It’s the weekend before the National Indoors and while there aren’t as many great matchups as we had last weekend there are still several worth noting. In my opinion the top match of the week will take place later today in Jackson, Mississippi when Ole Miss and Mississippi State battle for the River Hills Cup. These are 2 evenly matched squads that routinely play tight matches against each other. The Ohio State/Texas A&M match in College Station on Sunday has some promise because the Aggies have played very well thus far and are always a tough out at home. Florida better be ready when they head up the road to Tallahassee to play state rival Florida State because the Noles will have upset on their mind. I don’t see either USC or UCLA struggling too much against their Northern California neighbors because there is still a fairly wide difference in talent. Duke will face 2 more teams in the top 21 this weekend with the Tennessee match on Friday being the tougher of the 2. Follow live scoring of each match at the provided links.
#10 Mississippi State vs #12 Ole Miss (Jackson, MS) – 6pm est/5pm cst – Live Scoring & Live Blog - This is the first of two matches this year between these Magnolia State foes and it should be a classic. I like Scholtz, Lutjen, and Lindmark in singles for Ole Miss and Chaudry, Angus, and Dumont for Mississippi State. I think the winner at #1 doubles will decide the doubles point with Jordan Angus and Malte Stropp at 1 for State and Nik Scholtz and Jonas Lutjen at 1 for Ole Miss. I’ll take State in doubles and the match. Prediction: Mississippi State 4-3.
#6 Georgia at #65 Georgia Tech – 4pm est. – Live Scoring - Unlike 2 years ago when Georgia Tech stunned Georgia in Atlanta this year’s contest won’t be close at all. Prediction: Georgia 7-0
#13 Cal at #2 USC – 4:30pm est/1:30 pst – Live Scoring - USC shouldn’t have much trouble in this one with Cal’s best chance at taking a point coming from Riki McLachlan at 5. Prediction: USC 7-0
#19 Stanford at #3 UCLA – 4:30pm est/1:30 pst – Live Scoring - Bruins take care of business with Stanford’s best shot at a point coming from Romanowicz at 4. Prediction: UCLA 6-1
#14 Tennessee at #9 Duke – 6pm est – Live Scoring & UT Live Blog - A year ago Duke tore through Tennessee and won 6-1 but I believe this will be a much closer contest. I’m not calling for the upset but I think it’s possible. I like Reese and Jones in singles for UT and Cunha, Mengel, and Hemmeler for Duke. Redlicki has struggled a bit lately and his match with Chaplin could be a swing match that determines which way this one goes. Prediction: Duke 5-2
#17 Tulsa at #8 Oklahoma – 6:30pm est/5:30pm cst – Live Scoring/Video - These 2 met twice a year ago with OU winning the regular season meeting 5-2 but Tulsa winning in the 2nd round of the NCAAs by a 4-1 score. OU is coming off a tough 4-3 loss to Kentucky while Tulsa won 2 tight matches against Minnesota and Baylor. I like Paval, Webb, and Llamas in singles for OU and Bautista and Jackson for Tulsa. If Marsland plays at 2 for Tulsa I think he wins but not at 1 against Paval. Prediction: Oklahoma 4-3
#11 Florida at #28 Florida State – Noon est – Live Scoring @ http://www.seminoles.com/livestats/m-tennis/020913/xlive.htm - A year ago Florida beat FSU 6-1 but the Seminoles have added some depth while Florida has had to replace a lot of talent. There are a lot of courts that could go either way but Florida finds a way to pull through with Van Overbeek, Piro, and Alford winning in singles. Prediction: Florida 4-3
#69 Purdue at #18 Baylor – 2pm est/1pm cst – Live Scoring - Purdue is improved from a year ago but not enough to pull the upset. Prediction: Baylor 6-1
#19 Stanford at #2 USC – 4pm est/1pm pst – Live Scoring - Trojans roll for a 2nd day in a row. Prediction: USC 7-0
#13 Cal at #3 UCLA – 4pm est/1pm pst – Live Scoring - Cal hangs around but UCLA gets the W. Prediction: UCLA 5-2
#22 Auburn vs. #66 San Diego State (Fresno) – 5pm est/2pm pst – Live Scoring - Aztecs keep it close for a while but Auburn pulls away. Prediction: Auburn 5-2
#7 Kentucky at #19 Illinois – 7pm est/6pm cst – Live Scoring - Kentucky is coming off a thrilling win over Oklahoma while Illinois came back down to earth after its upset of Duke by losing to Tennessee. The Hiltzik/Jomby match at 2 should be interesting because both players have been playing very well. I like Rossi, Jomby, Minc, and Roberts to get it done for Kentucky. Prediction: Kentucky 5-2
Check back on Saturday and I’ll recap what we’ve seen so far and look ahead to these matches on Sunday.
#21 Michigan at #9 Duke – Noon est – Live Scoing
#14 Tennessee at #36 Wake Forest – Noon est – Live Scoring
#4 Ohio State at #15 Texas A&M – 1pm est/Noon cst – Live Scoring/Video
#68 TCU at #17 Tulsa – 1pm est/Noon cst – Live Scoring