The Men's National Team Indoors in Chicago is THE event this weekend with Ohio State the top seed and definite favorite. The top seeded Buckeyes open up with Tulane on Friday and with a win in that match they'd move on to face the winner of the Virginia/Stanford match. Almost all of the round of 16 matches are expected to be highly competitive with many 4-2 and 4-3 scores sure to come. Slam.Tennis will have updated brackets and match times throughout the weekend plus they'll have a running scoreboard in addition to the scoring and video links. I think they'll only be streaming video on 7 of the 12 courts so I guess we'll have to wait until the opening matches gets underway at 9 am central to see what we get.
In other action this weekend, Penn will be hosting the men's ECAC Tournament with Dartmouth the top seed. A bracket and preview of the event are available at this link via Penn.
Air Force and Army will meet on Saturday afternoon at 4 pm in Lake Nona in the latest installment of College MatchDay. Both the men and women will play simultaneously with the matches to be streamed on Tennis Channel Plus with a tape delay broadcast to air on the Tennis Channel on Sunday evening at 6:30. For more details check out the USTA's release on the event.
The only women's matchup between top 25 teams will take place on Saturday in Tallahassee as No. 20 Florida State hosts No. 15 Miami. Some other women's matches to keep an eye on are Tulsa at Kansas (Sat), Cal at Pepperdine (Sat), Boston College at Virginia (Sat), Baylor at Northwestern (Fri), UCF at Alabama (Fri) and Ole Miss (Sun), and Northwestern at Georgia Tech (Sun).
It's Friday which means we have another action packed weekend of tennis upon us. The big event on the women's side is the ITA National Team Indoors in Seattle. There has already been a change to Friday's schedule with 4 to 6 inches of snow in the forecast. The opening matches will be moved up from 9 am to 8 am pacific, the second pair of matches which were originally scheduled for 12 noon will start at 10 am, the third pair of matches were moved up from 3 pm to 12 pm, and the final matches were moved up from 6:30pm to 2pm. All matches on Friday will start with singles with doubles only being played if the match is tied at 3-3. All the updated match times are available on my live scoring page and over on Slam.Tennis. According to this release from the University of Washington, all of Saturday's matches have been cancelled however I've yet to see any confirmation of this from the ITA. (Update: there will be no tennis played on Saturday at the University of Washington - there may be a limited number of matches played at the Seattle Tennis Club however that decision will be made later on Friday)
There are also going to be plenty of good matches this weekend on the men's side. Some of the more intriguing matches on Friday are #1 Wake Forest at #13 Virginia (will be a non-conference match), #10 Stanford visits #5 USC, and #2 Ohio State hosts Arizona State, On Saturday #3 Mississippi State will play #19 Tulane in a neutral site match in Lubbock, Stanford will close out its LA road trip at #7 UCLA, #14 Illinois will host #8 North Carolina, and #17 Tennessee and Duke will meet in Lake Nona in a match to be carried live by the Tennis Channel. To close out the weekend on Sunday, #2 Ohio State will host #24 Georgia, #1 Wake Forest hosts #9 Baylor, and #15 TCU welcomes in #4 Florida. To follow all of these matches check out my live scoring page which also has links to several other matches.
The next set of ITA rankings will be coming out on Tuesday afternoon and I have the top 40 for you on my rankings tab (premium). There won't be a lot of movement in the men's top 10 but there will be some with a certain team from Texas known for the "Hat" expected to be back in the top 10 for the first time since early in the season. On the women's side I'd expect to see a nice jump for Georgia Tech after its big win at North Carolina plus a team from the Magnolia State will make a big move into a prime position after a pair of weekend wins.
By Wednesday afternoon I'll have my real-time rankings with each teams nine best wins viewable for College Tennis Today subscribers so if you're want to be ahead of the curve then hop on board and subscribe today!
Over the last several weeks Universal Tennis has been highlighting the top college players by country, as rated by the UTR system. Universal Tennis started with the United States and have progressed through Great Britain, Canada, France, and Germany with several more countries (Spain, Brazil, Australia, etc.) coming up in the next few months. You can view all the articles at this link - if you have any suggestions on countries let me or the folks at UTR know.
