Thursday, April 7, 2011

Brief Weekend Preview

Running a bit short on time after Bracketology so I apologize for the brief post. Several good matches this weekend. To begin, the GLCA tournament is happening at Kalamazoo this weekend. Potential semis are CMU-Case and DePauw-Denison. I think the only team who can really help themselves is CMU. They still have a tiny bit of hope for an at-large bid, but obviously they need to win this tournament first. The others are out of it in Pool C and are really just playing for pride in my opinion. This tournament really fell off when Kenyon pulled out.

Also on Saturday, NC Wesleyan will be tested when they take on Mary Washington. This will be a good test for NCW's doubles teams, because they've obviously been shaky this year and you're not doing anything in NCAAs without solid doubles. Middlebury has another test as they play Trinity (CT). Midd started a little rough, but I expect them to pick up their play now that they are back at home against conference opponents. The Bantams are trying to prove they are a solid top 15 team and pushing a team like Midd would certainly help that cause. A huge rivalry as always taking place in California with Redlands playing CMS. CMS has dominated the past several times out, however this remains a rivalry where anything can happen, especially with desperation setting in for Redlands. Also in the Northeast is Bowdoin at Amherst as the Jeffs look to continue their dominance of the past couple weeks against a solid opponent. Lastly, the regular season match between the top 2 teams in the MIAC: Carleton and Gustavus. GAC has been tough this year and Carleton has been shaky, but I can be sure the Knights will get fired up for this. Gustavus won the regular season match between these 2 last year, but Carleton ended up winning in the conference title. I definitely expect a good one in Minnesota on Saturday.

On Sunday, a dangerous Brandeis team travels to Hartford to take on Trinity (CT). This is a match Trinity can't afford to lose, but with a Brandeis win against MIT today, I know they will be upset-minded. This is an interesting match because both teams are top heavy and somewhat lacking depth. I am definitely on upset watch here; this would be a huge win for either team.

The main event of the weekend is Williams and Amherst. This is one of the best rivalries in D3 at the moment because even though Amherst seems better, Williams is always ready to play against the Jeffs. These 2 met 3 times last year with Amherst winning 2, including an NCAA Sweet 16 nailbiter that was one of the best matches of 2010. Williams knocked off Amherst in the NESCAC tournament semifinals last year on Amherst's home court, so I'm sure that stung for the Jeffs. I'm going to pick Amherst in this but I expect it to be tight. This would be a huge win for Williams locking them into the NCAA tournament, but it's also a chance for Amherst to make a statement after they looked vulnerable in California.