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1st and 2nd Round Men's Preview
Wednesday, 05/07/2014
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Harry Adams Action(2).jpg
by Bobby Knight. Pictured Texas A&M's Harrison Adams

It’s that time of the year again as the NCAAs top programs duke it out in the 64-team NCAA Tennis Tournament.  Unlike in year’s past there is no dominant team this year with no fewer than 7 or 8 teams having a legitimate shot at winning the title in Athens.  15 of the 16 top seeds will be hosting their own regional with the exception being #16 Columbia who must go to Nashville to play in a regional hosted by Vanderbilt.   
 
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.  Last year 14 of 16 hosts advanced to the Round of 16 and this year I expect at least 14 to advance if not all 16.   

Let's take a look at the top left quarter of the bracket with play starting at some sights on Friday and at others on Saturday.
 
 
USC Regional  – Los Angeles, California – Live Scoring 
 
  • USC (1) vs. Idaho (49-64) – Saturday 3pm EST/12pm PST - The Vandals hadn't won their conference since 1978 prior to winning the WAC a few weeks ago but their stay in the tournament will be short lived as USC will move on to the 2nd round without breaking a sweat.  Prediction:  USC 4-0.  Result - USC 4-0
  • Oklahoma State (17-32) vs. Michigan (33-48) – Saturday 12pm EST/9am PST – This will be a matchup of 2 teams that come into the tournament going in 2 different directions.  Oklahoma State dropped 4 of its final 5 after starting the year 20-3 while Michigan won 5 of its last 6 and that surge down the stretch was the only reason the Wolverines made it in as an at-large.  I look for Oklahoma State to right the ship and come away with the win in this one as the Cowboys will take the doubles point and pick up singles wins from Sude, Kadhe, and Gerch.  Prediction:  Oklahoma State 4-1.  Result - Oklahoma State 4-2
  • USC (1) vs. Oklahoma State (17-32)  – Sunday 4pm EST/1pm PSTOklahoma State is making its first appearance in the NCAAs since 2009 but the 2nd round will be the end of the road as USC’s strength throughout the lineup will be too much.  I look for Yannick Hanfmann, Eric Johnson, and whoever plays at 6 (Farren or Grant) to pick up the singles wins for USC.  Regional Winner:  #1 USC 4-0.  Result - USC 4-1
 
Vanderbilt Regional – Nashville, Tennessee – Live Scoring 
 
  • Vanderbilt (17-32) vs. Virginia Tech (33-48) – Saturday -  2pm EST/1pm CST – Both of these teams had up and down regular seasons and then played some of their best tennis in their conference tournaments with Vandy knocking off Auburn and Georgia before falling to Florida in the SEC Semis while Virginia Tech knocked off Wake Forest before losing a 4-3 heart-breaker to Duke in the ACC Quarters.  The home court advantage will be key for Vandy and I think they’ll ride the crowd support to pick up the doubles point and then will find singles wins at 2, 4, and 6 from Ryan Lipman, Rhys Johnson, and Jeff Offerdahl or Ryan Smith.  Virginia Tech will pick up wins from Joao Monterio and Jai Corbett at 3 and 5.   Prediction:  Vanderbilt 4-2.   Result - Vanderbilt 4-0
  • Columbia (16) vs. East Tennessee St (49-64) – Saturday - 11am EST/10am CST – Despite being one of the top 16 seeds Columbia has to go on the road for this regional and it will have its hands full every step along the way.  The Lions spent most of the year playing indoors and the only teams it faced outdoors, outside of its Ivy League foes, were TCU and SMU.  Columbia won both of those matches 4-3 coming from behind to beat TCU with Winston Lin rallying from 4-0 down in the 3rd set in the deciding match.   The SMU match didn’t come down to a deciding court like the TCU match but it still wasn’t a walk in the park either.  The Atlantic Sun champion East Tennessee State Bucs bring an 11 match winning streak into this one and will try do something that it couldn’t do last year in Nashville which is to knock off the #1 seed in the regional.  The doubles point could go either way and if ETSU takes it an upset wouldn’t be too farfetched.   Columbia should have the upper hand at 1, 3, 5, and 6 and I see Winston Lin, Dragos Ignat, Bert Vancura, and Mike Vermeer all pulling out wins for the Lions.  Diego Nunez and Ismael Merino should have the upper hand at 2 and 4 for ETSU.  Prediction:  Columbia 4-2.  Result - Columbia 4-0
  • Columbia (16) vs. Vanderbilt (17-32) – Sunday – 2pm EST/1pm CST – Had Columbia been hosting on their home courts I’d probably have given them the nod here but with this match being played outdoors in Nashville I’m going to go with Vanderbilt as I expect the Dores to take the doubles point and pick up singles wins from Ryan Lipman, Kris Yee, and Rhys Johnson.  Regional Winner:  Vanderbilt 4-1.  Result - Columbia 4-3
 