The last day of March brings us one of the biggest matches of the year as No. 1 Wake Forest hosts No. 3 Virginia in a match that will hopefully be played outdoors if the rain clears out in time. The match was originally scheduled to be the last USTA College MatchDay event of the year but unfortunately the broadcast had to be cancelled due to the uncertainty of the weather which is calling for rain up until about 4 p.m. I'll be in Winston-Salem this afternoon and am hoping to see outdoor tennis even if the start time has to be delayed a few hours.
The Big 12 kicks of its conference schedule on Friday evening with a pair of gems as No. 6 Texas travels to Norman to play No. 13 Oklahoma while a resurgent No. 16 TCU goes to Stillwater to play No. 8 Oklahoma State. I am expecting Andrew Harris to be back in the lineup for OU so it'll be interesting to see how he plays after missing the last month and a half.
The next set of ITA rankings will be coming out on Tuesday afternoon and I have the top 35 for you on my rankings tab. The Wake Forest/Virginia match on Friday will not be a 1 vs. 2 matchup but it'll be close. I included the Stanford/Illinois match from today but the TCU/Texas A&M match going on Monday night shouldn't be included since it didn't start until after the 5 p.m. ET cutoff however in the past few weeks some matches have counted that finished later on Monday. The real-time rankings are viewable for College Tennis Today subscribers so if you're want to be ahead of the curve then hope on board and subscribe today!
Down below I have a chart with all of this week's bigger matches listed by conference. I mainly included matches that will impact conference races along with teams that will be fighting for an at-large spot in this year's NCAA field.
The HUGE match of the week takes place in Waco on Friday night when #2 Baylor hosts #1 Oklahoma. Oklahoma has already beat Baylor twice this season - once indoors in Chicago at the National Indoors and once outdoors in Indian Wells at the BNP Paribas Collegiate Challenge. There's a very good chance that this could be the 1st of 3 matches between these two teams just in Waco alone because not only is the Big 12 conference tournament in Waco this year but so is the NCAA Championships. They always say it's tough to beat somebody 3 times in a season - what do they say about beating someone 5 times?
#6 Duke at #16 North Carolina - 3pm est
#7 Texas A&M at #24 LSU - 4pm est
#18 San Diego at #64 Portland - 1pm est
#46 Memphis at #19 South Florida - 3pm est
Georgia Tech at #4 Virginia - 3pm est
#33 Florida State at #34 NC State - 4pm est
#20 Mississippi State at #21 Vanderbilt - 6pm est
#5 USC at #27 Cal - 6pm est
#1 Oklahoma at #2 Baylor - 7pm est
#25 Oklahoma State at #23 Texas Tech - 7pm est
#15 UCLA at #36 Stanford - 7pm est
#7 Texas A&M at #10 TCU - 2pm est
#5 USC at #36 Stanford - 5pm est
#14 Ole Miss at #8 Georgia - 5pm est
#15 UCLA at #27 Cal - 6pm est
#16 Florida at #43 Tennessee - 12pm est
#33 Florida State at #6 Duke - 12pm est
Middle Tennessee State at #19 South Florida - 1pm est
#28 Louisville at #4 Virginia - 1pm est
#58 Alabama at #21 Vanderbilt - 1pm est
#35 Harvard at #30 Princeton - 1pm est
#55 Rice at #44 SMU - 1pm est
#24 LSU at #20 Mississippi State - 2pm est
#16 North Carolina at #13 Wake Forest - 2pm est
Georgia Tech at #12 Virginia Tech - 2pm est
#25 Oklahoma State at #2 Baylor - 3pm est
#1 Oklahoma at #23 Texas Tech - 3pm est
With the regular season starting to wind down I decided that I'll do a daily top 10 to show what the top 10 looks like as of the current day. I'll do this every day except Monday and Tuesday and will do it through the end of the conference tournaments which wrap up on April 26th. Starting with this week's rankings each team is ranked on its 9 best wins.
Packed house at Caswell Tennis Center pic.twitter.com/4BNR8zOssW
Texas Tennis (@TexasMTN) April 15, 2015
Baylor started things off by taking the doubles point with wins at #2 and #3 despite having Tony Lupieri and Max Tchoutakian playing together for the first time at #3. Lupieri's normal doubles partner Mate Zsiga did not play doubles but did play singles. Baylor's Diego Galeano was also serving for the match at #1 doubles when the point was clinched.
