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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Memphis Downs No. 6 Seed Ole Miss to Reach NCAA Division I Men's Sweet 16

The Sweet 16 for the NCAA Division I men's team tournament is set, with 14 seeds, plus No. 18 Cal and No. 32 Memphis.

The Memphis Tigers pulled off the day's biggest shocker, perhaps not rivaling the Denver win over No. 15 Florida in Friday's first round, but unexpected nonetheless, beating No. 6 seed Ole Miss 4-2.  Memphis was the No. 2 seed in the Oxford regional, but with a ranking of 32, they just squeaked into that grouping. The Tigers caught a break in the first round, when an underrated Brigham Young team was forced to compete without their top two players due to academic suspensions. Ole Miss, despite their seeding, has been inconsistent all year, and Memphis took advantage.

Ole Miss's Nik Scholtz and Jonas Lutjen are ranked No. 3 in the country as a doubles team, but they lost 8-5 to unranked Joe Salisbury and David O'Hare at No.1, while Memphis's Lukas Vrnak and Johnny Grimal beat No. 49 Stefan Lindmark and Johan Backstrom by the same score to make it 1-0. Scholtz and Lutjen won in singles, but that was it for the Rebels, as O'Hare beat Adrian Skogeng at line 6, Grimal beat Lindmark at line 4, and David O'Leary held his nerve at No. 5. Up 6-4, 4-1 over Backstrom with Memphis up 3-2, O'Leary lost two straight games, but he won the next two for a 6-4, 6-3 victory and the biggest win in the program's history.

The other unseeded team in the final 16 is Cal, who spotted Denver the doubles point, but took four rain-interrupted singles matches, several of them finishing indoors, to earn their spot in Thursday's round of 16.

Two spots in the Sweet 16 came down to the third set of the final match, with No. 7 seed Tennessee's Brandon Fickey coming through for the Volunteers over Clemson and No. 12 seed Texas A&M's Junior Ore doing the same for the Aggies over archival Texas.

Fickey and Clemson's Gerardo Meza were the only players still on the court for their entire third set at No. 3, and Fickey was down a break early in that third set before breaking Meza at 4-5 for a 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-4 victory in another match that finished indoors.

Ore provided even more drama and some redemption as well with his 7-6(2), 3-6, 7-6(3) victory over Lloyd Glasspool at line 2. Ore came out on the short end of a similar situation against Georgia's Ben Wagland in the SEC tournament semifinals, losing a third set tiebreaker, but he reversed that result today, playing aggressively and even serving and volleying a few times in the match's late stages.

The Round of 16 matchups for the men next Thursday:

UCLA(1) v. Vanderbilt(16)
Duke(9) v. Kentucky(8)
Ohio State(5) v. Texas A&M(12)
Baylor(13) v. Southern Cal(5)

Georgia(3) v. Oklahoma(14)
Pepperdine(11) v. Memphis
Tennessee(7) v Mississippi State(10)
Cal v. Virginia(2)

The complete slate of matches in the women's Round of 16 won't be known until Sunday evening, but nine teams have booked their spots in Urbana, all of them seeded.

No. 8 Cal will play No. 9 Alabama, with the Bears beating Auburn 4-0 and Alabama taking down Memphis by the same score.

No. 13 Clemson advanced with a 4-2, six-hour win over Vanderbilt that included a two-hour rain delay. Clemson will play the winner of the match Sunday between No. 4 Georgia and Arizona State.  No. 12 Stanford took out last year's Cinderella Rice 4-0 and the Cardinal will play the winner of Sunday's Southern Cal(5) - UC-Irvine match.

Top seed Florida meets Georgia Tech Sunday, after the defending champion Gators cruised past Marist, while Georgia Tech clawed past Yale 4-3. The Yellow Jackets forfeited the match at No. 6 singles for undisclosed reasons, but still were able to claim the victory. The winner of that match will play the winner of the Duke - Texas Tech(16) match Sunday.

