I spent the afternoon at the Eck Tennis Center in South Bend, where No. 2 seed North Carolina upended top seed Notre Dame 5-2 to advance to the women's Team Indoor in Madison, Wisc. on February 12th. I will have a detailed account of the match for the Tennis Recruiting Network on Thursday.
Notre Dame was one of the few top seeds/hosts who did not advance; of the 15 women's teams hosting only Fresno State, Arkansas and Notre Dame did not win both their matches this weekend. As a No. 3 seed, Michigan is the lowest seed to advance to Madison, but with their No. 19 ranking, it's difficult to call it a big upset. Their host, Arkansas, the top seed, is ranked 18. (Florida State (2) and Ohio State (4) are playing on the West Coast, and the result is not yet in, so if the Buckeyes pull off another upset, they will be the lowest seed.) The qualifiers are: Duke, Northwestern, Georgia, California, North Carolina, Baylor, Miami (congratulations to NCAA finalist Laura Vallverdu for becoming the all-time leader in wins for the Hurricanes), Georgia Tech, Southern California, Tennessee, Clemson, UCLA, Michigan, Florida.
For the men, there are three finals taking place on Monday: Georgia vs. North Carolina, Baylor vs. TCU and Tennessee vs. South Carolina (the Volunteers website is featuring a live blog). The dozen teams who have already qualified for the men's indoor championship in Charlottesville, Virginia are: Ohio State, Ole Miss, Texas, Stanford, Louisville, Kentucky, Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Southern California, UCLA and Fresno State.
Fresno State, a No. 4 seed, has been the big surprise of the weekend. Ranked 46th coming into the weekend play at College Station, the Bulldogs dismissed No. 12 seed Texas A & M in the first round and today swept Rice, ranked 34th, to advance to Charlottesville. The women's team had the opposite kind of weekend, losing both their first match to No. 4 seed Ohio State, and their consolation match to Virginia.
Marcia Frost's coverage of the Illinois men's event this weekend can be found at her Big Ten Tennis Examiner site.
In Tarbes, the French crowned their first Les Petits As champion since Richard Gasquet in 1999, when unseeded Quentin Halys defeated American Noah Rubin, the 12th seed, 6-1, 6-2 in the final of the 14-and-under event. The girls title went to No. 8 seed Kanami Tsuji of Japan, who defeated No. 6 seed Indy de Vroome of the Netherlands 4-6, 6-3, 6-4. For more on the tournament, see the Les Petits As website.