When the singles lineups were first put it out they showed Nick Naumann at #5 and Clement Homs at #6 but once play actually got underway they were switched. According to BU's blogger, Kim Gorum, since the official lineup submitted to the Big 12 showed Naumann at 5 and Homs at 6 the only way they could be switched is if Baylor agreed to it and apparently Matt Knoll didn't have a problem with the switch so it was allowed.
Once play got started Texas's Lloyd Glasspool would jump out to an early double break lead at #2 singles and would take a quick 6-1 set over Tony Lupieri.
Baylor's Julian Lenz, Mate Zsiga, and Felipe Rios would go up early breaks at 1, 5, and 6 but Texas's Soren Hess-Olesen, Clement Homs, and Nick Naumann would get them back a few games later. Lenz and Zsiga would break again and both ended up serving out the opening set to take it 6-4. Baylor's #4 Diego Galeano would break George Goldhoff to go up 4-3, then after an exchange of holds Galeano would also serve out the set and take it 6-4. The match at #3 between Max Tchoutakian and Adrien Berkowicz stayed close until Berkowicz was broke serving at 5-6 which gave Tchoutakian the opening set 7-5. Back at #6, Naumann would come back from 4-2 down to lead 5-4 only to see Rios hold and break for 6-5. Naumann would break back to send the opening set to a tiebreak but Rios would sprint out to a 5-2 lead in the TB. A Naumann double fault made it 6-3 and then Rios got a ball to hit the tape and fall on the other side to give him the set 7-6(3).
So with Baylor taking 5 opening sets plus having the doubles point in the bag you figured this just wasn't going to be Texas's night and it wasn't.
Lloyd Glasspool would finish off Tony Lupieri at #2 to even the match it at 1 but that would be the end of the good news for the Longhorns.
Julian Lenz broke Soren Hess-Olesen in the 3rd game of the 2nd set and wouldn't look back as he won going away 6-4, 6-2.
BAYLOR 2, Texas 1. Julian Lenz aces out the win over Hess-Olesen, 6-4, 6-2, at No. 1 spot. pic.twitter.com/VULWBtXVnKLess than 5 minutes later both Diego Galeano and Felipe Rios would win their respective matches within about 30 seconds of each other. Galeano, like Lenz, broke in the 3rd game of the 2nd set and rolled to a 6-4, 6-2 win over George Goldhoff at #4. Rios went down an early break in the 2nd but immediately broke back and would then break again to go up 5-3 and then he served it out to take it 7-6, 6-3 over Nick Naumann.
BaylorMTennis (@BaylorMTennis) April 16, 2015
The 2 other matches were abandoned with Max Tchoutakian up a set and on-serve in the 2nd against Adrien Berkowicz at #3 and Mate Zsiga was up a set but down a break against Clement Homs at #5.
All in all a very impressive road win for Baylor who has now won 9 straight in Austin. Below are some video clips from Baylor's twiter:
Head coach Matt Knoll talks about the victory over Texas and the focus of his team. pic.twitter.com/FiUJaF6OEp
BaylorMTennis (@BaylorMTennis) April 16, 2015
Julian Lenz talks about winning the doubles point against Texas. pic.twitter.com/fiJXr0D7XwBaylor recap
BaylorMTennis (@BaylorMTennis) April 16, 2015
On preparing for postseason play: We have just got to keep trying to get better. We have been saying it all year long. We have played well at times, but I still don't feel like we've played our best. We have a lot to play for. We want to try and find our stride and play our best tennis at the end. We will wake up tomorrow and go back to work.
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3); Singles (2,1,4,6)
What's Coming Up:
- #9 USC at #19 UCLA - both teams are licking their wounds after this past weekend. Going to be interesting to see if Hanfmann and Quiroz can lead SC to a win or whether they'll continue their recent slide and let UCLA take the #2 seed in the Pac 12 Tourney which would make USC the #3 seed.
- #25 LSU vs. #45 South Carolina (SEC Tournament) - LSU is all but guaranteed to be a #2 seed in an NCAA regional but South Carolina really needs a win to secure it's spot because right now the Gamecocks are sitting right on the bubble with the NCAA at-large cutoff usually between 42 and 44.