Although the NCAA manual states that a lineup must consist of six players, Duke once again played only five, forfeiting No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles. But the Blue Devils won both doubles matches and three singles matches to beat Ole Miss 4-1.  Texas Tech had no trouble with College of Charleston, winning that match 4-0.

On the other side of the women's draw, two round of 16 matchups are set.  No. 2 seed North Carolina, who lost the doubles point but beat Tennessee 4-1 today, plays No. 15 seed Nebraska, who beat UNLV 4-1.  It is Nebraska's first trip to the Sweet 16 in the program's history.

No. 6 Miami will meet No. 11 Northwestern after the Hurricane's blanked Purdue and Northwestern took a tough 4-2 decision from Baylor. No. 10 Michigan reached the Sweet 16 with a 4-0 win over Notre Dame and will play the winner of No. 7 UCLA and Oklahoma State, who play Sunday.  No. 3 seed Texas A&M plays TCU on Sunday for a place in the final 16, with the winner playing the winner of the match between No. 14 Virginia and Texas, who also play Sunday.

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


JJ said...

Saw on Jack Sock's Instagram a throwback picture of him and Jordan Cox. Do you have any information on if he is returning to tennis or if he's injured/retired? Hoped he would've went to college, but has a lot of talent/potential

Tennis in Memphis said...

Memphis beat BYU without their #1 singles player who was also out of the doubles. He sat out of doubles and was basically placed in the lineup to keep their 2-6 players in the same position. This article makes it sound like they lucked into their winning the region. Comon !

Austin said...

Saturdays mens matches weren't as great as hoped for the most part, but a few good ones.

UCLA, Virginia, USC, Ohio State, Kentucky, Duke, Miss State, Pepperdine, Oklahoma, Cal & Vandy all pretty much cruised.

UGA won 4-0 over Northwestern, however, the other three matches still on were very tight and the clincher was 6-4 in the third. Crazzy, but it really could have gone either way.

Tennessee-Clemson was great. Doubles came down to a tiebreaker, then three fairly easy wins in singles made it 2-2. #1 was a great match, Libietis has proven to be a top level clutch player. Then the two three sets matches, Ansari completely controlled his, and Fickey pulled it out 6-4 to send them to Illinois. I'll be honest, I thought Meza had it in the bag when he got up a break in the third.

Baylor-Tulsa was another great doubles point, followed by Baylor DOMINATING 4-6 singles to jump up 3-1. De Klerk had a great win, then Lenz was able to get the final break and win it 6-4 in the third to win it for the Bears. The other match had just started the third set and was bound to be great. Baylor avenged their loss to Tulsa from earlier in the year.

The two upsets I thought could happen are the exact two that did happen, however, I didnt pick either and could kick myself. Ole Miss has been okay this year, but their ranking is WAY inflated. Memphis played fantastic, they kicked their tail in singles and doubles. Ole Miss was going to win the match that didnt get to finish, but Memphis was so much better at 4-6. That could bode well for them against Pepperdine.

The match of the day was in College Station. A&M rolled in doubles, but every singles match was competetive. Holiner got bageled in the first set, but rolled the rest of the way. Only one other match went to three sets, but the others had second sets w scores of 6-4,7-5,7-6,7-6, so the tension was right there for every court. Ore-Glasspool was a great third set. Again, thought the Brit would pull it out, but Ore really came up huge in the tiebreaker, gritty win.

Honestly(not that I would lie), can only see two blowouts coming Thursday, the other six matches should be really competitive. Ohio State could blow out A&M, I know A&M beat team earlier, but a lot depends on doubles.

markf said...

Colette are you aware that Dennis Novikov from UCLA was arrested a few days ago for underage drinking, and arms possesion? Do you know any more information about this?

Colette Lewis said...

I just spoke to coach Billy Martin about the Novikov incident. Novikov was arrested for shooting a BB gun in a crowd at a party in Santa Barbara earlier this month. Alcohol was not involved. He was suspended by the athletic dept. for one match, UCLA's first round of the NCAAs. His court date is in June. A statement from UCLA should be coming later today.