 
Texas Regional – Austin, TX – Live Scoring 
 
  • Texas (9) vs. Marist (49-64) – Friday - 2pm EST/1pm CST – Texas shouldn’t have any issue in this one as the Horns will roll over the MAAC Champion Red Foxes.  Prediction:  Texas 4-0.  Result - Texas 4-0
  • Mississippi State (17-32) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (33-48) – Friday - 11am EST/10am CST – The Ragin’ Cajuns return to the NCAAs for the first time in 7 years after going 20-4 and winning the Sun Belt while Mississippi State comes in with a 16-10 record having lost 3 of its final 4 including a first round exit at the SEC Tournament.  Despite the slide down the stretch MSU is a lot deeper and stronger throughout the lineup with the lone exception being at #5 singles with ULL’s Hunter Johnson bringing a 15-0 record into this one.  Prediction:  Mississippi State 4-0.  Result - Mississippi State 4-0
  • Texas (9) vs. Mississippi State (17-32) – Saturday - 2pm EST/1pm CST –  Texas is better across the board at each position and should be able to pull away without much of a problem.  Mississippi State’s only chance would be to take the double point and then try to chip away at the bottom of the lineup but I just don’t see that happening. Regional Winner:  Texas 4-0.   Result - Texas 4-1
 
Texas A&M Regional – College Station, TX – Live Scoring/Video  
 
  • Texas A&M (8) vs. Alcorn State (49-64) – Saturday 1pm EST/12pm CST – The SWAC Champion Braves will be hard pressed to take more than 3 or so games in a set off the host Aggies.  Prediction:  Texas A&M 4-0.  Result - Texas A&M 4-0
  • Cal (17-32) vs. Texas Tech (33-48) – Saturday - 10am EST/9am CST –The Red Raiders come in having lost 5 of 6 while Cal won 3 of its final 5.  I like Texas Tech up top at 1 and 2 with Felipe Soares and Hugo Dojas but I see Cal getting it done in the middle of the lineup behind Filip Bergevi, Andre Goransson, and Greg Bayane.  If Texas Tech can take the doubles point this could get really interesting but in the end I see Cal taking it.  Prediction:  Cal 4-2.  Result - Cal 4-0
  • Texas A&M (8) vs. Cal (17-32) – Sunday – 2pm EST/1pm CST I think Cal will be a little spent after a tough match against Texas Tech and Texas A&M will jump them early and take the doubles point and pick up singles wins from Harrison Adams, Shane Vinsant, and Jordan Szabo at 1, 2, and 6 to skate away with the shutout win.  Regional Winner:  Texas A&M 4-0.  Result - Cal 4-3 


