whether their ranking was high enough to qualify them as an at-large (see NCAA .500 rule). The one thing that both UND and NCST have going for them is that they each have a top 10 win so if those teams keep rising then so will they. It's still early but at this point I'll say the winner of this weekend's match makes it in with the loser left on the outside looking in.

Atlantic Sun Conference - Spartanburg, SC  
Locks - None
Bubble - None
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - The only team to make the NCAAs will be the winner of the conference tournament. Florida Gulf Coast is currently ranked No. 74 and they'll be the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.

Atlantic 10 Conference - Charlottesville, VA 
Locks - None
Bubble - None
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - The only team to make the NCAAs will be the winner of the conference tournament. VCU is the No. 1 seed and the tournament is just 75 miles miles away from its Richmond campus.

Big East Conference - Cayce, SC
Locks - None
Bubble - None
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - The only team to make the NCAAs will be the winner of the conference tournament. St. John's is currently ranked No. 62 and they'll be the favorite to win the tournament.

Big Sky Conference - Gold River, CA
Locks - None
Bubble - None
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - The only team to make the NCAAs will be the winner of the conference tournament. Weber State and Idaho will be the favorites win the tournament.

Big South Conference - Lynchburg, VA
Locks - None
Bubble - None
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - The only team to make the NCAAs will be the winner of the conference tournament. Coastal Carolina and Presbyterian are the top two seeds in the tournament.

Big Ten Conference - Minneapolis, MN
Locks - #3 Ohio State, #15 Northwestern, #17 Illinois, #21 Michigan
Bubble - #39 Penn State, #47 Wisconsin
Expected number of NCAA bids - 5
Comments - Wisconsin hosts Penn State on Friday night in a huge match for both teams. If Penn State wins they'll be dancing in May while Wisconsin would then need to beat Indiana, Purdue, and then win at least one and probably two matches in the B1G tournament. On the flip side if Wisconsin beats Penn State and then also beats IU and PU they'll be on the right side of the fence while Penn State would need to pull off an upset in the B1G tournament.

Big 12 Conference - Stillwater, OK
Locks - #2 TCU, #8 Oklahoma, #10 Texas Tech, #14 Oklahoma State, #18 Texas
Bubble - #37 Baylor
Expected number of NCAA bids - 6
Comments - Baylor's win over Texas last week should be enough to get the Bears into the party.

Big West Conference - Indian Wells, CA
Locks - None
Bubble - #50 UC Santa Barbara
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - I think UCSB is a little too far off the pace to make it as an at-large so they'll need to win the conference tournament to qualify. #65 Cal Poly, #69 UC Davis, and #75 UC Irvine will be the other strong contenders out in the desert.

Colonial Athletic Association - Elon, NC
Locks - None
Bubble - None
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - The only team to make the NCAAs will be the winner of the conference tournament. #72 UNC Wilmington, College of Charleston, William & Mary, and Elon (host) will be the serious contenders.

Conference USA - Houston, TX
Locks - #26 Rice
Bubble - #44 Old Dominion
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - Old Dominion has won 16 of its last 17 but it needs to at least make the finals of the conference tournament to have a shot - a loss any sooner would be a death blow.

Horizon League - Ann Arbor, MI
Locks - None
Bubble - None
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - The only team to make the NCAAs will be the winner of the conference tournament.
I'd be surprised if someone other than Valparaiso or Green Bay won the tournament.

The Ivy League - No Tournament
Locks - #25 Columbia
Bubble - #36 Dartmouth, #46 Princeton, #48 Harvard
Expected number of NCAA bids - 2
Comments - Dartmouth should beat Yale and Brown this weekend but to lock up its spot in the field it'll need to win at Harvard the following week. It's possible that Dartmouth could make it in with a loss to Harvard but it'd be awfully close. Princeton probably needs to win out to get in and that would include a win at Columbia on Friday. Harvard is probably a long-shot that would need to win out and get help to move up from No. 48 to No. 42.

Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) - West Windsor, NJ
Locks - None
Bubble - None
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - The only team to make the NCAAs will be the winner of the conference tournament.
I'd be surprised if someone other than Quinnipiac or Marist won the tournament.

Mid-American Conference (MAC) - DeKalb, IL
Locks - None
Bubble - None
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - The only team to make the NCAAs will be the winner of the conference tournament.
The 4-team conference tournament will be pretty wide open with Western Michigan the slight favorite but Buffalo, Binghamton, and Northern Illinois will each have a shot as well.

Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) - Norfolk, VA
Locks - None
Bubble - None
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - The only team to make the NCAAs will be the winner of the conference tournament. South Carolina State is the only team in the conference with a non-losing record (6-6) so I'd make them the favorite but Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M will be right there as well.

Missouri Valley Conference - Wichita, KS
Locks - None
Bubble - #49 Drake
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - Drake has had a good year but they took on one too many losses and will most likely need to win the tournament to make it in. Wichita State is the host so you can't overlook them and Southern Illinois is having its best season in decades.

Mountain West Conference - Las Vegas, NV
Locks - None
Bubble - None
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - There are three ranked teams in the conference, #57 Utah State/#60 New Mexico/#68 Boise State, but none are ranked high enough to be considered on the bubble. In addition to the three ranked teams I'd also give San Diego State and UNLV (host) a chance of winning the automatic bid - too close to call.

Northeast Conference - West Windsor, NJ
Locks - None
Bubble - None
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - The only team to make the NCAAs will be the winner of the conference tournament. St. Francis (PA) and Mount St. Mary's are the only two schools with winning records but Bryant is the defending champion.

Ohio Valley Conference - Nashville, TN
Locks - None
Bubble - None
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - The only team to make the NCAAs will be the winner of the conference tournament. Tennessee Tech and Eastern Kentucky are the two favorites.

Pac-12 Conference - Ojai, CA
Locks - #4 UCLA, #9 USC, #16 Cal, #29 Stanford,
Bubble - #35 Washington, #41 Oregon
Expected number of NCAA bids - 6
Comments - Washington hosts Oregon this weekend in a match that both teams really want. Whoever wins will be able to breathe a little easier but both will have a chance to pick up a decent win in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament against Utah or Arizona. Right now I think both teams will find a way in but that could change.

Patriot League - Lewisburg, PA
Locks - None
Bubble - None
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - The only team to make the NCAAs will be the winner of the conference tournament. Navy, Lehigh, Colgate, and Bucknell will be the main contenders.

Southeastern Conference (SEC) - Columbia, SC
Locks - #6 Georgia, #11 Texas A&M, #12 Arkansas, #13 Florida, #20 Kentucky, #23 Mississippi State
Bubble - #32 Ole Miss, #33 LSU, #34 Alabama, #45 Vanderbilt
Expected number of NCAA bids - 9
Comments - I think Ole Miss, LSU, and Alabama will make it in but Vanderbilt will need to beat a higher ranked team to boost its chances. The Commodores play at Mississippi State and Alabama this weekend so the opportunity is there to state its case that it belongs with everyone else.

Southern Conference - Chattanooga, TN
Locks - None
Bubble - None
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - The only team to make the NCAAs will be the winner of the conference tournament. #52 East Tennessee State will be the heavy favorite with Samford the only other viable contender.

Southland Conference - Nacogdoches, TX
Locks - None
Bubble - None
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - The only team to make the NCAAs will be the winner of the conference tournament.   #54 Lamar, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, and Abilene Christian are the three with a legitimate chance of winning.

Southwestern Athletic Conference - New Orleans, LA
Locks - None
Bubble - None
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - The only team to make the NCAAs will be the winner of the conference tournament. Jackson State and Alabama State are the top seeds.

The Summit League - Omaha, NE
Locks - None
Bubble - None
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - The only team to make the NCAAs will be the winner of the conference tournament.  #51 Denver will be a heavy, heavy favorite to win it.

Sun Belt Conference - New Orleans, LA
Locks - None
Bubble - None
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - The only team to make the NCAAs will be the winner of the conference tournament.  #53 Georgia State, Georgia Southern, South Alabama, and Troy are the leading contenders.

West Coast Conference - Claremont, CA
Locks - #31 San Diego
Bubble - None
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - San Diego is the heavy favorite to win the conference tournament with #56 Pepperdine, #61 BYU, #66 Loyola Marymount, and #71 Pacific probably a piece or two away from really having a chance.

Western Athletic Conference - Brownsville, TX
Locks - None
Bubble - None
Expected number of NCAA bids - 1
Comments - The only team to make the NCAAs will be the winner of the conference tournament.  New Mexico State and UMKC are the only ones with a real chance of winning since Grand Canyon is still ineligible due to its recent transition from D2 to D1. 







