by Bobby Knight. Pictured Oklahoma's Guillermo Alcorta
We are down to the final 8 in Tulsa as the weekend is upon us. Friday provided plenty of great action as the cream started to rise to the top with 4 players from the Big 12, 2 from the SEC, 1 from the ACC, and 1 from the Big 10 all advancing to the quarterfinals. By the end of the day tomorrow they'll just be 2 left as both the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds will be played. The quarters get started at 9:30 am central time and then the semis start up at roughly 1 pm central. You can follow along at home with the live scoring link
Below is my take on each quarterfinal matchup along with my semifinal predictions at the bottom.
(Q) George Goldhoff (Texas) vs. Julian Lenz (Baylor) - Goldhoff is the lone freshmen left in the draw but he'll run into a tough competitor in Lenz. I look for the Baylor sophomore to get the job done and move on to the semis. Prediction: Lenz in 2
(12) Mitchell Frank (Virginia) vs. (14) Jared Hiltzik (Illinois) - Both players picked up straight set wins on Friday so fatigue shouldn't be an issue in this one which is a good thing because this has the potential to be a 2 to 3 hour grind. If Hiltzik is going to win this one he needs to do it in straight sets because if it goes 3 I think Mitchell will wear him down. Prediction: Frank in 3
Gonzales AJ Austin (Vanderbilt) vs. (Q) Austin Smith (Georgia) - This will be the 3rd meeting between these SEC rivals in the last 3 weeks and the Austin from Georgia will be looking to make it a clean sweep. Austin Smith has now dropped the opening set in each of last 3 matches yet has managed to come back to win each while AJ has only dropped 1 set so far in 3 matches. This will be Austin Smith's 7th match since Monday so you have to wonder how much he has left in the tank. Prediction: AJ Austin in 3
Guillermo Alcorta (Oklahoma) vs. (13) Patrick Pradella (Baylor) - This match will pit the likely #1s for both Oklahoma and Baylor so these 2 will probably see each other a few more times this year. Alcorta has only dropped 1 set thus far while Pradella has gone the distance in 2 of his 3 matches and the other was a 7-6 7-6 tilt. I'm going to go with the mild upset in this one and take the slightly fresher Alcorta to come away with the win. Prediction: Alcorta in 2
Frank (UVA) over Lenz (BU) in 2 sets.
Alcorta (OU) over Austin (VU) in 3 sets.