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College Feature
NCAA Tournament Roundtable - Part II
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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 Tulsa, Oklahoma, and a spot in the Sweet 16. Those later rounds of the tournament take place May 19-24, with the championship matches contested on the 24th.

You can check out the NCAA Division I Championship brackets here (men, women). The D-II championships (men, women) start with the Round of 16 in Denver, Colo., next Wednesday, while the first round of the D-III tournament (men, women) started yesterday - with the final rounds in Kalamazoo, Mich. Finally, the NAIA championships (men, women) start May 17 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. Let's get the started ...

 

Questions and Answers

 

Q) The Top 16 seeds in the men's and women's tournament get to host the opening two rounds on their home courts before 32 teams advance to the National Championships. The seeds usually perform quite well - last year, 29 of the 32 top seeds advanced.

Name an unseeded team who you think has a strong chance to advance to the championship rounds in Tulsa.

 

Bobby Knight, College Tennis Today

We know at least a few host teams are going to lose because it happens every year. On the men's side I'd say that Arkansas, South Florida, Stanford, and Texas all have a decent chance to pull the upset while on the women's side I'd look at USC, LSU, and Georgia Tech. I wouldn't be surprised if at least four or five of those teams advanced to the championship rounds.

 

Marc Lucero, Co-founder and Director of Tennis, RAMP Tennis Academy

I like the LSU women to advance out of the Virginia regional.

 
 
 
 
 

Colette Lewis, ZooTennis.com

Unseeded teams on the men's side that would be no surprise to see in the Sweet 16 are Arkansas, South Florida and Texas, but after the topsy-turvy men's dual season that just finished, any of the teams ranked in the Top 35 could wind up in Tulsa.

The women have been more predictable this year, but I could see Georgia Tech or Mississippi State moving on to Tulsa.

 

Harry Cicma, WNBC Sports Anchor, Turner Sports College Tennis Announcer

It is nice to watch the progression of the St. John's men. Head Coach Eric Rebhuhn has dedicated himself towards making them a major team, as displayed through their Big East Championship run. The Red Storm face South Florida in the opening round. I expect them to win that match and to have a competitive battle with Florida in the round of 32.

 

Scott Treibly, Recruiting Coordinator at IMG Academy

Do I have to pick just one? On the women's side I see Texas, Mississippi State, and N.C. State with a chance to go to the Sweet 16. And on the men's side I see Arkansas, South Florida and Memphis as potential threats to the higher seeds. It's going to be exciting!

 

Joey Dillon, College Contributor

For the men, I think Arkansas can possibly pull off the upset over Oklahoma State after already having a tight battle this season. On the women's side, I think Georgia Tech, who were hundredths of a point from hosting, can upset South Carolina. Mississippi State also has the firepower to knock out Texas Tech in the Red Raiders' regional, and Southern Cal could strike out Pepperdine.

 

Jeffrey McMillan, Tennis Atlantic

While usually the host teams do very well in the NCAA tournament, I would not be surprised if this year there are more hosts being upset than ever. On the men's side I see several places where the hosts schools could go down to their visiting opponent. The regional where I expect to see an upset of the host team is in Champaign, Illinois. Illinois was a mediocre team this year by their standards and were susceptible to upset throughout the season. They host Mississippi State and Memphis, which will be a tough matchup but one where I expect the Bulldogs to come out victorious in. Mississippi State played some good tennis at the end of the season, and they will not be intimidated by the tough crowd in Champaign. I expect Miss State to pull out the win and be one of the potentially multiple upsets in this NCAA tournament.

 

Sonny Dearth, Daily Press

For the men, Stanford is a threat to emerge victorious in Evanston. Also, watch out for Georgia Tech. Coach Kenny Thorne has an excellent team, and the Jackets' Chris Eubanks is the highest-ranked player in the ACC. It's a long trip to Los Angeles for them, but they'll be competitive.

On the women's side, also watch out for Georgia Tech. The ACC has got the Jackets toughened up. Maybe also Virginia Tech, which darn near beat North Carolina in Blacksburg. It will take a win over Mississippi State and one over Texas Tech or Baylor to put the Hokies in unchartered territory.

 

Rick Limpert, College Contributor

The USC women will look to avenge a 4-3 January loss to Pepperdine at Pepperdine. I like the Trojans to win that second round match and advance to Tulsa.

 
 
 
 
 

Granger Huntress, Texas College Tennis

I'll go with South Florida over Florida. Maybe the Bulls have a chip on their should after seeing their No. 1 seed slip away in the last weekend. I really thought Tulsa would have a shot at Oklahoma State, but they got sent to OU and JR isn't going to let that happen again. On the women's side, I have to go with Georgia Tech in the South Carolina regional.

 

Tony Minnis, Inside College Tennis host

On the men's side, I am going to go with Arkansas over Oklahoma State. The Hogs have had a very solid year and were very close to hosting until a couple of losses at the end of the season hurt their chances. On the women's side, I am going to go with Arizona State. The Sun Devils have had an outstanding season this year and should not be intimidated playing a SEC team in Auburn as they have gone through the tough PAC-12 with great success.

 

Dave "Koz" Kozlowski, Inside Tennis With The Koz

I am going out on the line on this one. There could be a major surprise in Chapel Hill. Tulane's Dominik Koepfer, ranked No. 3 in the NCAA singles, could potentially earn two points with his singles and doubles. If he gets some contributions from teammates, the Green Waves might punch a ticket to Tulsa.

On the women's side, certainly the two toughest host site schools to advance will be Charolettsville and Palo Alto. LSU is having its best season in memory and could overturn host Virginia with some wins from the bottom half of the line up. The Stanford women will not have an easy path to sweet-sixteen with Texas A&M in its bracket.

 

Julie Wrege, TennisRecruiting.net

Never count out the UCLA women. Coaches Sampras and Brown have so many conference and national championships. No opponent should feel confident facing the Bears.

Playing favorites with my alma mater (Georgia Tech), the Tech women are in a good spot to perhaps make a run for Tulsa. 13th seed South Carolina had a disappointing 4-0 loss to Auburn in the SEC Tournament. Should Georgia Tech make it by Princeton in the first round, the Gamecocks could have their hands full with the Yellow Jackets.

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Page updated on Monday, March 11, 2019
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