Baylor Regional
– Waco, TX – Live Scoring & Video & Blog

  • Baylor (5) vs. Texas A&M Corpus Christi (49-64) – Saturday – 3pm EST/2pm CST – The Southland Conference Champion Islanders are making their 5th appearance in the NCAAs in the last 7 years while Baylor is coming off a Big 12 Championship.  Baylor will win this one handily.  Prediction:  Baylor 4-0.  Result - Baylor 4-0
  • Stanford (17-32) vs. Tulsa (33-48) – Saturday - 12pm EST/11am CST – Stanford had won 5 in a row before falling to Oregon in the 2nd round of the Pac 12 Tournament while the Conference USA champion Golden Hurricanes finished stronger winning their final 5.  Tulsa played one of the tougher schedules this year facing 20 teams that finished the regular season ranked in the top 75 while Stanford only faced 12 ranked teams. One of the keys for Stanford will be to have a healthy Maciek Romanowicz back in the lineup at #2 because the Cardinal really struggled at the 2 and 3 spots down the stretch without Romanowicz and Tulsa is strong enough up top to exploit that weakness. I look for Japie DeKlerk and Alejandro Espejo to win at 2 and 3 for Tulsa but Stanford looks like stronger at 4-6 and if John Morrissey wins at 1 Stanford should be headed to the 2nd round.  Prediction:  Stanford 4-2.  Result - Tulsa 4-2
  • Baylor (5) vs. Stanford (17-32) – Sunday – 3pm EST/2pm CST – Baylor is better at every spot in the lineup and will cruise into the Round of 16 with Pradella, Galeano, Zsiga earning singles wins.  Regional Winner:  Baylor 4-0.  Result - Baylor 4-1


Illinois Regional
– Champaign, IL – Live Scoring

  • Illinois (12) vs. Ball State (49-64) – Friday – 5pm EST/4pm CST –These 2 met in the regular season with Illinois winning 4-0 though Ball State did win first sets at 1 and 3.  This time around Illinois will have Jared Hiltzik in the lineup at #1 and they shouldn’t have any issues replicating the same result as last time.  Prediction:  Illinois 4-0.  Result - Illinois 4-0
  • Memphis (17-32) vs. Drake (33-48) – Friday - 2pm EST/1pm CST – These 2 played a 4 ½ hour marathon match back on March 21st in San Diego and after falling behind 3-0 Drake reeled off 4 straight points with Robin Goodman sealing the deal by coming back from 5-3 down in the 3rd to defeat David O’Leary 6-1 5-7 7-6(2).  Drake, which finished the year by winning 13 straight, will put the same lineup out while Memphis, who won 5 straight before falling 4-3 to South Florida in the AAC Finals, will switch its #3 and #4.   I don’t believe Drake can come back from losing the doubles point this time around and after taking the doubles point I see Memphis getting wins from Connor Glennon, Joe Salisbury, and David O’Leary to pull it out in another tight one.  Prediction:  Memphis 4-2.  Result - Memphis 4-3
  • Illinois (12) vs. Memphis (17-32) – Saturday - 4pm EST/3pm CST - A year ago Memphis knocked off the host, which was Ole Miss to advance to the Round of 16 for the first time ever, this year that task will be a bit more difficult.  I think Memphis comes out and takes the doubles point to put the pressure on the Illini but Illinois will answer with wins from Jared Hiltzik, Farris Gosea, and Tim Kopinski at 1, 2, and 3 singles to open up a 3-1 lead.  Memphis won’t go away quietly and will get wins at 4 and 5 from David O’Leary and Ian Chadwell to tie it at 3.  Illinois will pull it out at #6 singles with a 3rd set win and in a thriller it will be Illinois moving on to Athens.  Regional Winner:  Illinois 4-3.  Result - Illinois 4-3


