Vols Win Again, Reach SEC Title Match
By Bobby Knight - The SEC Tournament delivered 2 instant classics on Saturday as its top 2 seeds were both pushed to the brink of defeat before managing to pull out a victory. Top seed Georgia jumped out to a 2-0 lead against Texas A&M by taking the doubles point and picking up a 6-1 6-4 win at 5 from Austin Smith before the Aggies mounted a comeback to take a 3-2 lead off a 6-3 6-1 win at 4 from Shane Vinsant, a 7-5 6-4 win at 3 from Harrison Adams, and a 2-6 6-1 7-5 win at 1 from Jeremy Efferding. The tension then mounted as the 2 remaining matches neared the finish line. Georgia’s Garrett Brasseaux served for the match up 5-3 in the 3rd at 6 but was broken only to break back to claim a 6-3 4-6 6-4 win. With the match tied at 3 it all came down to a 3rd set tiebreaker at 2 between Georgia’s Ben Wagland and Texas A&M’s Junior Ore. Wagland went up an early mini-break and led 3-2 before Ore rattled off 3 straight points and was serving up 5-3 before Wagland got the mini-break back and went up 6-5. After Ore knotted it up at 6, Wagland took the next 2 points to win it 8-6 and sent the Dawgs back to the finals. In the first semifinal of the day Tennessee jumped out to a 2-0 lead by taking the doubles point and picking up a 6-2 6-4 win at 1 from Mikelis Libietis before Florida tied it up at 2 with a 7-5 6-1 win at 6 from Gordon Watson and a 6-0 4-6 6-1 win at 3 from Bob van Overbeek. With Florida’s Michael Alford closing in on a win at 4 Tennessee made a push at 2 and 5 and finished it off as Hunter Reese and Ed Jones sealed the win for the Vols.
In Pac 12 play Cal knocked off Stanford 4-3 behind wins from Ben McLachlan, Christoffer Konigsfeldt, Campbell Johnson, and Greg Bayane while Stanford picked up the doubles point and singles wins from Daniel Ho and Trey Strobel. In Eugene, Washington came back from 3-1 deficit to defeat Oregon 4-3 as Max Manthou came back from a set down to provide the clincher at 4 with a 4-6 6-2 6-2 win.
Sunday brings us several intriguing matchups - follow along to see who comes out on top.
#1 Virgina at #55 Miami FL – 11am est – Live Scoring @ http://www.hurricanesports.com/fls/28700/livestats/m-tennis/livestats/xlive.htm?DB_OEM_ID=28700 – Virginia routed Florida State on Friday while Miami was shutout by Virginia Tech. No contest here as Hoos make quick work of the Canes. Prediction: Virginia 7-0
#5 Ohio State at #26 Michigan – Noon est - Live Scoring @ http://www.mgoblue.com/livestats/m-tennis/index-m.html - Ohio State is coming off a 6-1 win over Michigan State while Michigan blanked Penn State 7-0. A Buckeye win would clinch the Big 10 title outright while a Michigan win would mean these 2 hated rivals would have to share the title. Michigan will have to bring an A+ performance to keep this one close and while I think they’ll play good I can’t see Ohio State being denied. Prediction: Ohio State 6-1
#52 Virginia Tech at #30 Florida State – Noon est – Live Scoring @ http://www.seminoles.com/livestats/m-tennis/042113/xlive.htm - These are a pair of teams that have had up and down years and they’ll each try finishing the regular season on a high note. I like FSU in doubles and think the Noles will find a way to win it at home. Prediction: Florida State 4-3
#25 Wake Forest at #24 Clemson – Noon est – Live Scoring @ http://www.clemsontigers.com/fls/28500/daktennis/Scoreboard.html?SPID=103709&DB_OEM_ID=28500 – Wake was stunned on Friday by North Carolina 5-2 while Clemson handled Georgia Tech 4-1. I think Clemson gets it done at 1, 2, 5, and 6 to take the victory. Prediction: Clemson 5-2
#38 NC State at #10 Duke – 1pm est – Live Scoring @ http://www.goduke.com/fls/4200/livestats/xlive.htm?DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=4200 - Duke cruised to a 7-0 shutout over BC while NC State returns to the courts for the first time in over a week. Duke won’t have a problem in this one and will win going away. Prediction: Duke 6-1
#46 Texas Tech at #19 Texas – 2pm est/1pm cst – Live Scoring @ http://www.texassports.com/sports/m-tennis/live-scoring.html - Texas suffered a 6-1 loss to Baylor on Wednesday while Texas Tech dropped a 4-3 decision Friday night to TCU. The Horns will take the doubles point and pick up wins at 1, 2, 3, and 4. Prediction: Texas 5-2
#37 TCU at #15 Baylor – 2pm est/1pm cst – Live Scoring/Video/Blog @ http://www.baylorbears.com/sports/m-tennis/spec-rel/042013aab.html - Baylor looks to finish conference play undefeated while TCU looks to score that big upset win that has eluded them this year. I think the Horned Frogs will give Baylor a match but the Bears are just too tough at the top 4 spots. Prediction: Baylor 5-2
SEC Tournament Championship - Oxford, MS
Live Scoring @ http://www.olemisssports.com/livestats/m-tennis/xlive.htm
Live Blog @ http://www.olemisssports.com/sports/m-tennis/spec-rel/2013-SEC-Championship-blog.html
#7 Tennessee vs. #2 Georgia – 1pm cst - These 2 met in the conference opener back on March 1st in Athens and it was Georgia rolling to a 4-1 win. Georgia played without its #1 KU Singh in that one but picked up wins at 2, 5, and 6 in addition to taking the doubles point while Tennessee’s lone win came at 1. I look for Tennessee to come out strong and take the doubles point but I think the singles matchups favor Georgia and I see the Bulldogs winning at 3, 4, 5, and 6 to bring the title back to Athens for the 2nd straight year. Prediction: Georgia 4-1
Big East Tournament Championship – South Bend, IN
#50 Louisville vs. #28 Notre Dame - 9am est – Live Scoring @ http://www.und.com/livestats/m-tennis/042113/xlive.htm - These 2 met last Sunday in Louisville and Notre Dame rolled to a 5-2 win. I don’t see the Irish going down at home and see them taking it to Louisville. Prediction: Notre Dame 4-0
Conference USA Tournament Championship – Memphis, TN
#35 Memphis vs. #23 Tulsa – Noon cst – Live Scoring @ http://www.gotigersgo.com/livestats/m-tennis/april21/xlive.htm - These 2 did not meet in the regular season but they did meet a year ago in the CUSA Finals which Tulsa won 4-0. I look for Tulsa to take courts 1, 2, 5, and 6 to claim the crown. Prediction: Tulsa 4-2