Tuesday, April 30, 2013

NCAA Division I Selections, Draws Revealed; Florida Women and UCLA Men Receive Top Seeds

The seeds and draws for next month's NCAA Division I tennis champions were revealed quickly and efficiently this afternoon at ncaa.com. The host, who did stumble over a few players' names, was able to unveil the men's draw in 15 minutes, which provided a few minutes to digest the selections, seeds and draws before the women's show began at 5:30 p.m.


The men's 16 seeds:
1. UCLA
2. Virginia
3. Georgia
4. Southern Cal
5. Ohio State
6. Ole Miss
7. Tennessee
8. Kentucky
9. Duke
10. Mississippi St.
11. Pepperdine
12. Texas A&M
13. Baylor
14. Oklahoma
15. Florida
16. Vanderbilt

Until Thursday, when the ITA releases its updated rankings, there is no way of knowing what adjustments the committee made to the seedings, if in fact they made any at all.  Texas College Tennis's projections had the Georgia men at No. 2 in the rankings, but the Bulldogs were given the No. 3 seed.  Noteworthy is exactly half of the men's seeds are from the SEC. This depth no doubt helped Georgia, which had no wins over the Top 5 this year and lost to Ohio State in Columbus, while the weaker Big Ten cost the Buckeyes, who have not lost since Virginia beat them 4-3 in the Team Indoor semifinals.

The 16 seeds are all hosting regionals, with the most competitive of them at No. 15 Florida and No. 16 Vanderbilt. Florida will host Denver, Cal and Florida State, while Vanderbilt will try to overcome a motivated University of Illinois team trying to get to the Sweet 16 tournament they are hosting the following week.  (The Illinois women's team did not make the tournament). Ole Miss, the No. 6 seed, needs to watch out for a dangerous BYU team that nearly beat Pepperdine in the WAC conference final, and Duke will need to be in top form against South Carolina, who just missed being seeded.

The South Cal regional will be a reunion of sorts, with Peter Smith's two most recent assistants, San Diego's Brett Masi and Alabama's George Husack, bringing their teams to Los Angeles. USC is, of course, embarking on a quest for an unprecedented fifth straight team title, and is on the same side of the draw as UCLA.

The women's 16 seeds:
1. Florida
2. North Carolina
3. Texas A&M
4. Georgia
5. USC
6. Miami
7. UCLA
8. Cal
9. Alabama
10. Michigan
11. Northwestern
12. Stanford
13. Clemson
14. Virginia
15. Nebraska
16. Texas Tech

As with the men's seedings, it's the No. 5 seed that jumps out of this group. The Southern Cal women have not lost since February 23rd, went undefeated in the Pac-12, but still were unable to crack the top 4. If everything goes to form in the regionals, they will meet Stanford in the round of 16. Last year, USC upset the Cardinal in the quarterfinals. Georgia's win over Texas A&M didn't result in a change in the seedings.

The question as to what the committee would do with Duke, which has only five players, including a walk-on, was answered when they were sent on the road, to Texas Tech, despite being ranked in the top 16, where they have been all year. With Ole Miss also in that regional, it's a competitive one, but Duke's recent losses to Maryland and Virginia Tech are not encouraging for the Blue Devils. Texas could give No. 14 seed Virginia a battle in Charlottesville, and No. 13 seed Clemson hosts Vanderbilt, who was close to receiving a seed. Florida State and Alabama could also be another exciting ACC vs. SEC regional final.

The complete draws can be found at ncaa.com. The men's draw is here.  The women's draw is here.

If you are interested in filling out a bracket with a chance to win some impressive prizes, go to the Tennis Recruiting Network, where they are conducting their May Madness Bracket Challenge for the second straight year.

18 comments:

130mph said...

Collette what are your thoughts on Christian Harrison beating Steve Johnson today in straight sets and 6-1 in 2nd? This is a great win for Harrison but seems an equally bad loss for Johnson (he also just lost to Sandgren in 1st rd last tourney who is ranked well below him).He has 6 wins and 9 losses this yr, not quite sure how he has top 150 ranking based on this. Must be tough pill for him to swallow given he never lost in college. I am wondering if his lack of a drive bhand is finally catching up with him?

Austin said...

This is a complete farce and lack of ethics sending Illinois to play Vanderbilt. Clearly the ONLY reason Illinois was sent there is because they are hosting the final site and the committee wanted to give them the best shot possible to advance there.

They are nowhere near the ranking to be sent to a site with the #16 seed. They should be facing a top eight seed. BEST case for them should be playing Tennessee, Ole Miss or Kentucky. It's just a complete and utter joke they were allowed to clearly manipulate the bracket like that. And if they were to use geography as an excuse that would be bogus as well. Michigan in their own conference is more deserving and higher ranked to get that luxury than Illinois.

Really makes me angry they manipulated the bracket like that. I have nothing against Illinois, but will certainly be rooting for Vanderbilt to advance now just to see it backfire in the committee's face.

Whatabout the Gamecocks said...

