|The 2011 & 2012 NCAA Champions are back at No. 1 this week|
The NCAA Sweet 16 in Champaign, Illinois is just over three weeks away, and after a long stretch the North Carolina women and the Virginia men at the top, there are two new teams atop this week's ITA rankings.
After two top 10 wins last week--an exceedingly close battle with Pepperdine and a relatively easy victory over USC--the UCLA men have replaced the Cavaliers at No. 1. Both UCLA and Virginia have conference tournaments to play this weekend, with UCLA looking at a fourth dual match with No. 5 USC this season should they both advance to the final in Ojai. Virginia's probable opponent in the final is No. 9 Duke, whom the Cavaliers have beaten twice this year.
Because the next rankings will not be released until Thursday, May 2, two days after the NCAA selections are announced, we'll know the seeds (and hosts for regionals) before we'll know where those teams are ranked. But in the interest of trying to project the 16 teams who might be hosting, here are the Top 20 in today's rankings:
4. Ohio State
7. Ole Miss
11. Texas A&M
12. Mississippi St.
17. South Carolina
Notably absent from the regional contenders for hosting is NCAA Sweet 16 host Illinois, now ranked 29th.
2. North Carolina
4. Texas A&M
17. Texas Tech
Again, NCAA Sweet 16 host Illinois is way down the list, currently ranked 43 going into the Big Ten conference championships.
The complete ITA women's team rankings are here and the men's are here.
Granger Huntress of the Texas College Tennis blog has been producing his own set of team rankings this season, and they differ substantially from those of the ITA. Granger still has Virginia at No. 1 in the men's rankings, with UCLA 2, USC 3, Ohio State 4 and Georgia 5. Two-time defending champion Florida also tops his women's list, but Georgia is No. 2, followed by Texas A&M, UNC and USC. I guess I'm the only one who thinks USC is better than their ranking right now. I do agree that the Baylor men, who Granger has at No. 8, are currently much more dangerous that their No. 13 ITA ranking might suggest and that Pepperdine looks like a Top 8 team. His rankings page is available here.
In the individual rankings, Alex Domijan took his No. 1 spot back from teammate Jarmere Jenkins, who fell to No. 3, with Tennessee's Mikelis Libietis at No. 2 now. Anthony Rossi of Kentucky makes a Top 10 appearance at No. 5.
1. Alex Domijan, Virginia
2. Mikelis Libietis, Tennessee
3. Jarmere Jenkins, Virginia
4. Emilio Gomez, USC
5. Anthony Rossi, Kentucky
6. Henrique Cunha, Duke
7. KU Singh, Georgia
8. Sebastian Fanselow, Pepperdine
9. Peter Kobelt, Ohio State
10. Romain Bogaerts, Mississippi St.
The women's Top 10 showed very little movement, with Florida's Lauren Embree continuing at No. 1.
1. Lauren Embree, Florida
2. Sabrina Santamaria, USC
3. Robin Anderson, UCLA
4. Cristina Sanchez-Quintanar, Texas A&M
5. Zsofi Susanyi, Cal
6. Lauren Herring, Georgia
7. Gina Suarez-Malaguti, North Carolina
8. Anett Schutting, Cal
9. Danielle Lao, USC
10. Ema Burgic, Baylor
There is a new team at the top of the men's doubles rankings, with Libietis and Hunter Reese of Tennessee taking over from Jenkins and Mac Styslinger of Tennessee. Kate Fuller and Silvia Garcia of Georgia remain No. 1 in the women's doubles rankings.
The complete women's singles rankings are here. The complete men's singles rankings are here.
The ITA's release, including the upsets of the week and the top freshmen in the rankings, is here.