- #17 Florida vs. #74 Kentucky (SEC Tournament) - These two played just 6 days ago in Lexington and after Kentucky won the doubles point Florida rallied to win 4 in singles matches. Several of the courts were close so it'll be interesting to see if Kentucky can reverse its fortunes this time around.
- #12 Wake Forest at #37 Notre Dame - Wake's the better team but Notre Dame could give them a good match in a few spots - #1 singles should be great - Noah Rubin vs. Quentin Monaghan.
- #3 Illinois at #33 Minnesota - Illinois has dominated the Big 10 this year and has yet to be threatened by anyone while Minnesota has quietly put together a nice year.
- #44 SMU vs. #49 Memphis (AAC Tournament) - Both of these teams are sitting on the bubble so a win would be helpful to the winner while the loser can probably clean out its locker for the season.
- #13 Ole Miss vs. #22 Vanderbilt (SEC Quarterfinal) - Vanderbilt has to beat Auburn to make this match happen but that's all but a given. Ole Miss won the regular season meeting 4-0 though since it was played indoors on 3 courts several of the matches never got going and the ones that were played were all pretty tight.
- #2 Baylor at #16 Texas Tech - Last Sunday Texas Tech stunned #1 Oklahoma, do they have another upset in them or does Baylor roll to another victory and claim a share of the Big 12 regular season title.
- #10 Texas at #7 TCU - TCU thumped Texas A&M last Saturday, it'll be interesting to see if they play as good or whether Texas regroups after the loss to Baylor.
- #28 California at #24 Stanford - The Cardinal won the first meeting in Berkeley 4-3 (2/21) when Maciek Romanowicz came back from 5-2 down in the 3rd in the deciding match to win it 5-7, 7-5, 7-5. Stanford will win the Pac 12 regular season title outright with a win here (already guaranteed a share) and they've already locked up the #1 seed in the Pac 12 Tournament. Raise your hand if you had Stanford doing that after they got smacked around by South Carolina back in late January.
- SEC Tournament Semifinals - if no upsets it'd be #6 Texas A&M vs. #20 Mississippi State and #5 Georgia vs. #12 Ole Miss.
- SEC Tournament Finals - possible matchup between #5 Georgia and #6 Texas A&M
- #29 Oklahoma State at #1 Oklahoma - Will the Sooners win Bedlam or will it be Bedlam if Oklahoma State beats them.
- Several other conference tournament finals
BACK-TO-BACK CHAMPS! Men's Tennis captures second straight conference crown. #ProtectTheNest pic.twitter.com/o3ZHGPuOAe
Winthrop Athletics (@WUEagles) April 21, 2015
There are 17 more conference tournament taking place this week with 2 of them starting today. If you don't check out my Conference Tournament Page you're missing out. It has daily schedules, brackets, and scoring link (if available).
ACC (Cary, NC) - potential semifinals:
#1 Virginia vs. #4 North Carolina/#5 Duke - UVA beat UNC 4-0 and 6-1 and Duke 6-1 regular season.
#2 Virginia Tech vs. #3 Wake Forest - Wake won regular season meeting 5-2 in WS.
Big 10 (Champaign, IL) - potential semifinals:
#1 Illinois vs. #4 Northwestern - ILL won regular season meeting 5-2 in Champaign.
#2 Ohio State vs. #3 Minnesota - OSU won regular season meeting 4-2 in Cbus.
Big 12 (Waco, TX) - potential semifinals
#1 Oklahoma vs. #4 Texas/#5 Texas Tech - OU beat Texas 4-1 but lost to Texas Tech 4-3
#2 Baylor vs. #3 TCU/#6 Oklahoma State - BU beat both 4-0 in the regular season
Pac 12 (Ojai, CA) - potential semifinals
#1 Stanford vs. #4 California - Teams split in the regular season - each winning 4-3 on the road
#2 USC vs. #3 UCLA - USC won both regular season meetings 4-1 at home and 4-2 at UCLA.
- The Big 12 Championship will be shown live on Fox Sports 2 on Sunday.
- The Pac 12 Championship will be shown on tape delay Sunday evening - final is on Saturday.
