Final ITA Rankings Kept Under Wraps; Bracket Challenge at Tennis Recruiting Network; Michibata, Bradley Resign at Princeton, Geiger-Walton Out at William & Mary
For the first time since I've been covering the NCAAs, the rankings from the season's last week are not being published prior to Tuesday's selection shows. Last year at this time, we learned Florida had leapfrogged Stanford for the top spot, but when the NCAA seedings were revealed the next day, Stanford was No. 1 and Florida No. 2. I'm not sure what problem this lack of transparency solves, but it would be appropriate for the ITA or the NCAA to explain the reason for the NCAA committee's decision.
Fortunately, we have the Texas College Tennis blog to provide us with information the NCAA won't, and he has run and re-run the rankings (these are the ITA rankings, not his alternative rankings, which he has also provided this year) to give us an idea of what to look for tomorrow at 5 p.m., when the live stream of the selection show begins at ncaa.com. (For those interested in Division II, the regionals are underway now. For more, see the NCAA women's tennis D-II page and the men's D-II page).
In TCT's men's rankings, a significant change has seen UCLA move from No. 5 to No. 2, behind USC. That puts Georgia at 3, Virginia at 4 and Ohio State at 5, after the Buckeyes had been no lower than 3 all season. Kentucky, Duke and Pepperdine round out the top 8. Granger also has projected the seeding groups and published a nifty map to place them geographically ((blue-1, red-2, green-3, yellow-4).
In TCT's women's rankings, UCLA retains its No. 1 ranking, with defending champion Florida at 2, followed by Duke, USC and Stanford at 5. Georgia, North Carolina and Cal are 6, 7, and 8. Granger's projected women's seedings can be found in this post.
Thanks to Granger for putting in all this time. Without his efforts I would be completely unprepared to follow the selection show on Tuesday. Again, if anyone can propose a logical reason for the decision to withhold these rankings, I am eager to hear it.
The Tennis Recruiting Network is sponsoring a bracket challenge for the NCAA Division I tournament this year, which means I will not be hosting the informal one I have done in the past. Complete details will be available after Tuesday's selection show, but for an overview, see this article.
This is the time of year not only for pre-NCAA excitement, but for job changes in the coaching ranks. Princeton lost both of its head coaches this month, with men's head coach Glenn Michibata resigning last week, and Megan Bradley-Rose announcing her resignation today. Michibata was head coach at Princeton for 12 years; Bradley-Rose just completed her third season.
William and Mary will also be looking for a new head coach for their women's team, with Meredith Geiger-Walton resigning today after four years in Williamsburg, Va. St. John's, Houston, Bradley and Southeast Missouri State are other Division I schools with women's head coaching vacancies.
The University of Wyoming recently removed the interim tag from women's coach Dean Clower.