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College Feature
NCAA Tournament Roundtable - Part II

The NCAA Division I Tennis Championships start today. The top men's and women's college tennis programs face off in first-round action across the country, with all teams competing for tickets to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and a spot in the Sweet 16. Those later rounds of the tournament take place May 16-21, with the championship matches contested on the 21st.

You can check out the NCAA Division I Championship brackets here (men, women). The D-II championships (men, women) are through to the semifinals in Surprise, Ariz., with the championship match being contested tomorrow. The D-III brackets (men, women) were announced earlier this week, and the matches started yesterday - with the final rounds in Kalamazoo, Mich. Finally, the NAIA championships (men, women) start May 14 in Mobile, Ala.

This past Monday, our college tennis contributors reviewed the field. Today, they return to comment on these regional rounds - and the teams that have a shot to go the distance.


Questions and Answers


Q) Historically, the top 16 teams have done very well during the opening weekend, with the majority making it to the Round of 16. Last year, 29 of the 32 host institutions advanced. Which teams outside the Top 16 do you see scoring upsets and getting through to Champaign-Urbana?


Colette Lewis, ZooTennis.com

Last year, the Rice women, in the 33-48 group, made the Sweet 16, so there's no reason that can't happen again. My candidate for that possibility was the BYU men, who barely lost in the WAC conference final to No. 11 seed Pepperdine, but with their top two players out of the official lineups submitted this week, they would need a miracle to get past Memphis in the first round.

Those in the 17-32 group I wouldn't be surprised to see in Champaign-Urbana on the men's side are Cal, Illinois and LSU, and on the women's side, I'll go with Texas, Baylor and Florida State as possibilities.


Rick Limpert, College Contributor

I see some upsets coming in the men's draw - the question is where? I have a feeling we may see an upset or two out west. Possibly LSU in the Pepperdine regional, or even Harvard in the Mississippi State regional. You heard it here first - Georgia State, winner of the Sun Belt tourney is the best team hardly anyone has seen play this year, and they are in a favorable regional.

For the women, it's going to be interesting to see what happens at the California regional. The injury-plagued Bears are seeded No. 8 and they face a potentially difficult second round opponent in Auburn. Auburn is battle-tested playing in the SEC, and even though they are very young, this could be their coming out party. The tough schedule they played in reaching this point may very well pay off for the Tigers. Also, keep an eye on the Florida State women women.


Marcia Frost, College Tennis Contributor

The home team. The Illini are famous for their large crowds and the buses are ready to head to Vanderbilt, about a six and a half hour drive. If they make it through, they would have an even bigger crowd ready to cheer them on their home turf, putting quite a spin on the tournament.

As for the women, I'm keeping an eye on the Texas Longhorns. I think they're due for a big move.


Julie Wrege, TennisRecruiting.net

No doubt the Illini men will want to push through in Nashville and make the trip home with a place in the final 16.

On the women's side, Florida State could upend Alabama in Tuscaloosa. FSU had a great run to the final of the ACC Championships. Also Ole Miss could surprise host Texas Tech.

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