- The ACC Championship will be shown on ESPN3/WatchESPN online - 1 of the semifinals will also be shown too.
- The Big 10 Championship will be streamed online through Illinois's site and will be shown on the Big Ten Network on May 12th.
- The Mountain West will broadcast all matches online at themw.com. There are women's matches going on now if you want to hear the broadcast and check out the stream. Very impressed so far with camera angles and switching between courts.
The doubles point plays a large roll between winning and losing and it seems to mean that much more when tournament time rolls around. It's interesting to see a pair of top 20 teams in the bottom 4 in winning percentage.
|6. Texas A&M||21||4||84.0%|
|11. Ohio State||26||7||78.8%|
|South Carolina State||13||4||76.5%|
|12. Wake Forest||21||7||75.0%|
|Wiliam & Mary||20||8||71.4%|
|13. North Carolina||22||9||71.0%|
|East Tennessee State||17||7||70.8%|
|San Diego State||16||9||64.0%|
|Texas A&M CC||13||9||59.1%|
|15. Virginia Tech||13||10||56.5%|
|UC Santa Barbara||13||11||54.2%|
|14. Ole Miss||13||12||52.0%|
|New Mexico State||11||11||50.0%|
There are at least 9 sets of brothers on the rosters of teams playing in the NCAA's:
Jared and Aron Hiltzik (Illinois)
Terrance and Terrell Whitehurst (Florida State)
Michael and Casey Kay (Georgia Tech)
Lucas and Leonard Gerch (Oklahoma State)
Robert and Elio Livi (St. John's)
Soren (Texas) and Esben Hess-Olesen (UNC)
Marco (Florida St) and Diego Nunez (East Tennessee State)
Benjamin (Florida St) and Courtney Lock (Louisville)
Billy (Notre Dame) and Thomas Pecor (Navy)
In case you are wondering TCU's Guillermo Nunez is not related to Marco and Diego.
Florida State's #3 singles player Marco Nunez started his collegiate career at Georgia and actually played at #6 singles in Georgia's 2013 NCAA semifinal match against Virginia. If Florida State and Georgia both win their 1st round matches they'd meet in the 2nd round in Athens.
Other guys playing in the NCAAs that started their collegiate careers with another team:
LSU's #1 Jordan Daigle played at #6 in several matches for Virginia last year
Wake Forest's #2 Romain Bogaerts played #1 for Mississippi State two years ago.
San Diego's #3 Jordan Angus played at #3 for Mississippi State last year
Denver's #4 David Fox played at #2 Middle Tennessee State last year
Florida Gulf Coast's #1 Jordi Vives played a handful of matches at #6 for USC in 2012.
Florida Gulf Coast's #2 Andres Alfonzo played at #6 for TCU last year.
Cal's #4 Oskar Wikberg played at #1 for Wisconsin last year.
San Diego State's #4 Marko Goles-Babic played in 4 matches for Ohio State last year.
Drake's #3 Matt Frost played at #1 for Southern Miss two years ago.
Drake's #4 Ravi Patel played #4/#5 for South Florida two years ago.
UTSA's #3 Tito Moreiras played in 5 matches for Texas A&M last year.
Illinois's #6-#8 Blake Bazarnik played #3 for Vanderbilt three years ago.
UCSB's #3 Morgan Mays played a few matches at #5 and #6 for Wake Forest two years ago.
ETSU's #5 Sebastian Yllera played a few matches at #6 for Tennessee two years ago.
Texas's Michael Riechmann who plays #3 doubles played at #1 singles for Brown two years ago.
Probably a few more that I'm overlooking - if you can think of some let me know.
# of regular season rematches in the 1st round: 6 - Northwestern/Harvard, Florida State/Troy, Illinois/UWGB, Louisville/Drake, San Diego/San Diego State, South Florida/Boise State.
# of potential regular season rematches in the 2nd round: 6 - Duke/Tennessee, USC/San Diego, Ohio State/Notre Dame, TCU/Tulsa, UCLA/Texas Tech, Oklahoma/Northwestern.
UCLA is the only team to make it to the round of 16 every year since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1999. Baylor has made it 15 of the last 16 years (2001), Georgia has made it 14 of 16 years (2000/2003), Illinois and Florida have made it 13 of the last 16 years.
