NCAA Tournament Roundtable - Part I
by TennisRecruiting.net, 6 May 2013
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There is no better time than the present to get out and watch college tennis. This weekend, the NCAA Division I Tennis Championships get underway. Sixty-four men's
college tennis teams will head to campus venues around the country to compete in first- and second-round action. The winners will advance to the Sweet 16 at the Khan Outdoor Tennis Complex
in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, to compete for the team championship May 16-21.
Hopefully you can get out to watch some of the action this weekend, but there are plenty of places to get your fill of championship college tennis:
- The NCAA Division I tournament central websites (men, women) have brackets, results, news and photos.
- The University of Illinois, which is hosting the event, has a fantastic Tournament Central website with lots of up-to-date news and scores.
- College Tennis Online has been running a good deal of original content for the college tennis postseason - and it is a great content aggregator for college tennis.
- The Intercollegiate Tennis Association is the governing body of college tennis, and they have great features and information this time of year.
- As always, Colette Lewis will provide coverage of the NCAA tournament at ZooTennis.com.
- The USTA has a college tennis area with news and information.
- The Texas College Tennis Blog has regional features, insights and analysis.
- There are a host of college tennis message boards, including College Tennis Talk, the Women's Tennis Forum, and school-oriented sites like TheSabre.
And, of course, we would be remiss if we did not remind you of our May Madness Bracket Challenge, presented by Tennis Warehouse.
TennisRecruiting.net invited some of our regular college tennis contributors to answer some questions about college tennis and the NCAA tournament. Today, in Part 1, we see their comments on a pair of questions. We will hear more from them in Part 2 on Friday.
Questions and Answers
Q) There were some interesting developments as the conference season wrapped up over the past two weekends. Three of the top four women's teams in the ITA rankings are from the SEC, with Florida looking strong to win the conference title as the No. 3 seed, while the Georgia men solidified a top seed with their second straight championship. The PAC-12 battles continued, with the UCLA men making the case for No. 1 with a third win this season over four-time defending champion USC, while all four PAC-12 women's programs from California are hosting regionals. In the ACC, the Virginia men won their seventh straight title as expected, but Wake Forest surprised by reaching the final - while noone anticipated the all-Florida women's final of seventh-seeded FSU vs. fourth-seeded Miami. What do you think were the best stories to close out the regular season?
Colette Lewis, ZooTennis.com
The Florida State women were impressive in the ACC tournament, defeating No. 2 seed Clemson 4-3 and No. 3 seed Virginia, also by a 4-3 score, after losing to both those teams in the regular season. Although they fell to Miami in the final, the Seminoles moved their ranking from 30 to 21 heading into the NCAAs.
The ACC also had drama on the men's side, with then No. 24 Wake Forest coming from 3-0 down in the tournament semifinals against No. 9 Duke to take a 4-3 victory. The Demon Deacons lost to Virginia in the final, but former Cavalier assistant Tony Bresky, in his second year at Wake, was named ACC Coach of the Year, ending Virginia head coach Brian Boland's five consecutive years as recipient of that award.
Marc Lucero, Co-founder and Director of Tennis, RAMP Tennis Academy:
I followed the South Carolina men pretty closely down the stretch, and they really came into their own at the end of the regular season, winning six of their last eight, beating Vanderbilt and Kentucky pretty convincingly to finish the season and then completing the season sweep of LSU in the SEC tournament first round. They will be dangerous on the road in the regional rounds.
Bobby Knight, College Tennis Online author:
After 100 years of playing tennis in East Lansing, Michigan State is headed to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. Gene Orlando's Spartans squeaked in as one of the last at-large teams and it was likely their come from behind win over Nebraska in the Big 10 Tournament that got them that spot. They draw Tulsa in the first round of the Baylor Regional, and while I don't see them winning, just getting there is an accomplishment and will give the program something to build on in the coming years.
It was also interesting to see the pendulum swing away from USC and towards UCLA in the Pac 12, with the Bruins beating the Trojans three out of four times including twice in the final week of the regular season. Now granted USC was down a few men, but that aura of invincibility that was present from the last several years has disappeared.