No. 1 Virginia Survives Scare from Wake Forest, Advances to Sweet 16; No. 36 Tulsa Defeats No. 13 Texas to Earn Palo Alto Trip
It's been a busy and unfortunately rainy day for the first and second rounds of the NCAA Division I championships. The final 16 men's teams, who will make the trip to Palo Alto next week, were expected to be decided today, but rain in Gainesville pushed back the start time of the Florida match with Miami past 9 p.m., so it could very well finish Sunday morning.
As you would expect in the second round, there were several extremely close matches, four of which were decided by the last match on. In Norman, Oklahoma, No. 36 Tulsa, a No. 3 regional seed, had already completed one upset by beating No. 20 Oklahoma 4-2 on Friday. Despite that very difficult win, the Golden Hurricanes still had enough left to overcome No. 13 Texas, with Grant Ive defeating Vasko Mladenov 7-6(5), 5-7, 6-3 to complete the 4-3 upset and send Tulsa to the Sweet 16 for the first time in the program's history. Tulsa will meet No. 4 Ohio State, who beat Notre Dame 4-0.
Another 4-3 victory came in Lexington, where No. 10 Kentucky beat No. 24 Louisville when Wildcat Alex Musialek posted a 5-7, 7-5, 6-0 win over Viktor Maksimcuk at No. 2 singles to send Kentucky on to the Sweet 16, where they will meet the winner of the Florida - Miami match.
The biggest surprise of the day however, was in Virginia's match with No. 33 Wake Forest. The top-ranked Cavaliers led 3-0 with the doubles point and wins by Alex Domijan and Sanam Singh, but they had lost the first set at No. 1 and No. 4 singles. At one stage, after Wake's Adam Lee took a big lead in the third set against Drew Courtney at No. 5, Michael Shabaz was down 4-2 to Jonathan Wolff at No. 1, Jarmere Jenkins was in a tiebreaker at No. 4 with David Hopkins, which he had to win to extend the match, and Justin Shane was just starting his third set, having lost the second, with Amogh Prabhakar at No. 6. Lee got Wake its point, but Jenkins won the tiebreaker and Shabaz won five of the next six games to close out the win for Virginia.
Next up for the Cavaliers will be No. 17 Illinois, who beat No. 16 seed North Carolina 4-1 today in Champaign. Other round of 16 matchups are No. 12 Duke vs. No. 6 Georgia, No. 2 Southern California vs. No. 16 Georgia Tech, No. 8 Stanford vs. No. 9 Texas A&M, No. 3 Tennessee vs. No. 15 Cal, who beat No. 38 Fresno State 4-3, and No. 5 Baylor vs. No. 12 UCLA. In a match just completed, Bruin Holden Seguso won a third set tiebreaker over Mississippi's Johan Backstrom at No. 5 to give UCLA a 4-3 victory. Ole Miss led 3-1 with all three remaining matches late in their third sets.
For complete bracket, see ncaa.com.
Three of the women's second round matches were played today with No. 14 Northwestern, No. 4 North Carolina and No. 5 Miami advancing to Palo Alto. Northwestern shut out No. 20 Notre Dame, despite missing Belinda Niu from their lineup, while North Carolina beat No. 28 Washington 4-1 and Miami blanked No. 23 Texas.
In women's first round action today, the only lower seed to advance was SMU. Although ranked 32, SMU was given a 33-48 seeding, but they beat Texas A&M, ranked No. 31 and seeded 17-32, 4-3 in College Station. One of the most exciting matches of the first round came in Atlanta, where No. 17 Arizona State beat No. 40 Ole Miss 4-3, with Jacqueline Cako clinching it for the Sun Devils at No. 2 singles. Cako beat Connor Vogel 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.
The women's bracket is here.
On Sunday, the remaining 13 teams competing in Palo Alto will be decided.