Notre Dame Regional
– South Bend, Indiana – Live Scoring for ND/GB & NW/OM

  • Notre Dame (13) vs. Green Bay (49-64) – Saturday 1pm EST – The Horizon League Champion Phoenix make their 2nd ever appearance in the NCAAs but Notre Dame won’t be a welcoming guest and will post a shutout win.  Prediction:  Notre Dame 4-0.  Result - Notre Dame 4-0
  • Northwestern (17-32) vs. Ole Miss (33-48) – Saturday 10am EST – Less than a month ago it appeared that Ole Miss would miss out on the NCAAs in Billy Chadwick’s final year but a late season rally that included wins over Texas A&M and Tennessee was enough to put the Rebels in the big dance as an at-large.  Northwestern finished the year on fire winning 9 straight before falling to Ohio State in the Big 10 semifinals.  Neither team had much success in doubles this year with Northwestern going 17-14 and Ole Miss 9-13 though Ole Miss did go 4-2 in their final 6 conference matches.  I think whoever takes the doubles point will take this match because I like Nik Scholtz, Stefan Lindmark, and Johan Backstrom for Ole Miss at 1, 3, and 4 and Sam Shropshire, Strong Kirchheimer, and Alex Pasareanu at 2, 5, and 6 for Northwestern.   If played out I’d say Ole Miss 4-3 but I think they’ll clinch it before then.  Prediction:  Ole Miss 4-1. Result - Ole Miss 4-1
  • Notre Dame (13) vs. Ole Miss (33-48) – Sunday 1pm EST – Notre Dame looks to return to the Round of 16 for the 1st time since 2007 while Ole Miss looks to give Billy Chadwick one final trip to Athens.  Ole Miss’s path to an upset would be to take the doubles point and win at 1, 2, and 3 but I think the home court advantage will be enough to push the Irish through to the next round with Josh Hagar, Eddy Covalschi, and Eric Schnurrenerger winning at 4, 5, and 6.   Regional Winner:  Notre Dame 4-2.  Result - Notre Dame 4-2

 
Virginia Regional – Charlottesville, Virginia – Live Scoring & Video 

  • Virginia (4) vs. Army (49-64) – Saturday - 12pm EST – The Black Knights make their 6th trip to the NCAAs and actually own a win over Virginia – all the way back in 1937 however I don’t expect a repeat performance on Saturday.  Virginia will roll as expected.  Prediction:  Virginia 4-0.  Result - Virginia 4-0 
  • Penn State (17-32) vs. UNC Wilmington (33-48) – Saturday - 9am EST –Despite losing 3 starters from last year’s squad the Seahawks return to the NCAAs for the 5th time in the last 6 years while the Nittany Lions make their first appearance since 2008 and 6th overall.  One of Penn State’s strengths all year was their doubles play with the Nits only dropping the doubles point 3 times while UNCW dropped the point 8 times.  I look for Penn State to continue that trend and claim the doubles point and then carry the momentum into singles and pick up wins at 2, 4, and 5 from Russell Bader, Matt Barry, and Roman Trkulja.  UNC Wilmington will pick up wins from Rafael Aita and Christiaan Van der Burgh at 1 and 6.  Prediction:  Penn State 4-2.  Result - Penn State 4-2 
  • Virginia (4) vs. Penn State (17-32) – Sunday – 1pm EST – The Hoos won’t have any trouble and will pick up singles wins from Alex Domijan, Ryan Shane, and Thai-Son Kwiatkowski in route to a shutout win.  Regional Winner:  Virginia 4-0.  Result - Penn State 4-1

Ohio State Regional – Columbus, Ohio – Live Scoring

  • Ohio State (3) vs. Bryant (49-64) – Friday - 1pm EST – The Bryant Bulldogs will be making its first ever NCAA appearance after winning the Northeast Conference but this one will be all Buckeyes and will probably finish in under 2 hours.  Prediction:  Ohio State 4-0.  Result - Ohio State 4-0
  • Wake Forest (17-32) vs. Louisville (33-48) – Friday - 10am EST- This will be the second meeting this year between these two with Wake winning the first encounter back on February 23rd in Louisville 5-2 though the Demon Deacons will be limping into this one having dropped 5 straight and 11 of its final 16 while Louisville finished the year by winning 6 of 7.  Amazingly 8 of Wake’s 13 losses were by a 4-3 score so if this one comes down to the final court Louisville has to like its chances.  The only lineup changes made from that first meeting are that Wake has swapped Jonathan Ho and Max Kan at 3 and 4 while Louisville has moved Van Domrongsri into the 5 spot.   They always say it’s hard to beat the same team more than once in a year and I think that’ll prove to be the case in this one as I look for Louisville to pull off the mild upset and of course it’ll be by a 4-3 score.  The Ville takes the doubles point and will pick up singles wins from Albert Wagner, Chris Simich, and Michael Lippens at 2, 4, and 6.  Wake will get wins from Romain Bogaerts, Maksim Kan, and Aws Laaribi at 1, 3, and 5.  Prediction:  Louisville 4-3.  Result - Wake Forest 4-1
  • Ohio State (3) vs. Louisville (33-48) – Saturday – 12pm EST - These 2 met in Columbus back on January 26th with Ohio State winning 4-1 though Louisville made it in a match on several courts.  I don’t expect this one to be as close and look for Ohio State to take the doubles point and then pick up singles wins from Peter Kobelt, Ralf Steinbach, and Hunter Callahan.  Regional Winner:  Oho State 4-0.  Result - Ohio State 4-0

