Overall I prefer the bracket to last year. I think with the exception of the Wash U region, everything is pretty fair. DePauw has quietly had a great season and they are rewarded by drawing the #1 overall seed on the road. I think it would have been much more fair to have them play Kenyon. I think DePauw will manage to steal a match or two from Wash U, but the Bears should advance comfortably. There are several intriguing Sweet 16 matches. The one that first caught my attention is obviously Hopkins against Amherst. Both of these are very different teams than when they played in the fall and I think this is going to be a war with upset written all over it. I think 3 doubles as well as 2 and 3 singles are huge matches in that one.
Two slumping NESCAC teams should battle it out for a spot in the Final 8 at Williams. Both of these teams haven't had the greatest seasons, but they both have a good opportunity to salvage their year. Gustavus should take care of Tyler pretty easily. The Patriots haven't had the season they were looking for and the Gusties will be playing on their homecourt for Coach Wilkinson for the last time. Tyler will need a massive effort to even stay close. Middlebury has by far the easiest road to the Final 8. They beat Skidmore earlier without their full lineup and I'd be shocked if Skidmore wins a match here.
Kenyon and CMU has the potential to be a battle but the Lords should be a little too much in doubles, especially with their home court advantage. These teams had a tight match earlier in the season with Kenyon winning and I would expect a similar result. Emory should crush Mary Washington for the second time this season, especially in Atlanta. I'm interested to see if Mary Wash can even get past NCW in the rd of 32. That's probably the best rd of 32 match in the tournament with the exception of CMS and Redlands. That brings us to the California regional. I think you have to like Cruz to come out on top for the second week in a row and spoil the Stags chances to play nationals on their home court. More NCAA coverage will be coming as the week progresses.