Austin, to add to that, South Carolina beat Vanderbilt and finished ahead of them in the SEC. The 'Cocks will likely be ranked #17 this week. They beat #16 Vandy 4-0 this year. If there was ever a time for the #17 seed to host instead of #16 it was this year.

Instead of possibly hosting or even going to a regional with a team ranked in the teens, the #17 Gamecocks get sent to Durham to play Duke.

college fan said...

Colette,

Will there be any Live Video @ Illinois or any TV coverage of the Finals?

Congrats said...

With Odesnik's loss today, Kuznetsov wraps up the French Open Wild Card.

Colette Lewis said...

@college fan:
Yes, I think the same partnership with Turner as last year. Here's a link to the first day of Sweet 16 schedule: live schedule

explanation needed said...

Colette

Are we able to hear explanations from the committee as to why certain selections were made because there were some obvious biased selections as stated by Austin and What about the Gamecocks.

Who are the selection committee members?



Middle States pro said...

The usta made the best move by opening up the wildcard to all american players to fight for the French Open wildcard.

Alex Kuznetsov won the wildcard by qualifying & winning Sarasota, quarterfinals in Savannah and currently in the quarterfinals of Tallahassee. He won 11 singles matches in 3 weeks.

The usta needs to do the same for the australian open but only invite the top 8 americans who finish outside the Australian open cutoff and not their typical younger favorites. USTA is not a charity organization. make players earn their spot.

5.0 Player said...

Let's every one hold on about Steve Johnson losing to Christian Harrison and Tennys Sangren.

These recent matches were on CLAY. Johnson is from Southern California and has rarely played on clay during his lifetime. Plus, his power game is not going to be conducive to slower clay vs. faster hard courts.

Harrison and Sangren are from the South and probably have played more on clay than hard courts.

I do agree that it is puzzling how such a talented athlete as Johnson can master every shot (including the slice backhand) except a backhand drive. This is just additional evidence that college coaches generally can't teach strokes nor can most "professional" coaches. Both of those types of coaches tend to be better at big picture strategy advice and scheduling.

russ said...

The last few times I've seen Steve Johnson practicing in the last year, he has been working very hard on that topspin backhand. So if he is still slicing a majority of the time, it's not for lack of attention during practice.

Yep, Illinois was given a huge opportunity to make the final sixteen. I guess hosting helps.

wi tennis said...

but Vandy beat Ole Miss and Miss St during the same weekend. So should they be seeded ahead of those teams? I think their 16 seed is accurate.

russ said...

Highlight video of Johnson v Harrison.

http://tennis.si.com/2013/05/01/daily-bagel-maria-sharapova-clay/

Can't tell what happened in second set as the highlights are pretty sparse. My guess, Johnson made tons of errors. Couple of quick observations: Majority of backhands shown in first set are topspin while second set a slight majority seem to be slices. At five-four in tiebreak Johnson plays a soft point to go down 6-4 and then shanks a return for set. So my guess is that he lost nerve and confidence, the Big forehand disappeared and the slice came into play in the second. Christian looked to be playing very solid and mentally tough.

Whatabout the Gamecocks said...

wi tennis,

South Carolina was 7-5 in the SEC
Vandy was 6-6 in the SEC

South Carolina won the head to head 4-0.

In cases where teams are ranked side by side, the NCAA committee has often flipped the seeding if there are reasons, such as: the lower ranked team has won the head to head.

For example, last year Georgia was ranked #3 ITA going into the NCAAs, but NCAA seeded them #2.

Of course, one doesn't seed one team ahead of another because one beat them such as Vandy and Ole Miss, but if two teams' profiles are similar then . . .

Furthermore, if you are the #17 seed (or even #18) like the Gamecocks appear to be, you are really the top #2 seed (among the 17-32 ranked teams). Shouldn't that team go to the #16 site like Vanderbilt if it's nearby. Wouldn't it make the most sense for these two teams 16/17 (Vandy/USC) to be in the same regional?
Why would the #17 team have to go play in a regional with a top 10 team?

wi tennis said...

Their resumes are very similar! They even both lost to Michigan State! So maybe they decided to just go with the computer.

I think the reason why they are not in the same regional is because of the NCAA wanting to keep conference schools away from each other. Colette posted the guidelines somewhere. I'm sure the NCAA wanted Illinois to have the best chance too. It's not right, but it's the NCAA.

Columbia, SC said...

Colette

Is there an explanation for the What about the Gamecocks argument?

Why is Illinois in Vandy bracket and not with Top 100 team?

It appears extremely legitimate argument.

Colette Lewis said...

I don't have access to the committee's reasons, but I imagine they justified it by the no conference teams in same regional rule and geography.

Maybe said...

Maybe they wanted Cunha to have a reunion with Goffi (who recruited him to Duke). Maybe a few words from Goffi can get Cunha to finish his career the way he started it as a Freshman when he played great tennis.

russ said...

uh maybe, cunha is 29-3 this year and has won 17 in a row. He's ranked number two in dubs, won the doubles indoors, and has a record of 33-3. I'd classify that as great.