 

Florida Regional – Gainesville, Florida – Live Scoring for FLA/SJ & USF/FSU

  • Florida (14) vs. St. John’s (49-64) – Saturday - 12pm EST – A year ago Florida was shocked in the 1st round losing to Denver so I expect the level of preparation for St John’s was intensified and Coach Shelton made sure the team didn’t overlook the Big East Champion Red Storm.  This Florida team has grown more focused as the season has gone on and I expect the Gators to get it done at home by taking the doubles point and picking up singles wins at 2, 3, and 6 from Gordon Watson, Maxx Lipman, and Michael Alford.  Prediction:  Florida 4-0.  Result - Florida 4-0 
  • South Florida (17-32) vs. Florida State (33-48) – Saturday 9am EST –This will be a rematch from March 1st when the Seminoles edged the Bulls 4-3 in Tallahassee in a match that despite the close score only saw 1 singles court go 3-sets.  USF will put out the same lineup while FSU has done some shuffling and moved Mendez up to 2, Nunez up to 3, and Davis down to 4.  FSU struggled a bit down the stretch losing 6 of its final 9 while USF closed strong winning 9 of its final 11.  I expect another close match but this time around I’ll go with South Florida with the Bulls taking the doubles point and getting wins from Roberto Cid, Sasha Gozun, and Ignacio Gonzalez at 1, 3, and 5.  FSU will pick up wins from Cristian Mendez, Blake Davis, and Grayson Goldin at 2, 4, and 6.    Prediction:  South Florida 4-3.  Result - South FLA 4-2
  • Florida (14) vs. South Florida (17-32) – Sunday – 2pm EST – USF played 6 schools from the state of Florida this year going 5-1 but Florida wasn’t one of them so this be the ultimate challenge for the Bulls.  I think the USF will surprise Florida by taking the doubles point but then Florida will dig in during singles and get wins from Gordon Watson, Maxx Lipman, Diego Hidalgo, and Michael Alford at 2, 3, 4, and 6.  USF will be up on the other courts.   Regional Winner:  Florida 4-1.  Result - Florida 4-0

Duke Regional – Durham, North Carolina – Live Scoring & Video

  • Duke (11) vs. Winthrop (49-64) – Saturday - 12pm EST – Winthrop finished the year winning 4 straight in route to a Big South Championship while Duke finished by winning 9 of 10 though that one loss came in the ACC Semis to rival North Carolina who was a team that Duke had already beaten twice.  Duke won’t have any trouble with Winthrop and will cruise to a shutout win. Prediction:  Duke 4-0.  Result - Duke 4-0
  • Tennessee (17-32) vs. Elon (33-48) – Saturday 9am EST – The Phoenix of Elon finished the year by winning 15 of 16 including the Southern Conference Championship while Tennessee had its 4 match winning streak snapped by Ole Miss in 2nd round of the SEC Tournament.  Elon’s best chance to an upset is to take the doubles point and win at 1, 2, and 4 but I think Tennessee pulls through and takes doubles and wins at 1, 3, and 5.  Prediction:  Tennessee 4-0.  Result - Tennessee 4-1
  • Duke (11) vs. Tennessee (17-32) – Sunday – 2pm EST – In the regular season meeting between these two Tennessee won in Knoxville 4-2 and that was against a Duke team that included Michael Redlicki.  However since that match Duke has won 15 of 18 while Tennessee has only won 9 of 18 so the 2 teams have definitely traveled different paths to get to this rematch.  Tennessee’s usually reliable 1-2 punch of Hunter Reese and Mikelis LIbieits has been good this year but not great compared to last year’s standard set by the 2.  Despite losing Michael Redlicki to a season ending suspension Duke has rallied and played well and I expect them to do what they couldn’t do two months ago and that’s get a win over Tennessee.  I like Fred Saba, Bruno Semenzato, and TJ Pura to pick up wins for Duke in addition to Duke claiming the doubles point.  Regional Winner:  Duke 4-0.  Result - Tennessee 4-2

