NCAA Tournament Roundtable - Part I
by TennisRecruiting.net, 7 May 2012
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This weekend, the NCAA Division I Tennis Championships get underway. 64 men's
college tennis teams will head to campus venues around the country to compete in first- and second-round action. The winners will make up the Sweet 16 and head to Athens, Georgia, to compete for the team championship May 17-22.
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 Georgia, which is hosting the event, has a fantastic Tournament Central website with lots of up-to-date news and scores.
- 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.
- Other sites with a college tennis slant, including College Tennis Online and Texas College Tennis, have great insights and analysis.
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 story lines in college tennis as the regular season came to a close. The Kentucky and Oklahoma men's programs won regular season titles for the first time in decades, with the Sooners taking the tournament title as well. Purdue won the Big Ten women's tournament championship for the first time in school history, upsetting No. 2 Michigan in the finals after eliminating No. 1 Northwestern in the semis - making this the first time since 1998 that someone other than the Wildcats won the title. The beat goes on in the ACC, Ivy League, Pac-12, and Big East, with top seeds and perennial powers winning championships. What do you think were the best stories to close out the regular season?
Colette Lewis, ZooTennis.com
The Purdue women certainly got my attention with their back-to-back wins over Northwestern and Michigan in the Big Ten tournament. After dethroning the perennial champion Wildcats in the semifinals, a letdown would have been understandable, but coach Laura Glitz did a fine job of keeping her team focused in the Michigan match.
Like the Purdue women, the Illinois men had lost to both their semifinal and final opponents during the regular season, but reversed those results in stunning fashion during the tournament. Beating Michigan and Ohio State on consecutive days and ending the Buckeyes 92-match winning streak against conference opponents was a huge boost for the program and earned them hosting status for the regionals.
Sonny Dearth, Daily Press
The best story revolves around a team that didn't make the team tournament: the No. 59 Maryland men. The men's program is under the guillotine because of budgetary problems in College Park. According to testudotimes.com, the university is planning on cutting eight sports if they are unable to raise enough money to fund themselves for eight years. So this looks like the final year for the Terrapins' men. They began the spring season at No. 38 but dropped too much to gain an at-large bid, finishing their dual season with a No. 59 ranking and a 4-0 ACC quarterfinal loss to No. 2 Virginia. They did have one late thrill, beating higher-ranked North Carolina 5-2 on their final regular-season weekend.
But at least they're not totally finished. That's because senior Maros Horny and junior John Collins are ranked 26th nationally together and became the first Maryland NCAA doubles qualifiers in four years. Horny and freshman Vlad Stefan were named All-ACC.
My heart goes out to these fellows, since they don't know what comes next. For a program that has produced the unforgettable John Lucas and many other excellent players, this stinks.