By Bobby Knight, College Tennis Today
Conference races reach a fever pitch this weekend with some teams trying to sew up a No. 1 seed while others try to hang on to their current spots.
Oregon, ranked No. 23, will try to make history on Friday when it hosts No. 12 California. Oregon enters the match with a 16-4 record and is coming off a pair of road wins over Utah and Arizona. California brings a 15-6 record to Eugene but the Bears lost their last time out to No. 6 USC. California leads the all-time series 33-0 however Oregon has given them some close calls over the last two seasons including a 4-3 match in the Pac-12 Tournament two seasons ago.
The top seed in the SEC Tournament will be decided on Saturday afternoon in College Station when No. 10 Texas A&M hosts No. 11 Georgia. Texas A&M is 10-1 in the SEC after splitting matches last weekend. The Aggies suffered their first conference loss last Friday to No. 17 Mississippi State but they rebounded on Sunday to defeat Auburn. Georgia is undefeated in conference play at 11-0 with the Bulldogs coming off wins over No. 16 Florida and No. 22 South Carolina. Georgia leads the all-time series 6-2 although the teams have split the last two meetings with both matches taking place in College Station.
Michigan, ranked No. 14, will try to hold on to second place in the Big Ten when it hosts No. 21 Northwestern on Sunday afternoon. Michigan is currently 6-1 in the Big Ten and has won five straight after defeating No. 29 Wisconsin and No. 31 Minnesota last weekend. Northwestern is 5-2 in the Big Ten and its won six of its last seven and is coming off wins over Iowa and Nebraska. Northwestern has won the last three meetings however Michigan leads the all-time series 69-28-1.
The only top five matchup of the week takes place in Nashville on Sunday as No. 5 Vanderbilt hosts No. 1 Florida. Vanderbilt has won six straight and is coming off road wins at No. 19 LSU and No. 21 Texas A&M. Florida has won seven straight and is coming off wins over No. 20 Mississippi State and No. 27 Ole Miss. Both teams are currently in a three-way tie with Georgia at 10-1 in the SEC so the winner of this one will be no worse than the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. Florida leads the all-time series 46-5 although Vanderbilt has won three of the last four.
UCLA, ranked No. 22, heads to Tempe on Saturday to face No. 29 Arizona State. UCLA has won six straight and is coming off wins over Utah and Colorado while Arizona State has won five straight and is coming off road wins over No. 32 Washington and Washington State. UCLA currently sits in second place in the Pac-12 with a 7-1 conference record while Arizona State is in fourth with a 5-2 record. Arizona State won last season’s meeting in Los Angeles but UCLA leads the all-time series 44-15.
There will be a top 10 showdown on Saturday in Brunswick, Maine, when No. 4 Bowdoin hosts No. 9 Middlebury. Bowdoin comes into the match with a 10-2 record after splitting matches last weekend. The Polar Bears dropped a close 5-4 match at No. 13 Amherst last Saturday before defeating Connecticut College on Sunday. Middlebury currently has a 6-3 record and is coming off wins over No. 3 Williams and No. 7 Tufts. The Panthers won last season’s meeting 7-2 however the teams have split the last six meetings.
Make sure you follow each of these matches at the provided live scoring links and follow me on Twitter for updates throughout the weekend.
If you want to read my thoughts and predictions on this weekends action you can head over to my site College Tennis Today.
Men’s Live Scoring/Updates
No. 12 California at No. 23 Oregon – Friday 3 p.m. PT
Live Scoring/Video (indoors only): http://www.goducks.com/sports/2017/1/19/mens-tennis-live-scoring.aspx
No. 11 Georgia at No. 10 Texas A&M – Saturday 1 p.m. CT
Live Scoring: http://www.sidearmstats.com/tamu/mten/
No. 21 Northwestern at No. 14 Michigan – Sunday 2:30 p.m. ET
Live Scoring/Video (indoors only): http://www.mgoblue.com/sports/m-tennis/spec-rel/live-scoring-dual.html
Women’s Live Scoring/Updates
No. 22 UCLA at No. 29 Arizona State – Saturday 12 p.m. PT
Live Scoring: http://statbroadcast.com/events/statmonitr.php?gid=asu
No. 9 Middlebury at No. 4 Bowdoin – Saturday 2 p.m. ET
Scoring Updates: https://twitter.com/mwtpanthers
No. 1 Florida at No. 5 Vanderbilt – Sunday 11 a.m. CT
Live Scoring: http://www.vucommodores.com/livestats/w-tennis/xlive.htm