Pictured: Univeristy of South Carolina
Courtesy of Bobby Knight: Friday will bring us another Top 10 SEC showdown with Ole Miss and Kentucky meeting in Oxford while Tennessee hosts a surging South Carolina squad. Virginia continues its spring break road trip with a stop in Austin to meet Texas while Duke hosts Wake Forest in both teams’ ACC opener. We’ve seen one upset after another so far this year so the question is who gets taken out this week?
Follow along at the provided links and see how it all plays out – below are my thoughts on what I think will happen.
#24 Wake Forest at #8 Duke – 1pm est – Live Scoring – Both teams come into this one after losing their last time out with Duke getting stunned at Cal and Wake going down on the road at VCU. Duke beat Wake 6-1 last year and even though Wake is better this year so is Duke. Prediction: Duke 7-0
#35 Florida at #5 Georgia – 2:30pm est – UGA Live Blog & Live Scoring & Videol - The Gators come into this one having dropped 5 of its last 6 while Georgia has won 5 of its last 6. I think both of those streaks will continue but I think Florida will keep this one closer than a team that is ranked 30 spots behind its opponent normally would. I don’t see Florida having a shot at the upset unless they pull out the doubles point. Prediction: Georgia 4-3
#10 Kentucky at #4 Ole Miss – 2pm est/1pm cst - Ole Miss Live Blog and Live Scoring - Kentucky looks to be rebound from a rough weekend in Texas that saw the Cats lose to both Baylor and Texas A&M while Ole Miss just keeps on winning. The Rebels have won 8 in a row and 7 of them were by a razor thin 4-2 or 4-3 margin. Ole Miss has only dropped the doubles point in 1 of those 8 matches and they’ve been getting great play from their #1 and #2 doubles teams of Nik Scholtz/Jonas Lutjen and Stefan Lindmark/Johan Backstrom. The Rebels are coming off a hard fought win over Baylor in a match played on Thursday less than 24 hours before this one. All these guys are very fit but playing a grueling 3 setter and then having to turn around less than 24 hours later to potentially play another one has to be tough on the body. Despite the quick turnaround I think Ole Miss pushes the winning streak to 9 with another tight win. I like Scholtz, Lindmark, and Kallberg to win in singles and the Rebs will pull out the doubles point again. Prediction: Ole Miss 4-3
#23 Vanderbilt at #13 Mississippi State – 3pm est./2pm cst. – Live Scoring – Both teams are coming off losses with Vandy losing last weekend to Texas A&M and Mississippi State losing to both Tennessee and Georgia. If Mississippi State has someone in the top 4 out of the lineup that may open the door up for a Vanderbilt upset but with a full strength lineup I think Mississippi State gets it done at home with Bogaerts, Chaudry, Angus, and Vinti winning in singles along with scooping up the doubles point. Prediction: Mississippi State 5-2
#28 Florida State at #63 Georgia Tech – 2:30pm est – Live Scoring - Florida State is coming off an upset of #7 Oklahoma and has won 3 straight while Georgia Tech has won 3 of its last 4 though the wins have come against lesser opponents. I don’t see the Noles having any trouble in their visit to Atlanta and they’ll win going away. Prediction: Florida State 6-1
#32 South Carolina at #6 Tennessee – 2pm est – UT Live Blog/Live Scoring/Video - Tennessee climbed to a season high 6th in the country despite losing the last time out to Ole Miss while South Carolina has won back-to-back 4-3 matches against Florida and Clemson. This one has 4-3 written all over it and I think the winner of the doubles point will be in the driver’s seat. I like Libietis, Reese, and Collins in singles for UT while I like Koch, Pinheiro, and Cox for South Carolina. Prediction: Tennessee 4-3
#25 Clemson at #70 Miami – 2pm est – Live Scoring - Miami has won 3 in a row while Clemson has won 6 of its last 7 and I look for the Tigers to run that to 7 of its last 8. Miami just isn’t strong enough yet to compete with the upper half of the ACC which is where Clemson currently sits. The Canes best chance at taking a court will likely come from Gabriel Flores. Prediction: Clemson 6-1
#1 Virginia at #14 Texas – 7pm est/6pm cst – Live Scoring - Texas has won 4 straight but that streak will come to end against the top ranked Cavaliers as Virginia finishes off its 3 match Texas road trip following wins against Baylor and Texas A&M. Prediction: Virginia 7-0
#68 LSU at #11 Texas A&M – 7pm est/6pm cst – Live Scoring & Video – LSU comes into this one on a 4-match losing streak while Texas A&M saw its 3-match winning streak snapped by Virginia on Wednesday. LSU has a shot in a few spots but Texas A&M is the better team top to bottom. Prediction: Texas A&M 5-2
#27 Alabama at #31 Auburn – 1pm est/Noon cst – Live Scoring - Alabama is one of the most improved teams in the country this year and winning a match against its in-state rival would be huge. These 2 have played 6 common opponents with almost identical results so this match is a toss-up. Auburn has been the better team at doubles and in a match that could easily go 4-3 that 1 point could be a huge. Prediction: Auburn 4-3
#12 Pepperdine at #16 Cal – 4pm est/1pm pst – Live Video - Cal is coming off a stunning upset of Duke while Pepperdine dropped a match on Tuesday to Ohio State. I think Cal will take the doubles point but I like Pepperdine to win 4 courts in singles to get the win. Prediction: Pepperdine 4-2
Check back tomorrow and I’ll preview the Sunday slate which is highlighted by several SEC tilts along with an intriguing match in the ACC between Clemson and Florida State.