Published in Blogs
Well it has been one heck of a regular season but we are now officially headed to the postseason. The final regular season rankings were run twice to account for all the weekend's results and this set of rankings will be used to determine the NCAA Tournament field.

64 teams qualify for the NCAA Tournament with that number comprised of 31 automatic qualifiers and 33 at-large bids (the AQs are at the bottom of the link). The at-large cut-off for the men's field ended up at 42 since there were 9 conference champions that were ranked in the top 42. 

There were a few spots where the difference between two teams was a matter of tenths of a point with the cut-off teams of Memphis and Alabama only separated by .28. Now I do have to say that these are just projections and there is some educated guesswork involved on the unranked wins so it is possible that Alabama could end up ahead of Memphis if one of my projections was off.

Here was the breakdown on the final two teams vying for that last at-large spot.

#41 Memphis (19.76)
9 Best Wins - at #27 Ole Miss, at #30 SMU, at #35 Vanderbilt, #51 Harvard, #47 Denver, at San Diego State, at Middle Tennessee State, VCU, Louisville

#43 Alabama (19.48)
9 Best Wins - at #27 Ole Miss, at #36 LSU, at #46 South Carolina, #53 Princeton, #62 Georgia State, #63 Auburn, at North Florida, Miami, UAB

Memphis had five top 75 wins while Alabama had six since North Florida will drop out this week. I had Memphis's non-top 75 wins ranked as follows - San Diego State (76-85), Middle Tennessee State & VCU (86-95), and Louiville (106-115). I had Alabama's non-top 75 wins ranked as follows - North Florida and Miami (76-85) and UAB (86-95)

I feel very confident about San Diego State, VCU, North Florida, and Miami but not as confident about Middle Tennessee State, Louisville, and UAB. Those last three have been in the same place for about the last three weeks and were ranked in those same spots when the last set of rankings was done on April 26. If MTSU were to drop down from 86-95 to 96-105 that four point drop would be enough to push Alabama ahead of Memphis by a hair. It is really too close to call so we won't know for sure until selection time at 5:30 p.m. eastern on Tuesday.

The other set of teams that was as close as it gets is Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech at 32 and 33 with GT getting the 32 spot by .01. Now it really doesn't matter that much if you are a 2 or 3 seed because you're going to be playing the same caliber team in the first round.

Illinois and Baylor were the teams inside the top 45 that improved their stock the most in the final week of the season. Illinois passed South Florida due to its wins over Penn State and Northwestern while Baylor took itself off the bubble with a HUGE win at Oklahoma State.

The reason UNC Wilmington dropped so many spots despite not playing last week is because its loss to Charleston from two weekends ago wasn't keyed in until this past week.


5/3 Oracle/ITA Men's Ranking Projections


RankSchoolPointsPrevious
1Virginia78.431
2UCLA - IN71.512
3North Carolina70.633
4TCU - IN70.185
5Ohio State - IN69.724
6Wake Forest - IN65.146
7Georgia64.367
8Texas Tech59.948
9Florida - IN57.259
10Oklahoma55.8810
11USC54.4511
12Texas A&M 49.9914
13California49.7912
14Northwestern48.9313
15Illinois47.7217
16Oklahoma State47.0115
17South Florida - IN44.3416
18Texas40.3718
19Arkansas39.7319
20Kentucky38.1120
21Florida State34.7421
22Mississippi State34.4922
23Tulsa33.8823
24Michigan32.4424
25Columbia - IN32.1125
26Rice* - IN31.1626
27Ole Miss*28.8329
28San Diego - IN28.2730
29Stanford*27.8727
30SMU*27.4328
31Tulane*26.2731
32Georgia Tech25.1233
33Virginia Tech*25.1132
34Baylor*24.6142
35Vanderbilt*24.5734
36LSU*23.2936
37Penn State22.8035
38Oregon22.6538
39Washington*21.6140
40Notre Dame*21.1737
41Dartmouth20.9639
42Memphis*19.7641
43Alabama*19.4843
44NC State*18.0544
45UC Santa Barbara* - IN17.8346
46South Carolina (14-15)17.7945
47Denver* - IN16.7348
48Old Dominion*15.0147
49Cornell*14.2650
50Drake*14.0751
51Harvard*13.7649
52Purdue*13.5553
53Princeton*13.3852
54Pepperdine*12.3761
55Lamar* - IN12.0855
56East Tennessee St* - IN11.6654
57Boise State*11.1359
58Utah State*10.9956
59Indiana*10.9558
60Wisconsin*10.8357
61BYU*10.6460
62Georgia State*9.9762
63Auburn*9.8663
64Cal Poly*9.7168
65St. John's* - IN8.7966
66Wichita State* - IN8.78NR
67Iowa*8.5473
68New Mexico*8.5264
69
Published in Blogs
64 teams qualify for the NCAA Tournament with that number comprised of 32 automatic qualifiers and 32 at-large bids (the AQs are at the bottom of the link). The at-large cut-off for the women's field ended up at 43 since there were 11 conference champions that were ranked in the top 43.

