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Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Part I of NCAA Roundtable; Poll and Computer Disagree on No. 1 Teams as NCAA D-I Championships Begin; Pac-12 Awards Announced; Qualifier Yu Beats No. 2 Seed at Daytona Beach $25K

Tennis Recruiting Network's annual NCAA Division I Team Championships Roundtable is available today, with five of us weighing in on the top stories of the regular season and Super Regionals in part I. Part II, which will be published on Friday, asks us to name dark horses and upsets, as well as the two teams who will win titles on May 22nd. If you would like to enter a bracket challenge this year, collegetennisranks.com now has one available.

The pre-NCAA tournament rankings were released today, and you don't need to look down the list to find the discrepancies between the USTA/Tennis Channel poll and the ITA computer's rankings. The ITA has the TCU men at No. 1, while the poll has the Horned Frogs at No. 5 and Florida at No. 1. 

The NCAA committee had these ITA rankings prior to their seedings for the team tournament, and they made just a couple of changes, switching Wake Forest and Kentucky in the 8 and 9 spots, and, of course, controversially, elevating Middle Tennessee to No. 16 over three other teams ahead of them in the computer rankings. 

The women's rankings have an even larger disparity at No. 1, with the USTA/Tennis Channel poll putting Texas A&M at 1 and the computer ranking the Aggies No. 7. The NCAA committee switched Duke and Texas, for unknown reasons, at 3 and 4, and Auburn and Georgia at 13 and 14 due to Auburn's recent win over the Bulldogs. 

I've included all 25 teams in the USTA/Tennis Channel poll and the top 25 in the ITA rankings for comparison purposes as we head into the tournament Friday.

USTA/Tennis Channel D-I Men's Team Rankings, May 4, 2022
(previous week's ranking in parentheses):

1. Florida (1)
2. Michigan (3)
3. Baylor (4)
4. Ohio State (4)
5. TCU (5)
6. Virginia (6)
7. Kentucky (7)
8. Tennessee (8)
9. Wake Forest (9)
10. USC (10)
11. South Carolina (11)
12. Georgia (12)
13. Texas (13)
14. Stanford (14)
15. Harvard (15)
16. North Carolina (16)
17. Arizona (17)
18. San Diego (18)
19. Middle Tennessee (20)
20. Pepperdine (19)
21. NC State (21)
22. Auburn (22)
23. Louisville (23)
24. SMU (24)
25. Duke (25)

ITA D-I Men's Team rankings, May 4, 2022

1. TCU (1)
2. Florida (2)
3. Baylor (3)
4. Ohio State (4)
5. Michigan (7)
6. Tennessee (5)
7. Virginia (6)
8. Wake Forest (10)
9. Kentucky (8)
10. South Carolina (9)
11. Georgia (11)
12. Texas (12)
13. USC (13)
14. Harvard (14)
15. North Carolina (15)
16. Arizona (17)
17. San Diego (19)
18. Stanford (16)
19. Middle Tennessee (18)
20. NC State (21)
21. Duek (23)
22. SMU (20)
23. Louisville (25)
24. Auburn (24)
25. Texas A&M (26)


1. Texas A&M (1)
2. North Carolina (2)
3. Oklahoma (3)
4. Texas (4)
5. Duke (5)
6. Virginia (6)
7. NC State (7)
8. Georgia (9)
9. Pepperdine (10)
10. Ohio State (8)
11. Miami (11)
12. Oklahoma State (13)
13. California (12)
14. Michigan (17)
15. Stanford (14)
16. Auburn (15)
17. Florida (16)
18. UCLA (18)
19. Arizona State (19)
20. UCSB (21)
21. Tennessee (22)
22. USC (23)
23. Loyola Marymount (20)
24. UCF (24)
25. Old Dominion (25)


1. North Carolina (1)
2. Oklahoma (2)
3. Texas (3)
4. Duke (5)
5. Virginia (4)
6. NC State (7)
7. Texas A&M (6)
8. Pepperdine (8)
9. Miami (12)
10. Ohio State (10)
11. California (11)
12. Oklahoma State (9)
13. Georgia (13)
14. Auburn (14)
15. Stanford (15)
16. Florida (16)
17. Arizona State (17)
18. Michigan (20)
19. Southern California (19)
20. UCLA (18)
21. Central Florida (22)
22. Tennessee (21)
23. Wake Forest (24)
24. UC-Santa Barbara (27)
25. Loyola Marymount (23)

The individual rankings are out, which are interesting to compare with the seedings handed out yesterday by the NCAA committee. The women's singles and doubles seeding did not deviate from the rankings, except for Alexa Noel, at No. 16, who is not playing, with the next player, Mell Reasco of Georgia, moving into that final seeding spot. I neglected to mention yesterday that all those seeded in the singles and doubles are automatically granted All-America status.

The men's singles seedings did not follow the rankings, with the most obvious difference at the top. 2021 NCAA finalist Daniel Rodrigues of South Carolina took over the No. 1 ranking from Ben Shelton of Florida, but Shelton is the No. 1 seed in the tournament. Also in men's singles, Cannon Kingsley of Ohio State was moved into the Top 8 at the expense of Clement Chidekh of Washington. For the list of NCAA singles and doubles seeds, see my post from yesterday.

In a change from past years, the Pac-12 has released its all-conference teams and award winners prior to the start of the NCAAs. Click on the headings for the announcements. For the SEC, Big 12 and Big Ten men's awards, see this post. We're still waiting for the Big Ten women and the ACC releases.

Singles Player of the Year: Stefan Dostanic, Southern Cal
Freshman/Newcomer of the Year: Murphy Cassone, Arizona State
Doubles Team of the Year: Stefan Dostanic and Bradley Frye, Southern Cal
Coach of the Year: Brett Masi, Southern Cal

Singles Player of the Year: Michaela Bayerlova, Washington State
Freshman/Newcomer of the Year: Connie Ma, Stanford
Doubles Team of the Year: Angelica Blake and Connie Ma, Stanford
Coach of the Year: Sheila McInerney, Arizona State


Seventeen-year-old Eleana Yu hasn't played any junior events this year, focusing instead on $25,000 ITF World Tennis Tour women's events. She had won just one main draw match prior to today, back in January, but the blue chip from Mason Ohio got a big win today in Daytona Beach, beating No. 2 seed and WTA 299 Sofia Shapatava of Georgia 6-3, 6-3. Yu, who won two qualifying matches to reach the main draw, will play China's YeXin Ma in the second round Thursday.

Teens Reese Brantmeier and wild card Rachel Gailis will meet in the second round after Brantmeier advanced when No. 6 seed Ellie Halbauer retired trailing 6-2, 2-0 and Gailis beat qualifier Eleonore Tchakarova of Bulgaria 6-3, 6-2. The seeded teenagers--top seed Elvina Kalieva and No. 3 seed Katrina Scott--advanced with straight-sets victories. Other Americans in the second round are Alexa Graham(UNC), Gabriella Price, Anastasia Nefedova, Lauren Proctor(Winthrop) and wild card Samantha Crawford.

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