16 years of history tells us that a top 16 seed will lose next weekend - at least 1 has every year since the 1998-99 season.
# of Top 16 seeds to lose before the Round of 16 broken down by year:
2014 (2) - Cal def. #8 Texas A&M 4-3, Tennessee def. #11 Duke 4-2
2013 (2) - Memphis def. #6 Ole Miss 4-2, Denver upset #15 Florida 4-3 (1st Round)
2012 (2) - Baylor def. #9 Mississippi State 4-3, Tulsa def. #10 Oklahoma 4-1
2011 (2) - #36 Tulsa def. #13 Texas 4-3, Illinois def. #16 North Carolina 4-1*
2010 (2) - Wisconsin def. #13 Illinois 4-1, Oklahoma def. #14 Texas Tech 4-2**
2009 (3) - Wake Forest def. #11 Kentucky 4-2, Boise St def. #14 Alabama 4-3, Miami def. #10 Florida 4-3
2008 (1) - Oklahoma State def. #11 Tulsa 4-3***
2007 (3) - Florida def. #16 Florida State 4-3, Alabama def. #14 Duke 4-3, NC State def. #6 UNC 4-0
2006 (3) - Notre Dame def. #16 Texas A&M 4-2, Washington def. #12 VCU 4-0, Florida def. #15 Oklahoma State 4-0
2005 (2) - Florida State def. #12 Kentucky 4-2, South Carolina def. #13 Oklahoma State 4-3
2004 (7) - Vanderbilt def. #8 Ole Miss 4-1, Texas A&M def. #13 VCU 4-0, TCU def. #12 Kentucky 4-2, Clemson def. #5 Duke 4-3, Arkansas def. #15 Tennessee 4-1, Rice def. #14 LSU 4-0, Ohio State def. #11 North Carolina 4-3
2003 (2) - Ohio State def. #13 Kentucky 4-3, Oklahoma State def. #11 Minnesota 4-2
2002 (2) - Washington def. #5 Stanford 4-3, Duke def. #10 California 4-3****
2001 (2) - Mississippi State def. #10 Illinois 4-2, USC def. #12 Ole Miss 4-3
2000 (3) - San Diego State def. #3 Pepperdine 4-2, VCU def. #14 Ole Miss 4-3, USC def. #13 Fresno State 4-1
1999 (3) - Virginia Tech def. #16 Alabama 4-3, Fresno State def. #12 USC 4-1, Mississippi State def. #11 Tennessee 4-3
* 2011 - Illinois was actually ranked #17 and UNC was ranked #18.
** 2010 - Oklahoma hosted regional even though Texas Tech was seeded
*** 2008 - Tulsa hosted NCAAs that year - didn't help attendance when they lost early
**** 2002 - Duke hosted regional even though Cal was seeded
#3 seeds to advance to Round of 16: Tulsa (2011), South Carolina (2005), Washington (2002), San Diego State (2000), Virginia Tech (1999)
#4 seeds to advance to Round of 16: None
#70 Utah State at #35 Drake - 5pm est/4pm cst - Live Scoring
Lamar at #5 Texas A&M - 5pm est/4pm cst
#70 Utah State at #71 Iowa - 12pm est/11am cst
Three Oaks Shootout - Ft. Myers, Fl (hidden-dual format):
Friday 10am - #6 Illinois vs. #27 Mississippi State - Miss St Twitter & Illinois Twitter
Friday 1pm - #3 TCU vs. #15 South Florida - TCU Twitter & USF Twitter
Saturday 10am - #3 TCU vs. #27 Mississippi State - TCU Twitter & Miss St Twitter
Saturday 1pm - #6 Illinois vs. #15 South Florida - USF Twitter & Illinois Twitter
Sunday 10am - #3 TCU vs. #6 Illinois - TCU Twitter & Illinois Twitter
Sunday 1pm - #15 South Florida vs. #27 Mississippi State - Miss St Twitter & USF Twitter
1. Julian Lenz (BU)
2. Nick Crystal (USC)
3. Martin Redlicki (UCLA)
4. David Wilczynski (ST)
5. Max Tchoutakian (BU)
6. Logan Smith (USC)
7. Michael Genender (ST)
8. Max de Vroome (USC)