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2013 Men’s NCAA Tournament Preview
Thursday, 05/09/2013
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By Bobby Knight. Pictured UCLA's Adrien Puget & Karue Sell

We’re just days away from the beginning of the NCAA Tournament as 1st round play kicks off on Friday at sites throughout the country.   All 16 hosts definitely have the advantage of playing in their own backyards and don’t have to worry about travel while many of their opponents will be coming from all over the country and will have to get acclimated to the court conditions, the weather (humidity/wind, etc), and potential time zone changes.  I definitely cannot see any of the 16 hosts losing in the 1st round though several will get pushed in the 2nd round on Saturday.   Most of the 17-32 versus 33-48 matches will be very competitive and I expect to see a handful of upsets in those tilts.  Without further ado let’s go ahead and dive in and look at each of the 1st and 2nd round matches and you can follow along at each of the live scoring links.  Scroll down for NCAA Men's Bracket.
 
 
UCLA Regional  – Los Angeles, CaliforniaLive Scoring
 
UCLA (1) vs. University of Missouri-Kansas City (49-64)– 1pm PST – Bruins breeze past the Kangaroos without breaking a sweat.  Prediction:  UCLA 4-0
 
Drake (17-32) vs. TCU (33-48) – 10am PST – This should be a very tight match with the winner getting the treat of taking on the top ranked team in the land in the 2nd round.  I like Drake to claim the doubles point and pick up wins at 1, 5, and 6.  Prediction:  Drake 4-2  
 
UCLA vs. Drake – The Bruins will march on to the Round of 16 with a routine win over Drake by claiming the doubles point and picking up wins at 1, 2, and 5.  Regional Winner:  UCLA 4-0
 
 
Vanderbilt Regional – Nashville, TennesseeLive Scoring & Check Host Site for final scores.
 
Vanderbilt (16) vs. East Tennessee St (49-64) – 2pm CST – Vandy will cruise at home by taking the doubles point and winning singles at 1, 2, and 5.  Prediction:  Vanderbilt 4-0
 
Illinois (17-32) vs. Georgia State (33-48) – 11am CST – Georgia State may put up a fight in a few spots but the Illini are too skilled to stub their toes in this opener.  Prediction:  Illinois 4-0
 
Illinois vs. Vanderbilt – Very interesting matchup in Nashville as Illinois tries to make it back home to Champaign as a participant in the NCAAs instead of as a visitor.  There are only a handful of spots in the singles lineup where I’d consider Vandy a favorite with Gonzales “AJ” Austin and Rhys Johnson favored at 2 and 6 and I like VU in doubles as well but I like the Illini everywhere else.  I look for Jared Hiltzik, Stephen Hoh, Bruno Abdelnour, and Farris Gosea to win at 1, 3, 4, and 5 to push Illinois over the top.  Prediction:  Illinois 4-2 
 
 
Duke Regional – Durham, North CarolinaLive Scoring 
 
Duke (9) vs. Coastal Carolina (49-64) – 1pm EST – Blue Devils cruise at home over the Chanticleers.  Prediction:  Duke 4-0
 
South Carolina (17-32) vs. UNC-Wilmington (33-48) – 10am EST – These 2 met early in the regular season and South Carolina eeked out a 4-3 win though South Carolina has improved vastly as the season has progressed.  In that February 20th meeting in Columbia, the Gamecocks had Chip Cox playing at 2 (he lost) but he’ll be playing at 5 in this match with both Andrew Adams and Thiago Pinheiro filling the 2 and 3 spots.  I don’t think this will be as close and I see South Carolina claiming the doubles point and picking up wins at 1, 3, and 4.  Prediction:  South Carolina 4-0
 
Duke vs. South Carolina – Duke finished out the regular season with a stunning loss to Wake Forest but after blowing by Coastal Carolina they’ll face a challenge from South Carolina but the Blue Devils will pull through by taking the doubles point and picking up wins from Henrique Cunha, Raphael Hemmeler, and Jason Tahir at 1, 5, and 6.  I think South Carolina will keep it close on the other courts but Duke will clinch before South Carolina can claim a point.  Regional Winner:  Duke 4-0
 
