If you've been reading my tweets throughout the day, you know that there have been some surprises in the men's second round action today. Last year, there was only one team ranked in the 17-32 range that made the last 16 in Tulsa. This year, three have.
The first one was 18th-ranked Wake Forest, who downed No. 11 Kentucky 4-2 in Lexington. For more on that, see the Wake Forest athletics website. Next it was No. 25 Boise State taking out the home favorite. The Broncos and No. 14 Alabama had a four-hour-plus battle that ultimately went to Boise by a 4-3 score, with No. 4 singles deciding it, 7-5 in the third. The Boise State website has more on the match.
And in the day's third surprise, the No. 22 Miami Hurricanes came from 3-0 down to defeat the tenth-ranked Florida Gators in Gainesville. The Miami sports website has this account of the match. All three of the victims were from the SEC conference, and it is actually the ACC, with four, having the most teams in the last 16.
Here's the list by conference:
ACC-4: Virginia (1), Florida State (16), Wake Forest (18), Miami (22)
SEC-3: Ole Miss (2), Georgia (4), Tennesee (5)
PAC10-3: UCLA (7), USC (8), Stanford (9)
Big12-3: Baylor (6), Texas (12), Texas A&M (15)
Big10-2: Ohio State (3), Illinois (13)
WAC-1: Boise State (25)
The Texas College Tennis blogger said a while back that the SEC may not be as strong as the ITA rankings suggest, and there is fuel to that fire with these results today.
In the all's well that ends well category, both Baylor and Ole Miss survived being sent on the road, with Baylor cruising past Tulsa 4-0, while Ole Miss had quite a struggle with LSU before earning a 4-2 win.
In the women's tournament, there were seven teams advancing to College Station, all of them expected: No. 1 Northwestern, No. 3 Duke, No. 5 Notre Dame, No. 6 Miami, No. 8 Cal, No. 9 Georgia Tech and No. 12 Clemson.
A couple of the most exciting matches were in first round play. The Boise State women also ousted Alabama today, taking a 4-3 win over the Crimson Tide in the Georgia Regional. Boise was ranked 35 and Alabama 24, so it was a mild upset. In the Urbana regional, host Illinois, ranked 34th, surprised No. 19 Vanderbilt 4-3, in the highest pressure situation of all, a third set tiebreaker. Kristina Minor outlasted Courtney Ulery of Vanderbilt 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5) to earn her team a shot at No. 16 Fresno State on Sunday. The Illinois athletics site has this story, and I'm sure that Marcia Frost will have coverage at College Tennis Examiner.
For the complete brackets, see the ITA's championship central.
Saturday, May 9, 2009