Monday, April 26, 2021

Baylor Men Blank Texas for Big 12 Conference Tournament Title; Rain Pushes Pac-12 Finals Late into Monday Night; NCAA D-I Tennis Committee Addresses Selection Challenges; Easter Bowl 16s Videos

Just 11 days ago, in regular season conference play, Texas went to Waco and defeated the Bears 5-2. It appears that loss motivated Baylor in today's Big 12 conference tournament men's final, with the Bears sweeping Texas 4-0 at the Hurd Tennis Center. Baylor won the doubles point and took three straight-sets victories at lines 1, 2 and 5. Adrian Boitan, who played at line 1, was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. 

Rain throughout the day in San Diego delayed the start of the Pac-12 finals, with UCLA and Cal beginning the women's final at 6:30 p.m EDT, rather than 3:00 p.m. EDT schedule. The rain resulted in the cancellation of the other consolation matches scheduled for today. The Pac-12 had decided to give teams extra matches throughout the weekend in hopes of increasing their chances for NCAA selection, but the third of the three matches teams expected to play weren't possible due for those who had losses over the weekend. 

Speaking of NCAA selection chances, the Division I Tennis Committee sent out a memo today that addressed the problems  with the current rankings. Rather than try to paraphrase it, I'll just provide the body of the memo for those interested in how the committee plans to make its team and individual selections. 

The NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Tennis Committee continues to prepare for the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Tennis Championships with the goal of selecting the best teams and individuals to participate in the championships. To that end, we want to provide as much information as possible regarding the process by which teams and individuals will be considered.

Due to very limited fall competition in singles and doubles and limited numbers of non-conference matches played this year, the ITA has acknowledged, and the tennis committee has agreed, that the statistical value of the ITA computer ranking is not reliable on a national level.

These rankings dovetail with the committee’s selection criteria and are based on win/loss record, strength of schedule, common opponents, significant wins and significant losses. While the rankings may be less accurate, the tennis committee recognizes that the individual data points themselves are still important elements in the evaluative process.

As a result, and in concurrence with the NCAA Division I Competition Oversight Committee, the tennis committee will use the following to assist with its goal of selecting the most qualified student-athletes for the NCAA championships:

  1. Use the same foundational criteria (head-to-head, win/loss record, strength of schedule, common opponents, significant wins, and eligibility and availability of student-athletes); however, be able to identify those teams (and individuals) who might be adversely impacted by the lack of non-conference scheduling and therefore under ranked and place them within a recommended range and evaluate them individually against the other teams (or individuals) within that range to ensure they are placed in the appropriate position within the bracket.

  2. Continue to use the ITA computer rankings but weight the rankings less than in a traditional year.

  3. Monitor conferences through committee members.

  4. Review conference ranking of teams, singles and doubles players provided by each conference.

  5. Review past brackets for informational purposes.

The committee continues to work toward the goal of selecting the best teams and individuals to participate in the championships while providing those individuals with memorable championships experiences. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate these uncharted waters and wish you continued good health, safety and competitive success in the balance of the regular season.

The last of the Easter Bowl videos are now available at the tenniskalamazoo YouTube channel. Below are videos of 16s champions Theadora Rabman and Alexander Razeghi, followed by videos of finalists Tatum Evans and Learner Tien.