 
Kentucky Regional  – Lexington, Kentucky – UK Host Site 
 
Kentucky (8) vs. Western Michigan (49-64)– 3pm EST - Live Scoring Despite being banged up and starting 4 freshmen at 3-6 due to injuries Kentucky will still have no trouble getting it done with the Cats claiming the doubles point and picking up wins from Anthony Rossi, Tom Jomby, and Beck Pennington at 1, 2, and 5.  Prediction:  Kentucky 4-0
 
Michigan (17-32) vs. Virginia Tech (33-48) – Noon EST – Live Scoring In the opening match of the day in Lexington, I see Virginia Tech challenging Michigan at the 2 and 5 spots but Michigan will overpower them in doubles and pick up wins from Evan King, Vlad Stefan, and Barrett Franks at 1, 3, and 4.  Andreas Bjerrehus will win at 2 for the Hokies before Michigan seals the victory.  Prediction:  Michigan 4-1
 
Kentucky vs. Michigan  – Live Scoring If Kentucky was at full strength I’d give them the edge but with Alejandro Gomez and Grant Roberts both out I can’t see the Wildcats holding off the Wolverine’s charge.  I think UK will take the doubles point and Tom Jomby should be a lock at 2 but after that it’s going to be tough sledding for the hosts.  I look for Evan King to run his dual match record to 24-1 with a win at 1 and then I also see Vlad Stefan, Barrett Franks, and Alex Buzzi pulling through at 3, 4, and 6 to send Michigan on to the Sweet 16.   Regional Winner:  Michigan 4-2
 
 
Ohio State Regional – Columbus, OhioLive Scoring & Ohio State Host Site 
 
Ohio State (5) vs. Cleveland State (49-64) – 1pm EST – Buckeyes roll in under 2 ½ hours.  Prediction:  Ohio State 4-0
 
Notre Dame (17-32) vs. Washington (33-48) – 10am EST- Washington will make its first trip of the season to the east coast to face a Notre Dame squad that will only be a few hours from home.  The only spot in the lineup that I’d make Washington a favorite at would be at 1 with Kyle McMorrow expected to get it done.  I look for Quentin Monaghan, Blas Moros, Wyatt McCoy, and Ryan Bandy to get it done for ND at 2, 3, 5, and 6.  The match at 4 between Billy Pecor and Emmett Egger should be close but likely won’t finish.  Prediction:  Notre Dame 4-2
 
Ohio State vs. Notre Dame – These 2 met in Columbus back on February 23rd and Ohio State administered a beat down on the Irish and I don’t see any reason why this one won’t go just like the previous encounter.  Buckeyes roll in a rout with Rola, McCarthy, and Diaz finishing first at 1, 4, and 6.  Regional Winner:  Oho State 4-0
 
 
Texas A&M Regional – College Station, TXLive Scoring/Video & Texas A&M Host Page 
 
Texas A&M (12) vs. Marist (49-64) – 2pm CST – The Red Foxes will be no match for the Aggies as A&M wins easily at home.  Prediction:  Texas A&M 4-0
 
Texas (17-32) vs. Texas A&M Corpus Christi (33-48)– 11am CST – The Longhorns rolled to a 6-1 win over the Islanders back on February 21st in a match that saw Texas rest its usual starters at 4-6.   Horns hook em without any issues.  Prediction:  Texas 4-0
 
Texas A&M vs. Texas:   These longtime rivals did not meet in the regular season due to A&M heading to the SEC but they’ll meet in College Station with a trip to Champaign on the line.  Texas A&M finished the regular season by winning 4 of its final 5 matches and were within 2 points of knocking off Georgia in the SEC Semifinals while Texas won 6 of its final 9 but couldn’t get past Oklahoma and Baylor.   The home court advantage will play a large role in this one and I think that will give Texas A&M just enough to get past Texas.  I like A&M in doubles and Jeremy Efferding at 1, Harrison Adams at 3, and Shane Vinsant at 4 to get A&M to the finish line.  I like Lloyd Glasspool at 2, Nick Naumann at 5, and Ben Chen at 6 for Texas.  Regional Winner:  Texas A&M 4-3
 
 
Baylor Regional – Waco, TXLive Scoring/Video/Blog
 
Baylor (13) vs. Prairie View A&M (49-64) – 6pm CST – Bears take care of the Panthers with no problems.  Prediction:  Baylor 4-0
 
