Now they just need to fight the USC men’s team to the death.
Congratulations Los Angeles. You are the epicenter of collegiate tennis.
On Tuesday the No. 5 ranked UCLA women claimed the title defeating No. 7 North Carolina 4-3 in an all sky blue battle. The women’s bracket was all chalk for most of the tournament until the quarterfinals. At the end of it was UCLA claiming their 2nd title in women’s tennis and 111th championship in school history.
USC men won their fifth title in six years defeating Oklahoma 4-2. The bracket held to form as the top seeded Trojans tangled with the No. 2 Sooners. USC won their 21st title in men’s tennis and yes that’s more than anyone else. More importantly it was the school’s 100th national championship overall. USC won despite losing the double’s point. Something that rarely happens.
So congratulations UCLA and USC, you are better at a typically outdoor sport than the Big Ten. What a shock.
Spring championship season for the NCAA is here and the sport on deck this weekend is tennis. The men’s and women’s titles will be on Tuesday in Athens, Georgia. Why does the NCAA have all their championships on Mondays (football, men’s basketball) or a Tuesday (women’s basketball)? For an organization that values academics, they sure do put a lot of big events during class time. It’s also interesting that out of the top 16 seeds in the field of 64 for the men only two failed to make it to the round of 16. So if you’re looking for upsets in “May Madness” you might need to find a different spring sport. The fact that upsets are rare makes the failures of No. 8 Texas A&M and No. 11 Duke that much more embarrassing though.
The phrase “hard-fought” is PR speak for “we screwed up.” The good news though is that the elite eight of the field will truly be elite. Get your Cinderellas out of here because the big guys need room for the next three days in Athens. USC is the No. 1 seed but it did lose to Ohio State and twice to UCLA. Both are still in the field. On the women’s side parity is even harder to see as 15 of the top 16 seeds made it to the round of 16. Only No. 15 Northwestern faltered as it was edged out 4-3 by Notre Dame.
The attitude on the Northwestern side was just a little bit down in comparison.
There has been some drama though as No. 1 seed Georgia barely survived No. 16 USC 4-3 on Thursday. That would have been a disaster for the Bulldogs to blow their title hopes so quickly on their home court.
Georgia will play 2012 champion Florida on Saturday. The SEC will be going for Georgia vs. No. 2 Alabama championship match. I’m sure Big 10 fans will accuse Alabama of giving cars to their women’s tennis players too.
So check out a sport other than basketball and football for a change this weekend. You might even become a die-hard college tennis fan. Just don’t count on it.