UCLA Regional  – Los Angeles, California – Live Scoring  

  • UCLA (6) vs. Cal Poly (49-64) – Saturday - 3pm EST/12pm PST – The Cal Poly Mustangs make their 3rd appearance in the NCAAs in the last 4 years after winning the Big West Championship but they’ll face last year’s National Runner-Up and the reigning Pac 12 Tournament Champions.  Bruins cruise without breaking a sweat.  Prediction:  UCLA 4-0.  Result - UCLA 4-0 
  • Boise State (17-32) vs. San Diego (33-48) – Saturday – 12pm EST/9am PST – The Mountain West Champion Boise State Broncos bring a 10 match winning streak into this showdown with the West Coast Conference Champion San Diego Toreros who have won 9 straight.  This should be another match where the team that takes the doubles point takes the match. I look for Boise State to sweep the bottom of the lineup but I like San Diego in doubles and at 1, 2, and 3 singles with the match coming down to a 3rd set at #3.  Prediction:  San Diego 4-3.  Result - San Diego 4-2   
  • UCLA (6) vs. San Diego (33-48) – Sunday – 3pm EST/12pm PST – The Bruins will continue their march towards Athens with a shutout win by taking the doubles point and winning at 2, 5, and 6.  Regional Winner:  UCLA 4-0.  Result - UCLA 4-0


North Carolina Regional
  – Chapel Hill, North Carolina – Live Scoring for SC/GW & UNC/SCSU

  • North Carolina (7) vs. South Carolina State (49-64) – Saturday - 12pm EST – North Carolina finished the year winning 9 of 11 and made it to the ACC Tournament Finals while South Carolina State won the MEAC for the 10th time in the last 11 years.  North Carolina will overpower SCSU and win and post an easy shutout Prediction: North Carolina 4-0.  Result - North Carolina 4-0
  • South Carolina (17-32) vs. George Washington (33-48) – Saturday - 9am EST – Last year South Carolina was pummeled by UNC-Wilmington in the 1st round so if this veteran squad isn’t ready for the Atlantic 10 Champion GW Colonials they’ll face another quick exit.  I look for George Washington to come out strong and take the doubles point and pick up singles wins at 2 and 3 from Nikita Fomin and Danil Zelenkov but South Carolina picks up wins from Andrew Adams, Chip Cox, Kyle Koch, and Andrew Schafer at 1, 4, 5, and 6 to come from behind and take it.   Prediction:  South Carolina 4-3.  Result - S Carolina 4-1 
  • North Carolina (7) vs. South Carolina (17-32)  – Sunday – 1pm EST – In the battle of the Carolina’s I see North Carolina getting wins from Brayden Schnur, Ronnie Schneider, and Jack Murray at 1, 2, and 5 to move on to the Round of 16.  Chip Cox will win for South Carolina at 4 to avoid the shutout  Regional Winner:  North Carolina 4-1.  Result - North Carolina 4-1