Tulsa (17-32) vs. Michigan State (33-48) – 3pm CST – Michigan State makes its first trip to the NCAA Tournament but it’s going to be one and done for Sparty as the Golden Hurricanes get it done in doubles and at the top of the lineup.  Prediction:  Tulsa 4-1
 
Baylor vs. Tulsa - These 2 met in the regular season and Tulsa took advantage of a young Baylor roster that was still trying to find its way and the Golden Hurricanes stomped out a 5-2 win.  Baylor has things in order now and will get wins from Patrick Pradella, Julian Lenz, and Tony Lupieri in addition to claiming the doubles point.   Regional Winner:  Baylor 4-1
 
 
USC Regional  – Los Angeles, CaliforniaLive Scoring
 
USC (4) vs. Sacramento State (49-64) – 2pm PST – Trojans move on to the 2nd round with an easy win over the Hornets.  Prediction:  USC 4-0
 
Alabama (17-32) vs. San Diego (33-48) – 11 am PST – This will be an intriguing matchup to get things started in LA.  Alabama stopped a 7 match losing streak by winning 2 in the SEC Tournament before getting bounced by Texas A&M while San Diego was knocked out of the WCC Tournament by BYU in the semifinals.  Alabama really should be seeded in the 33-48 range but was bumped up because of a few wins over some over ranked SEC schools.  San Diego got the last at-large spot in the tournament and I think they’re going to be hungry to play some more tennis.  I like San Diego to pull the upset with wins from Clarke Spinosa, Romain Kalaydjian, Uros Petronijevic, Victor Pugliese at 2, 3, 4, and 5 while Alabama will claim the doubles point and get a win at 1 from Jarryd Botha.   Prediction:  San Diego 4-2
 
USC vs. San Diego – USC cruised to a 6-1 win over San Diego back on February 28th however the Trojans are a little banged up so this one could be closer.   USC will take the doubles point and I think Emilio Gomez should be back in the lineup at 1 so with him in there the Trojans should win at 1, 2, and most likely 3 to get the win.  If Gomez does not play and everybody has to slide up one spot then I’d still take USC at 1 and 2 but the last point would then come from Jonny Wang at 5 with San Diego up on a few of the other courts.  Regional Winner:  USC 4-0
 
 
Georgia Regional  – Athens, Georgia – UGA Host Site will have Live Scoring, Live Video, and a Live Blog running.
 
Georgia (3) vs. Binghamton (49-64) – 1pm EST – No contest in Athens as Georgia makes quick work of the Bearcats.  Prediction:  Georgia 4-0
 
Wake Forest (17-32) vs. Northwestern (33-48) – 10am EST – Wake Forest finished the year extremely strong by making a run to the ACC Tournament Finals while Northwestern had a 3-match winning streak snapped by Illinois in the Quarters of the Big 10 Tournament.  Unless Wake has a really big letdown I can’t see them dropping this one.  I’ll take Northwestern in doubles and Raleigh Smith at 2 but I like David Hopkins, Amogh Prabkahar, Adam Lee, and Jon Ho at 1, 3, 4, and 5 for the Deacs and they’ll move on to the 2nd round to face Georgia.    Prediction:  Wake Forest 4-2
 
Georgia vs. Wake Forest – This match will be a lot more interesting now that Georgia is playing without its #1 KU Singh who quit the team on Tuesday.  If Wake can find a way to take the doubles point I’d give them a 50/50 chance to pull the upset.  However, I expect Georgia to claim the doubles point and then pick up wins from Ben Wagland, Nathan Pasha, and Marco Nunez at 1, 2, and 6 while I like Adam Lee and Jon Ho at 4 and 5 for Wake with 3 going unfinished.  I’ll take the Dawgs in a tight one that will keep the Athens faithful on the edge of their seats for most of the match.  Regional Winner:  Georgia 4-2
 
 
Oklahoma Regional – Norman, Oklahoma – OU Host Site which includes Live Scoring Links.
 