As with the men there are a few spots that are literally separated by tenths of a point and in the case of Texas Tech and Georgia Tech hundredths of a point. I'm showing that Texas Tech is .003 ahead of Georgia Tech for the No. 16 spot so with the difference being that small we just won't know for sure until the names are announced tomorrow.

It appears that Notre Dame will be the one to get the final at-large bid with ND ahead of Florida International by .41 in the final second run rankings. 

Here was the breakdown on the final two teams vying for that last at-large spot - you'll notice that Notre Dame's win are a good bit better but FIU only has 3 losses while Notre Dame has 13 and that's what made it so close. 

#43 Notre Dame (16.44)
9 Best Wins - #30 Clemson, #34 Virginia Tech, #54 Illinois, #56 Florida State, at #66 Boston College, at #74 Purdue, Indiana (76-85) , 2 sub 125 ranked teams
Losses (13) - #3 North Carolina, #7 Miami, #9 Michigan, #10 Duke, #12 Oklahoma State, #15 Virginia, #16 Georgia Tech (2X), #22 Arizona State, #26 Syracuse, #27 Wake Forest, #30 Clemson, #36 NC State

#44 Florida International (16.03)
9 Best Wins - at #46 Georgia State, #60 Brown, #65 UT Arlington, #67 Old Dominion, #72 Yale, at Marshall (76-85), VCU (86-95), at Central Florida (96-105, at Middle Tennessee State (116-125)
Losses - #37 Columbia, #41 Rice, Troy (86-95)




5/3 Oracle/ITA Women's Ranking Projections


RankSchoolPointsPrevious
1Florida - IN76.191
2Cal75.782
3North Carolina - IN74.093
4Ohio State - IN70.175
5Georgia69.534
6Vanderbilt65.906
7Miami61.177
8Pepperdine* - IN53.128
9Duke52.529
10Michigan51.4711
11Auburn50.9310
12Oklahoma State - IN49.1115
13South Carolina47.6413
14Virginia46.1114
15Stanford - IN45.8812
16Texas Tech42.2319
17Georgia Tech42.2316
18LSU39.9817
19Texas A&M38.9118
20USC36.6320
21Mississippi State36.0021
22Kentucky33.7923
23Arizona State33.4222
24Texas*30.9224
25Syracuse*28.9027
26UCLA28.2125
27Wake Forest*28.1426
28Wichita State* - IN26.9628
29Tulsa* - IN26.7529
30Clemson*24.3631
31Northwestern*24.2230
32Kansas*23.4133
33Arkansas*22.5032
34Virginia Tech*21.6834
35TCU*21.5135
36NC State*20.9636
37Columbia20.8337
38William & Mary* - IN19.4038
39Princeton - IN19.2440
40Baylor*18.9339
41Rice* - IN18.8041
42Ole Miss*18.1142
43Notre Dame*16.4443
44Florida International*16.0346
45Fresno State*15.7147
46Georgia State* - IN15.6045
47Denver* - IN15.1744
48Dartmouth*14.8248
49Penn*14.0549
50UNLV* - IN13.5972
51South Alabama*13.0155
52Washington*12.8350
53Alabama*12.5754
54Illinois*12.4351
55South Florida*12.1653
56Florida State*12.0557
57Harvard*11.9052
58Oregon*11.7158
59Cornell*11.4659
60Brown*11.1960
61New Mexico*11.1656
62Utah*10.7361
63Long Beach State*10.3862
64Missouri*9.3463
65UT Arlington*8.9164
66Boston College*8.7266
67Old Dominion*8.5667
68DePaul*8.3670
69North Texas*8.2668
70Washington State*8.2665
Published in Blogs
April 18-29: Conference Tournaments 
May 1 - NCAA Selection Show
May 17-28: NCAA Final 16 Championships (Winston-Salem)