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Weekend Preview & Predictions
Friday, 02/01/2013
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Several Top 25 teams are in action this weekend with the highlighted matches coming on Super Sunday when #4 Ohio State hosts #6 Georgia and when #9 Kentucky hosts #8 Oklahoma with the 1st serve set for noon and 1pm eastern respectively.   But before we get to those matches we have to look at several other stellar matchups involving Top 25 teams.   Follow live scoring of each match at the provided links and don’t forget to check out that Stanford scoreboard as well.   

Friday:
#8 Oklahoma at #33 Indiana – 2pm est. – Live Scoring - Indiana is coming off a rough weekend that saw the Hoosiers fall to Auburn 6-1 and LSU 4-3 while OU took care of business and posted shutouts over Memphis and Harvard.  These teams met a year ago in Norman with the Sooners cruising to a 6-1 win.  I don’t expect this matchup in Bloomington to be any closer and anything other than a 7-0 score would be considered a win for Indiana.  Prediction:  OU 7-0

#48 BYU at #18 Stanford – 4pm est/1pm pst – Live Scoring & Video - Both teams went 1-1 last weekend with BYU getting past South Florida before falling to UCLA while Stanford lost to Texas A&M before rebounding to beat Texas Tech.  The Cougars and Cardinal met a year ago in Palo Alto with Stanford winning 5-2 though this year’s contest could be closer.  Stanford’s freshmen gained some valuable dual match experience last weekend and should be able to build on that as the year goes along.  I think this will be a tight one that could go 4-3 either way.  Prediction:  Stanford 4-3

#17 Texas at #2 USC – 6pm est/3pm pst – Live Scoring & Video - Texas will try to rebound from a tough loss to Kentucky but USC doesn’t expect to be hospitable hosts.   Last year USC came in to Austin and beat the Horns 6-1 and this year’s match probably won’t be a whole lot closer.  I think Texas’s best chance to score a few points is at the bottom of the lineup with Naumann and Holiner.  Prediction: USC 6-1.

#5 Duke at #25 Illinois – 7pm est/6pm cst – Live Scoring - The Illini took it on the chin last weekend getting swept at home by Tennessee and Tulsa while Duke rolled over Middle Tennessee State and Northwestern.  Last year Duke shutout Illinois 7-0 and while Duke has gotten stronger Illinois has gotten weaker.  I don’t see the Illini put up much resistance in this one and expect to see Duke roll.  Prediction: Duke 7-0

#37 Minnesota at #22 Tulsa – 7pm est/6pm cst- Live Scoring & Video  - Tulsa went 1-1 last weekend losing a squeaker to North Carolina before rebounding to beat Illinois while Minnesota lost to VCU and Vanderbilt.   These 2 met last year in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament with Tulsa ending the Gophers season 4-2 and I expect a similar score today.  Prediction:  Tulsa 5-2

#36 Santa Clara at #23 Washington – 8pm est/5pm pst – Live Scoring & Video - Santa Clara went 1-1 last weekend with a loss to Michigan but rebounded with a win over Boise State while Washington picked a 5-1 win over Portland.  This should be a pretty competitive match but Washington should have enough to pull through.  Prediction:  Washington 5-2



Saturday:
#16 Texas A&M at #67 TCU – 2pm est/1pm cst – Live Scoring - Texas A&M went 2-0 last weekend picking up solid wins over Stanford and San Diego while TCU racked up 3 straight shutouts over some lighter competition.  TCU is grossly under-ranked and will give A&M all they want.  I think this will be a tight contest that will be decided with a couple of 3 setters.  Prediction:  Texas A&M 4-3

#70 Fresno State at #3 UCLA – 4pm est/1pm pst – Live Scoring  - The Bruins are looking for clearer skies after dealing with the weather last week and the forecast appears to be cooperating with sunny and 60s expected.   I expect UCLA to waste little time and win easily.  Prediction:  UCLA 7-0

#41 Louisville at #19 North Carolina – 6pm est – Live Scoring  – Last weekend North Carolina won a hard fought match over Tulsa before falling to Tennessee while Louisville was swept by North Carolina State and Columbia.   UNC has more talent and will get the win in this one.  Prediction:  UNC 6-1

#15 Tennessee at #25 Illinois –  7pm est/6pm cst – Live Scoring  - This will be a rematch of last week’s 4-0 UT win and I don’t expect the outcome to be much different.  The Vols are playing with that much more confidence while Illinois tries to regroup.  Prediction:  Tennessee 5-2 

Check back tomorrow and I’ll preview the Sunday slate listed below which has a pair of Top 10 matchups.

#6 Georgia at #4 Ohio State – Noon est. – Live Scoring & Video

#5 Duke at #30 Notre Dame – Noon est – Live Scoring

#49 Wake Forest at #20 Michigan – 11am – LiveScoring & Video

#8 Oklahoma at #9 Kentucky –  1pm est. – Live ScoringLive Blog

#14 Baylor at #22 Tulsa – 2pm est/1pm cst

#17 Texas at #7 Pepperdine – 3pm est/noon pst – Live Scoring

#38 Boise State at #23 Washington – 3pm est/Noon pst – Live Scoring & Video

CTO Correspondent, Bobby Knight.
You can follow me on Twitter @B_Knight77 


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