Oklahoma (14) vs. Wichita State (49-64) – 2pm CST – The Shockers upset Drake in the final of the Missouri Valley Tournament but Oklahoma will be ready for them and will take care of business.  Prediction:  Oklahoma 4-0
 
Auburn (17-32) vs. NC State (33-48) – 11am CST – Auburn dropped 3 straight to end the year while NC State dropped 4 of its last 5 so both teams will be looking to get back into the win column.  The Wolfpack made some curious changes to its lineup by moving Beck Bond up from 6 to 4, dropping Thomas Weigel down to 5 despite playing at 3 and 4 all year, and dropping Sean Weber down to 6 despite holding his own at 4 and 5.   Auburn on the other hand has used virtually the same lineup all year and I think that’ll be a plus in doubles as I look for Auburn to take the point and then in singles Auburn will be too strong at 1, 3, and 4 as Andreas Mies, Dennis Lengsfeld, and Lukas Ollert will complete the win.  NC State’s lone point will come from Sean Weber at 6.  Prediction:  Auburn 4-1
 
Oklahoma vs. Auburn – The Big 12 Tournament Champs will get tested in doubles and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Auburn take the point but OU will turn it on in singles and get wins from Costin Paval, Guillermo Alcorta,  Axel Llamas, and Dane Webb to move on to the next round.  Regional Winner:  Oklahoma 4-1
 
 
Pepperdine Regional – Malibu, CaliforniaLive Scoring & PU Host Site will have results posted after each match.
 
Pepperdine (11) vs. University of California-Santa Barbara (49-64) – 1pm PST – The Waves will take care of the Gauchos without any trouble.  Prediction:  Pepperdine 4-0
 
LSU (17-32) vs. Stanford (33-48) – 10am PST – Stanford wasn’t able to get it going consistently in the regular season but I think they’ve got enough to pull off the upset in this one.  I like the Cardinal to take the doubles point and then pick up wins from John Morrissey, Daniel Ho, and Trey Strobel at 1, 5, and 6 while LSU will have Stefan Szacinski and Olivier Borsos win at 2 and 3.  Prediction:  Stanford 4-2
 
Pepperdine vs. Stanford – These 2 played in the regular season with Pepperdine pulling out a 4-3 win in a match where Stanford was without its #2 Nolan Paige.  I definitely think Stanford can give Pepperdine a test but the Waves are too deep up top and will get it done.  Regional Winner:  Pepperdine 4-2
 
 
Ole Miss Regional – Oxford, Mississippi – Ole Miss Host Site includes Live Scoring and Live Blog links. 
 
Ole Miss (6) vs. Lehigh (49-64) – Noon CST – Rebels cruise past the Mountain Hawks.  Prediction:  Ole Miss 4-0
 
Memphis (17-32) vs. BYU (33-48) – 3pm CST – Memphis finished out the year by winning 7 in a row including the Conference USA Tournament while BYU took Pepperdine to a 3rd set tiebreak in the deciding match of the WCC Tournament Championship but came up a few points short.  Unfortunately for BYU it will be without its top 2 singles players as both Patrick Kawke and Spencer Smith have been removed from the active lineup for undisclosed reasons.  With those 2 out this will be a Memphis rout as the Tigers will take the doubles point and get wins from Connor Glennon, Lukas Vrnak, and David O’ Leary at 1, 3, and 5 to move on.  Prediction:  Memphis 4-0
 
Ole Miss vs. Memphis – These 2 met in the regular season in Oxford and Ole Miss prevailed 4-2 in a very close match that saw the doubles point decided by a tiebreak and the top 3 singles matches go 3 sets.  Ole Miss struggled down the stretch losing 6 of 10 and was upset at home in the SEC Tournament by Alabama.  Ole Miss should have a few players healed up from some earlier injuries and while I can see Memphis taking the doubles point I think Ole Miss gets it done from its top 4 and pulls through.  Prediction:  Ole Miss 4-2 
 
 
Tennessee Regional – Knoxville, TN – UT Host Site will have Live Scoring, Live Video, and a Live Blog running.  
 
