No. 1 Virginia to face No. 5 Oklahoma Sunday at noon.
Courtesy of Bobby Knight - While it is still snowing in several parts of the country there are upsets in the air in other parts as we saw several team get stunned on Friday and Saturday. 44th ranked Florida State pulled off the biggest upset thus far when it stunned #15 Texas 5-2 in a match not many, including me, were giving them a chance in. #9 Georgia played without its #1 and #5 singles players but managed to knock off a top 10 Tennessee team and it was the depth players at 5 and 6 singles that provided the spark. #27 Drake won its 13th straight by knocking off #14 Washington in a 4-3 thriller. The Bulldogs rallied from a 3-1 deficit and saw freshmen Ben Lott seal the victory at #6 singles with a 3-6 6-2 7-5 win. Several of the SEC tilts on Friday were nail bitters that finished with 4-3 scores. #13 Ole Miss was on the ropes against #31 Alabama but managed to pull it out when freshmen Stefan Lindmark won his match at #4 singles 12-10 in the 3rd set tiebreak.
So the question is what does Sunday have in store for us. I do not see #1 Virginia being threatened by #5 Oklahoma but I do see potential trouble for #13 Ole Miss and #11 Texas A&M. Below are my previews of each match and feel free to follow each at the provided live scoring link.
#5 Oklahoma at #1 Virginia – Noon est – Live Scoring @ http://www.virginiasports.com/sports/m-tennis/livestats.html - Oklahoma is coming off a win over Wake Forest while Virginia returns to the court for the 1st time since knocking off USC in the finals of the NTIs. The match will be played indoors due to cold weather so that definitely favors Virginia though I’d like Virginia in this one regardless of the surface. Anything other than a straight sets win from Virginia in the top 3 spots would be a surprise and I like the Hoos at the bottom 3 spots as well. OU may grab the doubles point but that’ll be about it. Prediction: Virginia 6-1
#8 Tennessee at #67 Georgia Tech – Noon est – Live Scoring @ http://www.ramblinwreck.com/livestats/m-tennis/xlive.htm and UT Live Blog @ http://www.utsports.com/sports/m-tennis/spec-rel/030213aac.html - Tennessee comes into this one off a 4-1 loss to Georgia while Georgia Tech came from behind to beat Georgia State 4-3 in its last contest. I look for Tennessee to rebound and win this one going away. Prediction: Tennessee 7-0
#39 LSU at #6 Kentucky – 12:30pm est – Live Scoring @ http://www.ukathletics.com/sports/m-tennis/spec-rel/stats_030313.html & UK Live Blog @ http://www.ukathletics.com/athletic-dept/live-blog.html - Kentucky was pressed by Arkansas on Friday before prevailing 5-2 while LSU lost a tight one to Vanderbilt. The only court I see LSU getting is at #3 singles with Olivier Borsos playing better since dropping down from #1. Kentucky should take care of business everywhere else. Prediction: Kentucky 6-1
#47 Arkansas at #25 Vanderbilt – 1pm est/Noon Cst – Live Scoring @ http://www.vucommodores.com/livestats/m-tennis/xlive.htm - Arkansas gave Kentucky a much better match than expected on Friday while Vanderbilt won a tight one over LSU. I look for Vanderbilt to run its win streak to 6 with wins from Ryan Lipman, Gonzales Austin, Kris Yee, and Marc van der Merwe. Prediction: Vanderbilt 5-2
#11 Texas A&M at #35 Florida – 1pm est – Live Scoring @ http://www.gatorzone.com/tennis/live/?sport=tennm&live_match=10938 – The Gators tumbled 19 spots in the most recent rankings and come into this one on a 4-match losing streak while Texas A&M is coming off a 4-1 win over South Carolina. Something has to give at #1 singles because A&M’s Junior Ore comes in with a 7 match losing streak while Florida’s Bob van Overbeek has dropped 5 straight. I’ll take the Gator to snap his streak and win this one in 3 sets. I’ll take Florent Diep at 2, Jeremy Efferding at 3, Shane Vinsant at 4, and the 2 teams will split 5 and 6. Florida has dropped the doubles point in its last 4 matches but for some reason I think they’ll rebound and take it here. Prediction: Florida 4-3
#18 Clemson at #43 South Carolina – 1pm est – Live Scoring & Video @ http://www.gamecocksonline.com/sports/m-tennis/spec-rel/tennis-live.html - The Tigers jumped 33 spots in the recent rankings to make their first appearance in the top 20 in quite some time and will look to build off that jump by getting past their state rivals. South Carolina has dropped two straight and will be looking to get back on track but this will be a tough one. The matchup at 3 between Chip Cox and Geraldo Meza is a toss-up while I like Yannick Maden at 1, Austin Ansari at 6, and Hunter Harrington at 2 for Clemson and Kyle Koch at 5 and Thiago Pinheiro at 4 for the Gamecocks. The doubles point will be big as usual but I think Clemson can by even if they drop it. Prediction: Clemson 4-3
#14 Washington at #66 Minnesota – 1pm est/Noon cst – Live Scoring & Video @ http://www.gophersports.com/sports/m-tennis/spec-rel/live-video.html - Both the Gophers and Huskies are coming off tough losses to Drake and will be looking to rebound. Minnesota will keep it close in a few spots but Washington will have too much and will head back to Seattle with the win. Prediction: Washington 5-2
#13 Ole Miss at #32 Auburn – 2pm est/1pm cst – Live Scoring @ http://www.auburntigers.com/livestats/m-tennis/2013/0303_OM/xlive.htm - Ole Miss barely squeaked by Alabama on Friday while Auburn lost a close one to Mississippi State. Auburn lost the doubles point for the 1st time on Friday but I think they’ll rebound and claim it in this one. Ole Miss’s Nik Scholtz is favored at 1 over Andreas Mies and Jonas Lutjen should get by Daniel Cochrane at 2 but after that there are a lot of close matchups. I’ll take Auburn’s Lukas Ollert over William Kallberg at 3 and Joseph Van Dooren over Adrien Skogeng at 6. In the deciding match I’ll go with Dennis Lengsfeld at 4 to give Auburn the upset win. Prediction: Auburn 4-3
#10 Mississippi State at #31 Alabama – 2pm est/1pm cst – Live Scoring @ http://www.rolltide.com/livestats/m-tennis/xlive.htm - Alabama came oh so close to upsetting Ole Miss on Friday while Mississippi State got all it wanted from Auburn. I think MSU will take the doubles point and get wins from Romain Bogaerts, Malte Stropp, and Jordan Angus to get the W. Prediction: Mississippi State 5-2
29 Notre Dame at #59 Wisconsin – 3pm est/2pm cst – The Badgers jumped 16 spots in the rankings and will be looking to upset the Irish but Notre Dame will get wins from Greg Andrews, Quentin Monaghan, Blas Moros, and Wyatt McCoy to take it. Prediction: Notre Dame 5-2