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Friday College Preview By Bobby Knight
Friday, 04/19/2013
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Pictured: USC Trojan Ray Sarmiento currently No. 14 on the ITA Rankings.

There is no doubt what match is the headliner on Friday – of course it’s the 3rd installment of USC versus UCLA.  These 2 west coast titans meet in Westwood on Friday afternoon and then will likely meet again for a 4th time next week at the Pac 12 Tournament.  Both contests have finished 4-3 with each decided in a 3rd set tiebreaker so it would be no surprise to see it happen again.  But, before we get to that one let’s take a look at the other matches taking place throughout the country along with a recap of yesterday’s events in Oxford at the SEC Tournament.  
 
Follow along at the live scoring links below.
 
Friday:
 
#52 Virgina Tech at #55 Miami FL – 2pm est – Live Scoring @ http://www.hurricanesports.com/fls/28700/livestats/m-tennis/livestats/xlive.htm?DB_OEM_ID=28700 – Virginia Tech split matches last weekend with a win over Georgia Tech and a narrow loss to Clemson while Miami was swept by Duke and North Carolina.  These 2 are only separated by 3 spots in the rankings but Virginia Tech is a good bit better and will come away with the win.  Prediction:  Virginia Tech 5-2
 
Georgia Tech at #24 Clemson – 2:30pm est – Live Scoring @ http://www.clemsontigers.com/fls/28500/daktennis/Scoreboard.html?SPID=103709&DB_OEM_ID=28500 – Clemson rebounded from a loss to Virginia with a 4-3 win over Virginia Tech while Georgia Tech got swept by that same pair last weekend and has dropped 8 of 9.  Clemson should win this one going away.  Prediction:  Clemson 6-1
 
#1 Virginia at #30 Florida State – 3pm est – Live Scoring @ http://www.seminoles.com/livestats/m-tennis/041913/xlive.htm - Florida State split a pair last weekend losing to Wake Forest but rebounding to beat North Carolina while Virginia beat both Clemson and Georgia Tech.  Virginia is just way too deep to be threatened here and will take care of business on the road.  Prediction:  Virginia 6-1
 
#59 North Carolina at #25 Wake Forest – 3pm est – Live Scoring @ http://www.wakeforestsports.com/livestats/m-tennis/xlive.htm - Wake comes into this one having won 6 of 7 while UNC has split its last 4.  This one has a lot of potential despite the difference in records and I think North Carolina will keep it close but Wake will have just enough and will pull it out with wins at 2, 3, and 4.  Prediction:  Wake Forest 4-3
 
Boston College at #10 Duke – 3pm est – Live Scoring @ http://www.goduke.com/fls/4200/livestats/xlive.htm?DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=4200  - Duke has won 5 in a row while Boston College is searching for its 1st conference win.  Duke won’t drop a set in this one and likely won’t give up more than 3 games in a set.  Prediction:  Duke 7-0
 
#45 Michigan State at #5 Ohio State – 3pm est – Live Scoring @ http://www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/livestats/m-tennis/xlive.htm - Michigan State has won 3 straight and 5 of 6 while Ohio State hasn’t lost at home in 10 years.  Today won’t be the day the Buckeyes lose at home.  Prediction:  Ohio State 7-0
 
#26 Michigan at Penn State – 3pm est – Live Scoring @ http://www.gopsusports.com/livestats/c-tennis/xlive.htm - Michigan has won 6 straight and 9 of 10 while Penn State has dropped 4 of 5.  The Wolverines will take care of business and start looking ahead to their Sunday showdown with Ohio State.  Prediction:  Michigan 6-1
 
#53 Indiana at #31 Illinois – 4pm est/3pm cst – Live Scoring @ http://www.fightingillini.com/sports/m-tennis/livestats.html - Indiana dropped a close one to Minnesota last weekend and then rebounded with a shutout win over Wisconsin while Illinois came close to upsetting Ohio State before falling 4-3.  The Illini did come back on Sunday to shutout Penn State.  Indiana has played well over the last month after struggling in the early stages of the season while Illinois has done a good job beating the teams they were supposed to.  I think this one has upset potential because I like Josh MacTaggart, Isade Juneau, and Dimitrije Tasic at 2, 3, and 4 for IU.  Jared Hiltzik has been playing great at 1 for the Illini and I look for him to win again while I also look for Illinois to pick up a win at 6 as well.  The matchup at 5 is the one IU will need to pull the upset and I just don’t think they’ll get it.  Prediction:  Illinois 4-3  
 
#39 BYU at #8 Pepperdine – 6pm est/3pm pst – Live Scoring @ http://www.pepperdinesports.com/livestats/m-tennis/xlive.htm - BYU has won 8 in a row while Pepperdine saw its 11 match winning streak get snapped on Monday by UCLA.  The winner of this one will claim the WCC regular season title and while BYU is good Pepperdine is better.  Prediction:  Pepperdine 5-2 
 
#4 USC at #3 UCLA – 6pm est/3pm pst – Live Scoring @ http://www.uclabruins.com/livestats/tennis/xlive.htm - UCLA has taken the doubles point in both of the previous encounters so I’ll say the Bruins make it 3 out of 3 and jump out to the 1-0 lead.  All 6 singles matchups are tossups that have gone both ways in the previous encounters.    I’m leaning towards Emilio Gomez, Ray Sarmiento, and Roberto Quiroz for USC while I think UCLA will pick up wins from Adrian Puget, Clay Thompson, and Karue Sell.  It would not surprise me if this one comes down to another 3rd set tiebreak to decide it – maybe at 4 this time.   Prediction:  UCLA 4-3.
 
