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Monday, April 29, 2019

Georgia Women, Ohio State Men Receive Top Seeds with Division I NCAA Draws Revealed; SLAM Tennis's May Madness Bracket Challenge Entries Now Open

The NCAA streamed the draws of the Division I Team Championships today, and if you missed it, you can rewatch the men's half-hour show here and the women's half-hour show here.  In the past few years, these streams have been a very cut-and-dried display of the brackets, but this year former ESPN reporter Andy Katz conducted interviews with several top players and coaches when their team's place in the draw was revealed. Among those being featured were coaches Jeff Wallace of Georgia, Ty Tucker of Ohio State and Andres Pedroso of Virginia and top American players Brandon Holt(USC), Oliver Crawford(Florida) Ashley Lahey(Pepperdine) and Maria Mateas(Duke).

The seeds are below, with all the Top 16 seeds hosting the first two rounds at their campus facilities this coming weekend. Long gone are the days when the committee occasionally sent Top 16 teams on the road, and that is good riddance.

If you've been following SLAM Tennis's Bracketology in the past few days, you know there were several tossups as far as seeding goes, not least at the No. 1 spot for women, but Georgia's head-to-head win over North Carolina proved to be the determining factor in that decision. In all honesty, being No. 1 or No. 2 isn't that different, whereas 8 vs 9 can be a significant alteration of the path to the title, especially with the new schedule that includes a Super Regional site for the round of 16 this year on Friday May 10th or Saturday May 11th.

Only eight men's and eight women's teams are going to the USTA's National Campus in Lake Nona for the team championships, with the men beginning with their quarterfinals on Thursday May 16th and the women scheduled for their quarterfinals on Friday May 17th.  The NCAA Host Operations manual is available for more details, and it's a fascinating look at what hosting an NCAA event entails.

As far as the men's seedings go, the committee had a difficult decision between No. 8 and 9, with USC getting the higher seeding over North Carolina. The choice between Wake Forest and Florida for the No. 3 seed went to the Gators, with their win over the Demon Deacons again the deciding factor.

The Tennis Recruiting Network will again feature roundtable discussions that I will participate in, beginning Thursday.

The Men's Division I Top 16 Seeds, all hosting the first two rounds:
1. Ohio State
2. Texas
3. Florida
4. Wake Forest
5. Virginia
6. Baylor
7. Mississippi State
8. Southern Cal
9. North Carolina
10. TCU
11. UCLA
12. Stanford
13. Texas A&M
14. Tennessee
15. Illinois
16. Columbia

The Women's Division I Top 16 Seeds, all hosting the first two rounds:
1. Georgia
2. North Carolina
3. Stanford
4. South Carolina
5. Duke
6. Pepperdine
8. Vanderbilt
9. Texas
10. Washington
11. Florida State
12. NC State
13. Southern Cal
14. Kansas
15. Oklahoma State
16. Michigan

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

SLAM tennis is again offering college tennis fans an opportunity to fill out their own brackets, with those demonstrating the best forecasting receiving prizes of Tennis Recruiting Network Advantage accounts. You have until 8 a.m. Friday to submit your entry here.

On Tuesday, the NCAA will reveal the singles and doubles selections for the individual tournament, May 20-25.


College Fan said...

Seems like a more wide open tournament than most years. Only 2 of the top 5 seeds won their conference tournament. Would think Ohio State is still the favorite since they are undefeated when JJ Wolf is in the lineup.