Friday brought us the biggest upset of this young season and one of the biggest of the last several years when #25 Illinois stunned #5 Duke 4-3 as freshmen Jared Hiltzik provided the clincher by knocking off Fred Saba 6-3 in the 3rd at #2 singles. There hadn’t been any indication that this would be even a close match with the way the 2 teams had played thus far but I guess a combination of a rowdy Friday night crowd and some extra motivation from head coach Brad Dancer was enough for the Illini to rise up.
There was almost another stunner yesterday but #8 Oklahoma scratched and clawed its way to a 4-3 win over #33 Indiana. Indiana went up 2-0 but Oklahoma rallied with wins by Paval, Alcorta, Llamas, and Stakhovsky to complete the comeback. It’s hard to say if Oklahoma was caught looking ahead to its Sunday showdown with #9 Kentucky but they managed to pull through and remain undefeated.
#18 Stanford put together its most complete performance of the year and shut out #48 BYU 7-0 while #2 USC did the same and shutout #17 Texas 7-0 winning all 6 singles matches in straight sets. #23 Washington rolled over #36 Santa Clara 4-0 while #22 Tulsa slid past #37 Minnesota 4-3 despite playing without its #1 singles player Japie De Klerk.
Now let’s take a look at what is in store for Super Sunday.
#5 Duke at #30 Notre Dame – Noon est – Live Scoring - Duke will try to rebound from a stunning loss while Notre Dame tries to win its 2nd in a row after beating Memphis last week. I think the upset will wake up the Blue Devils and they’ll respond with a strong performance. Prediction: Duke 6-1
#49 Wake Forest at #20 Michigan – 11am – LiveScoring & Video - Michigan is coming off a 5-2 win over Princeton on Friday while Wake Forest is fresh off a 4-2 win over Louisville. Wake is off to a 7-0 start and playing great tennis and should keep this one close but Michigan is too strong at the top of the lineup. Prediction: Michigan 5-2
#14 Baylor at #22 Tulsa – 2pm est/1pm cst - Live Scoring - Last year Tulsa ruined Senior Night for Baylor by knocking off the Bears 4-3. Baylor is stronger this year and will take care of business on the road. Prediction: Baylor 5-2.
#17 Texas at #7 Pepperdine – 3pm est/noon pst – Live Scoring - Pepperdine is coming off a weekend sweep of Denver and Florida State while Texas has dropped 2 straight to a pair of Top 10 teams in Kentucky and USC. Texas was unable to get on the board against USC last night but again their best chance at stealing a court is at 5 or 6 singles. Prediction: Pepperdine 6-1
#38 Boise State at #23 Washington – 3pm est/Noon pst – Live Scoring & Video - Washington will continue to march on towards the National Indoors and will get the win. Prediction: Washington 6-1
#6 Georgia at #4 Ohio State – Noon est. – Live Scoring & Video - These 2 met last year in Athens and Georgia won a 4-3 thriller but this year they meet in Columbus where Ohio State is extremely tough to beat. Ohio State has 5 returning starters while Georgia will start 3 freshmen. Let’s look at the individual matchups along with my projections:
Projected Starting Lineups:
#1. McCarthy/Van Engelen (OSU) vs. Wagland/Pieters (UGA) – UGA 8-7
#2. Rola/Smith (OSU) vs. Singh/Pasha (UGA) – OSU 8-7
#3. Kobelt/Metka (OSU) vs. Smith/Wood (UGA) – OSU 8-5
#1. Blaz Rola (OSU) vs. KU Singh (UGA) – Rola in 2
#2. Peter Kobelt (OSU) vs. Nathan Pasha (UGA) – Kobelt in 2
#3. Ille Van Engelen (OSU) vs. Hernus Pieters (UGA) – Van Engelen in 3
#4.Devin McCarthy (OSU) vs. Ben Wagland (UGA) – Wagland in 2
#5. Connor Smith (OSU) vs. Austin Smith (UGA) – A Smith in 3
#6. Chris Diaz (OSU) vs. Nick Wood (UGA) – Diaz in 3
I think it’ll be a tough doubles point that ends with Ohio State taking the point and in singles I think Ohio State’s experience and strength at the top of the lineup will get it done. Prediction: Ohio State 5-2
#8 Oklahoma at #9 Kentucky – 1pm est. – Live Scoring & Live Blog - Kentucky is coming off a successful weekend that saw the Cats knock off both Michigan State and Texas while Oklahoma is coming off a hard fought win over Indiana. Both of these teams are strong from 1-6 so this should be a very tight match that could easily go either way.
Projected Starting Lineups:
#1. Jomby/Lai (UK) vs. Paval/Webb (OU) – OU 8-5
#2. Gomez/Hirooka (UK) vs. Alcorta/Llamas (OU) – UK 8-5
#3. Rossi/Roberts vs. Stakhovsky/Siributwong (OU) – UK 8-7
#1. Anthony Rossi (UK) vs. Costin Paval (OU) – Rossi in 3
#2. Tom Jomby (UK) vs. Guillermo Alcorta (OU) – Jomby in 2
#3. Alejandro Gomez (UK) vs. Dane Webb (OU) – Webb in 3
#4. Juan Pablo Murra (UK) vs. Alex Alvarez Llamas (OU) – Llamas in 3
#5. Charles Minc (UK) vs. Peerakit Siributwong (OU) – Minc in 2
#6. Grant Roberts (UK) vs. Leonard Stakhovsky (OU) – Stakhovsky in 2
I think this will be a match where the team that takes the doubles point takes the match. I’ll go with Kentucky in doubles and therefore Kentucky to take the match. Prediction: Kentucky 4-3.
CTO Correspondent, Bobby Knight.
You can follow me on Twitter @B_Knight77