Monday, April 5, 2010

Current Pool C Situation

An update on Pool C. I never thought a match between Kalamazoo and Salisbury would have an impact on who makes the tournament, but it could end up being one of the biggest results of the season. Let's have a look.

1. UAA #2, Wash U/Emory - In

2. SCIAC #2, CMS/CLU - In

3. Carnegie Mellon - In, barring a 4th place at GLCA and a 4th place at UAA.

4. Amherst - They still have 5 matches to play against ranked teams and although I think the CMS win will carry them quite far, it is still possible that they lose to Bowdoin, Trinity (CT) or Williams. They also play Midd and Vassar. They also will have the NESCAC tournament where they will see a good team in the semis most likely. NESCAC doesn't play for 3rd/4th so they have 6 and possibly 7 more matches that can have an impact on their tournament resume. In the regular season, I think they need wins in 4 of the 5 to be in for sure. 3 of the 5 should get them in because they also have the CMS and Salisbury wins. This team is good enough where making the tournament shouldn't be an issue but I can imagine scenarios where they wouldn't make it. I'm not calling them in for sure yet, but if they beat Bowdoin on the road Sunday, they could be a lock. Chicago or Trinity (CT) would have to do something spectacular to knock them out.

5. Williams - An interesting scenario here because Williams hasn't actually won a match yet. They have the same 5 teams as Amherst to play and the NESCAC tourney as well. Because they don't have Amherst's out-of-conference wins, victories against Vassar, Bowdoin and Trinity are a must. They can afford losses to teams ahead of them. I'm considering what happens if they lose to Bowdoin, and I think it's possible Chicago could jump them if that happens because Williams best wins would be Trinity (CT) and Vassar. It's simple for Williams: finish 3rd in the NESCAC in the regular season and you're in. Finish lower and things will get complicated.

6. Bowdoin - Chicago held this spot, but Bowdoin got quite lucky with a Salisbury win against Kalamazoo. Bowdoin beat Salisbury who beat Kzoo who beat Chicago. This is convoluted, but every match is important. Bowdoin is in a great spot because now they need to play their way out of the tournament rather than playing their way in. The Trinity (TX) loss is acceptable because they have quality wins against Salisbury, Trinity (CT) and Redlands. They can afford losses to the NESCAC top 3. If they enter the NESCAC tourney as the 4 seed, they most likely will face Trinity (CT) in the first round. They may even be able to make it with a loss, but a win would put them in almost for sure unless Chicago beats Wash U or Carnegie.

Still have work to do...

7. Chicago - A very unfortunate situation for the Maroons when Salisbury upset Kalamazoo. There was no way to know it at the time, but that loss to Kalamazoo could keep them out of the post-season. It;s also unfortunate they didn't get a crack at Hopkins. The bad thing for Chicago is they are done with ranked teams until UAAs. They will have Wash U in semis and despite a 5-4 last time, I don't see how they can win. That was a very close match, but it was at home and Wash U is playing much better tennis now. With Carnegie's recent performance, I'm not going to say Emory will win the other semi. Either way, that 3rd/4th match is do or die for Chicago. If they win that match, I think it's possible they could jump Bowdoin, but it's still hard to know. The problem for Chicago is that their best win is DePauw and then after that UMW, W&L and Newport, all of whom may be out of the top 25. Things are not looking good for Chicago but they are still alive.

8. Trinity (CT) - The good thing for the Bantams is that they still control their own destiny. They got a much needed win against Vassar, but I think they need to beat Amherst or Williams to get in. I don't think a win against Bowdoin in the first round of the NESCAC tourney will do it for them. They would then have offsetting wins, and Bowdoin has two other top 20 wins on their resume. The Bantams need to make something happen and they certainly have the team to do it.

Out barring a miracle: Redlands, DePauw