 
SEC Tournament Quarterfinals - 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 -
 
As I mentioned in my SEC Tournament Preview you have to expect the unexpected in the SEC and yesterday sure delivered.  In the opening match of the day South Carolina knocked off LSU in a 4-3 thriller as Thiago Pinheiro provided the clincher at 3 with a 4-6 6-4 6-4 win over LSU’s Olivier Borsos.  It looked like the Gamecocks would get a 4-2 win when Harry Menzies led Tam Trinh 4-0 in the 3rd at 6 but Trinh rallied to win 6 straight games to take the match to keep LSU in it.  In the 2nd match of the day Vanderbilt avenged a regular season loss to Auburn with a 4-1 win.  After showing very little last weekend the Dores came out firing on cylinders and took the doubles point and then picked up 5 1st sets.  Both Rhys Johnson and Kris Yee won in straight sets at 6 and 4 and then it was Gonzales Austin clinching it at 2 with a 6-4 3-6 6-1 win over Daniel Cochrane.  The 3rd match of the day was the biggest surprise of them all as Alabama came into Oxford and beat the host Ole Miss Rebels 4-3 in a match that was moved indoors mid-way through singles play due to weather.  Ole Miss had a 3-2 lead but Alabama won the 2 remaining matches in 3rd sets with Becker O’Shaugnessey  winning 6-3 6-7 7-5 at 3 and Jarryd Botha providing the clincher at 1 with a 7-6 4-6 7-5.  Then late last night in the wee hours of morning it was Kentucky knocking off Mississippi State 4-2 in a match that didn’t finish until 3:23am eastern/2:23am central.  Kentucky took the all-important doubles point in a tiebreak at 1 and then picked up straight set wins from Anthony Rossi, Tom Jomby, and Beck Pennington at 1, 2, and 5 to get the win.  The Wildcats were another man down with Grant Roberts out so that made this win that much more impressive.  All 5 singles that finished were straight setters with MSU’s Pedro Dumont serving for a straight set win at 6 when the match was halted.
 
#17 South Carolina vs.  #14 Florida – 10am est/9am cst - South Carolina knocked off Florida 4-3 in Columbia back on March 8th in a thriller that came down to a 3rd set at #2 singles.   Florida made a few lineup changes  down the stretch by moving Stephane Piro from 3 to 1, Florent Diep from 1 to 2, and Bob van Overbeek from 2 to 3 and those changes paid off as the Gators closed the regular season out by winning 4 of 5.  I look for Florida to sweep the top 3 courts in addition to taking the doubles point to pull out a narrow victory.  Prediction:  Florida 4-2
 
#16 Vanderbilt  vs. #7 Tennessee – 1pm est/Noon cst - These 2 met back on March 24th in Knoxville with Tennessee taking a 4-2 thriller that saw 4 matches go 3 sets.  Vanderbilt had a horrible weekend last week but came back and really took it to Auburn yesterday winning 4-1.  I look for Tennessee to secure the doubles point and pick up singles wins from Mikelis Libietis, Hunter Reese, and Jarryd Chaplin while Vanderbilt will get wins from Kris Yee and Marc van der Merwe.  If Vanderbilt can find a way to win the doubles point that shift in momentum may be enough to turn the tide towards the Dores.   Prediction:  Tennessee 4-2
 
#36 Alabama vs. #12 Texas A&M – 4pm est/3pm cst - Alabama pulled off the stunner of the day yesterday when it upset host Ole Miss 4-3.  The Crimson Tide also won a hard fought match the day prior when it beat Arkansas 4-2 so fatigue may become an issue in this one.  Texas A&M won the regular season meeting in Tuscaloosa 4-1 just 2 weeks ago with Bama’s lone point being the doubles point.   I look for A&M to take the doubles point this time around and then to pick up singles wins from Jeremy Efferding, Shane Vinsant, and Jackson Withrow to roll away with a shutout win.  Prediction:  Texas A&M 4-0
 
#11 Kentucky vs. #2 Georgia – 7pm est/6pm cst - Kentucky advanced to this quarterfinal matchup with a 4-2 win over Mississippi State late last night and will be back on the court just 18 hours later.  These 2 met twice during the regular season with Georgia winning in Lexington 4-2 and Kentucky winning in Seattle at the National Indoors by that same 4-2 margin.  Kentucky is down another man with Grant Roberts out so that absence will make it that much tougher for the Cats to compete in this one.  Kentucky has one of the best 1-2 punches in the nation in Anthony Rossi and Tom Jomby and those 2 will have to win for Kentucky to have a realistic shot here.  I think a well-rested Georgia team will take advantage of the situation and will take the doubles point and pick up singles wins at 3, 4, and 5 from Ben Wagland, Hernus Pieters, and Austin Smith.  Prediction:  Georgia 4-1 
 
Check back tomorrow for a preview of the Saturday lineup which is highlighted by a Bay Area bash between Stanford and Cal.

Previous Week's Preview's & Predictions
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