Georgia Regional  – Athens, Georgia – Live Scoring/Blog/Video

  • Georgia (10) vs. Jacksonville State (49-64) – Saturday - 1pm EST – The Ohio Valley Champion Jacksonville State Gamecocks will be making their 4tj NCAA appearance but the hosts won’t be very welcoming and Georgia will roll to a shutout win..  Prediction:  Georgia 4-0.  Result - Georgia 4-0 
  • North Carolina State (17-32) vs. Oregon (33-48) – 10am EST –After a mid-season swoon NC State finished strong by winning 6 of its final 8 while Oregon saw a promising start turn into a late season slide with the Ducks losing 8 of its final 11.   Despite the slide Oregon did play some good tennis in the Pac 12 Tournament and by making the semifinals it was able to grab one of the last at-large picks.  I like Robin Cambier, Jayson Amos, and Joey Swaysland at 1, 5, and 6 for Oregon while I like Austin Powell and Simon Norenius at 2 and 4 for NC State.  The matchup at 3 is a toss-up between Nick Horton and Daan Maasland.    Prediction:  Oregon 4-2.  Result - NC State 4-2 
  • Georgia (10) vs. Oregon (33-48) – Sunday – 1pm EST –Georgia will punch its ticket to the Round of 16 by taking the doubles point and will pick up singles wins from Nathan Pasha, Nick Wood, and Hernus Pieters to post the shutout win.  Regional Winner:  Georgia 4-0.  Result - Georgia 4-1 
Kentucky Regional  – Lexington, Kentucky 
  • Kentucky (15) vs. Denver (49-64) – Friday - 3pm EST - Live Scoring  - Last year Denver went to Gainesville and stunned Florida 4-1 before falling to Cal in the 2nd round but the Pioneers lost their top 3 from that team and only managed to go 1-7 against ranked teams this year so I do not see a repeat performance against Kentucky.  The Wildcats will take the doubles point and get wins from Tom Jomby, Alejandro Gomez, and Kevin Lai at 1, 2, and 5. Prediction:  Kentucky 4-0.  Result - Kentucky 4-0
  • Clemson (17-32) vs. Purdue (33-48) – Friday - Noon EST – Live Scoring - The Boilermakers make their 6th trip to the NCAAs but 1st since 2002 and will look to rebound from a late-season slide that saw them lose 4 straight while the Tigers lost 3 of its final 5 after just missing out on what would have been a huge upset over Virginia.  Clemson has to be the favorite in doubles after having its 1 and 3 doubles teams go 47-6 on the year while Purdue went 19-17 at 1 and 3 doubles.   In singles Clemson will pick up wins from Hunter Harrington, Dom Maden, and Luke Johnson at 1, 2, and 5 while Purdue will get a win from Mateus Silva at 6 and both Mark Kovacs and Aaron Dujovne will  be up on 3 and 4.  If Purdue were to take the doubles point, which I’m not expecting, I think Purdue would take this one. Prediction:  Clemson 4-1.  Result - Clemson 4-1
  • Kentucky (15) vs. Clemson (17-32)  – Saturday - 3pm EST - Live Scoring - Clemson will look to advance to the Round of 16 for the 13th time but Kentucky will have other plans.  I think Clemson takes the doubles point to put Kentucky on its heels but the Cats claw their way to singles wins from Alejandro Gomez, Jerry Lopez, Kevin Lai, and Grant Roberts at 2, 4, 5, and 6.   Clemson will pick up a win from Alejandro Augusto with the match at 1 going unfinished.  Regional Winner:  Kentucky 4-2.  Result - Kentucky 4-3

Oklahoma Regional – Norman, Oklahoma – Live Scoring for Harvard/Auburn & OU/Montana & Regional Final

  • Oklahoma (2) vs. Montana (49-64) – Saturday 3pm EST/2pm CST – The Montana Grizzlies make their 1st ever NCAA appearance after winning the Big Sky Championship while Oklahoma is the #2 overall seed after dropping a heartbreaker to Baylor in the Big 12 Championship Final.  The Sooners will take the doubles point and then sweep the top 3 spots to move on to the 2nd round.  Prediction:  Oklahoma 4-0.  Result - Oklahoma 4-0 
  • Harvard (17-32) vs. Auburn (33-48) – Saturday 12pm EST/11am CST – Auburn was one of the last teams to make it in after losing its final 8 while Harvard won its last 6 and 12 of its final 14.  The last time Auburn won the doubles point was all the way back on March 9th so I don’t imagine it’ll happen on Saturday either.  I’ll go with Harvard in doubles and at 3, 4, and 6 singles with Shaun Chauduri, Alex Steinroeder, and Nicky Hu.   Prediction:  Harvard 4-1.  Result - Harvard 4-1 
  • Oklahoma (2) vs. Harvard (17-32) – Sunday 3pm EST/2pm CST – Oklahoma has one of the best top 4’s in college tennis and I don’t see Harvard having any shot to break through in any of those slots.  Regional Winner:  Oklahoma 4-0.  Result - Oklahoma 4-0


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