Please pardon my recent slacking. I've been extremely busy with work and unfortunately the blog takes a distant backseat. I'll do my best to finish the season strong.
I was praising Amherst last week about their great performance against Williams, but after Emory doing what they did against Wash U, I think they are going to be very difficult to beat in May. The Eagles didn't just beat Wash U, they crushed them. Compare this to a 6-3 battle at Indoors 2 months ago. I've said the entire season that I think Emory is very focused and they continue to show that. They will head into NCAAs as certainly a top 3 favorite to win it, if not the #1 favorite. Wash U has shown signs of struggling in the past several weeks and this is more along the lines of what I expected from them this season. Their doubles was hot early in the season, but it hasn't been clicking recently, and this is something they will desperately need if they want to make a Final 4 run. The win against Chicago was important for NCAA seeding purposes. The Bears should go into the tournament as the 4th or 5th overall seed, but I don't know if they are a serious threat to win the whole thing. I just have a hard time believing that they would beat Cruz if the 2 played tomorrow. I'm not saying a 2nd place finish at UAAs is bad, I'm just saying I know the Bears expect more from themselves than getting to the final and getting crushed by Emory. Chicago did what they needed to do and I think they will head into NCAAs as a top seed in their region. I know they wanted that win against Wash U in the semifinal, but I think what they've accomplished this season is great. I'll be very interested to see how they perform in NCAAs because I'm sure that they will have a brutal Sweet 16 match on the way to the Final 8.
Middlebury d. Bowdoin 5-4
Don't let the 5-4 score deceive you, this wasn't close. Midd continues to move through their season quietly as a team that most people aren't paying a lot of attention to, but they are undefeated in D3 play at the moment. Obviously their big tests this season will be against Williams and Amherst which have yet to come. Midd is playing for NCAA seeding at this point, and I think it would be a great accomplishment if they could head into NCAAs as a top 4 seed overall. We'll really be able to judge them better after this weekend's clash with Williams.
Cruz d. Pomona-Pitzer 6-3
CMS d. Pomona-Pitzer 8-1
P-P looks like they are pulling a 2010 Cal Lu. Be great in the beginning of the season against everyone and then lose to the teams you actually need to beat in NCAAs. I know Pomona-Pitzer's program, and I know they aren't satisfied with just making the NCAA tournament because they haven't been there in a long time. They will want to go there and win the whole thing. The bottom line is it doesn't matter what they're ranked, they lost easily to the 2 teams they need to beat to make a run in NCAAs. I don't know if they have the singles talent to beat these 2, but they'll have to find something in the next few weeks to at least put up a fight. I don't see them derailing another Cruz-CMS Sweet 16 match. Good job by both of the powerhouses to push aside a tough P-P team that has given a lot of people trouble. Cruz and CMS are in the top 5 for a reason and they showed that this weekend.
Newest ITA Rankings were finally released. No surprises here. The proposed NCAA bracket that I proposed last week looks no different now. Pretty much everything happened as expected over the weekend.