Tennessee (7) vs. South Carolina State (49-64) – 2pm EST – Vols have no problem against the Bulldogs.  Prediction:  Tennessee 4-0
 
Clemson (17-32) vs. Boise State (33-48) – 11am EST – Boise State finished the year by winning 14 of 15 including the Mountain West Championship while Clemson stumbled down the stretch winning just 5 of 10.  The only common opponent this year for these 2 was Louisville and while Clemson won 4-0 Boise State came up short and lost at home 4-1.  For Boise State to pose a real threat they would have to capture the doubles point and then pick up wins at 3, 4, and 5 but I think that’s going to be too tall a task and I do look for Clemson to pull it out.  CU takes the doubles point and then gets wins from Yannick Maden, Hunter Harrington, and Austin Ansari at 1, 2, and 6.  Prediction:  Clemson 4-2
 
Tennessee vs. Clemson – Clemson’s strength has been at 1 and 2 this year but that also happens to be where Tennessee excels and I see both Mikelis Libietis and Hunter Reese winning in those spots for the Vols and I also expect for Tennessee to take the doubles point and pick up another singles win from John Collins at 5.  Clemson will be close to getting a W at 6 with 3 and 4 fairly tight. Regional Winner:  Tennessee 4-0
 
 
Mississippi State Regional  – Starkville, Mississippi – MSU Host Site will have Live Scoring links.
 
Mississippi State (10) vs. Austin Peay (49-64) – 1pm CST – State plows past the Governors.   Prediction: Mississippi State 4-0
 
Harvard (17-32) vs. Samford (33-48) – 10am CST – Crimson too much for the Bulldogs.  Harvard 4-0
 
Mississippi State vs. Harvard – Harvard has beaten some good teams this year (Vanderbilt/Northwestern/Drake) so they definitely have a shot but I see State getting it done in doubles and at 1, 3, and 4 to advance to the Sweet 16.  Regional Winner:  Mississippi State 4-0
 
 
Florida Regional – Gainesville, Florida – UF Host Site will have Live Scoring Links.  
 
Florida (15) vs. Denver (49-64) – 4pm EST – Florida won’t have any problem at home and will advance easily.  Prediction:  Florida 4-0
 
Cal (17-32) vs. Florida State (33-48) – 1pm EST – This has the makings of a very entertaining match as Cal comes across the country while FSU will be playing close to home.  I like Cal in doubles and Ben McLachlan and Campbell Johnson at 1 and 3 but I’m going to take Benjamin Lock, Anderson Reed, Cristian Gonzalez Mendez, and Michael Rinaldi at 2, 4, 5, and 6 for FSU as the Noles will pull the upset and knock off Cal.  Prediction:  Florida State 4-3
 
Florida vs. Florida State – These 2 met in the regular season in Gainesville and Florida took it to FSU 5-2 and while I see FSU being more competitive this time around I still see the same outcome with Florida taking the doubles point and picking up wins from Florent Diep, Bob van Overbeek, and Gordon Watson.  Regional Winner:  Florida 4-1
 
 
Virginia Regional – Charlottesville, Virginia – UVA Host Site will have LIve Scoring Links.  
 
Virginia (2) vs. Fairleigh Dickinson (49-64) – 1pm EST – Hoos in a rout.  Prediction:  Virginia 4-0
 
VCU (17-32) vs. Minnesota (33-48) – 10am EST – Rematch from the ITA Kick-off weekend which VCU won 5-2.  Gophers have come on strong since then and I think they’ll pull off the upset by taking the doubles point along with wins at 1, 2, and 3.  Prediction:  Minnesota 4-1
 
Virginia vs. Minnesota – Virginia is just too strong from top to bottom and will pick up the doubles point and straight set wins at 2, 3, and 6.  Regional Winner:  Virginia 4-0

 
That wraps up the 1st and 2nd Rounds of Play and now I’ll narrow the field down to who I think will advance all the way to the Championship Match.   
 
Round of 16
UCLA over Illinois 
Duke over Michigan
Ohio State over Texas A&M
USC over Baylor
Georgia over Oklahoma
Pepperdine over Ole Miss
Tennessee over Mississippi State
Virginia over Florida
 
Quarterfinals:
UCLA over Duke (tight one)
Ohio State over USC
Pepperdine over Georgia
Virginia over Tennessee
 
Semifinals:
Ohio State over UCLA
Virginia over Pepperdine
 
Championship:
Virginia over Ohio State 
 
I’ll go into great detail next week on these upcoming rounds.  Stay tuned…..

NCAA Men's Bracket PDF | Interactive  |  NCAA Women's Bracket PDF | Interactive

Regular Season Review & Predictions
4/20 |  4/194/144/134/11 | 4/64/53/31 | 3/29 | 3/24 | 3/17 | 3/15 | 3/12 | 3/5 | 3/33/1 | 2/24 | 2/22 | 2/19 | 2/172/16


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