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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ole Miss Women Down Georgia Tech, Oklahoma Men Upset Texas Tech, Wisconsin Downs Illinois to Reach Division I Sweet 16

It wasn't a good day to be a No. 14 seed in NCAA Division I regionals. Both the Georgia Tech women and the Texas Tech men stumbled in the round of 32 in an otherwise predictable Saturday that saw 15 of the 16 women's seeds advance to Athens.

Ole Miss, 17th in the most recent ITA rankings, shut out Georgia Tech 4-0 in Atlanta to reach their first Sweet Sixteen since 1999. That's a long time, but it pales in comparison to the Oklahoma men, who had never reached a Sweet Sixteen until beating No. 14 seed Texas Tech 4-2 today in Norman.

With its No. 20 ranking, Oklahoma would not normally be selected to host a regional, but the NCAA's "geographic" considerations sent Texas Tech on the road to a conference rival. Having defeated the Sooners three times already this year, Texas Tech was asked to beat a tough opponent for the fourth time in two months, and without Raony Carvalho, their No. 1 singles player, it was too much to ask. Carvalho couldn't play due to injury according to the Texas Tech athletic website. On Friday, John Roddick will return to the courts where he played in college, with his first year as a head coach a successful one regardless of the outcome of the Sooners match against No. 3 seed Texas.

Another men's team reaching the Sweet 16 for this first time in history is Wisconsin, who topped No. 13 Illinois 4-1 today in Campaign. Marcia Frost will have more coverage of the match on her Big Ten Tennis Examiner site.

The women's bracket is here, the men's bracket is here.

Aside from Wisconsin and Oklahoma, four other men's teams reached the Round of 16: Duke, who beat North Carolina 4-1; Southern California, a 4-1 winner over Fresno State; Texas, who shut out Minnesota; and Texas A & M, a 4-2 victor over Ole Miss. In first round men's action today, there a couple of minor upsets, with 33-48 seeds Rice and East Tennessee State defeating 17-32 seeds Washington and Alabama respectively.

In the Division II finals today, the Armstrong Atlantic women won their third consecutive national title, defeating BYU-Hawaii 5-1. The men's D-II championship went to Barry, who won what sounds like a thrilling 5-4 match from top-ranked Valdosta State to claim its first NCAA title.