Saturday, May 21, 2011

General Quarterfinal Discussion

In my opinion, four lopsided quarterfinals and three teams who can potentially win it all. A lot of good storylines here, headlined by CMS trying to win the national title on their home court. They have an opener against Williams, which is a team with a very similar make-up to CMS. The Stags just do everything a little bit better than Williams. In the semifinal, potentially awaiting CMS is Amherst, the 2-time defending NCAA runner-up. The Jeffs desperately want that national title and traditionally have played their best tennis in May. In the way for Amherst is Trinity (TX), appearing in their 2nd consecutive Elite 8. They had high expectations entering this season and didn't really meet them, but they find themselves still playing and have a lot of experienced players. On the other half of the bracket, the clear favorite to advance to the championship match is Emory, who enters as the #1 seed and has strung together an undefeated regular season. Their top 3 singles players are undefeated in D3 play and they are very focused on winning their first national title since 2006. They take on defending national champion Middlebury, who only returns 1 starter from last year's team and is very young. They finished 3rd in NESCAC after winning the conference several years in a row. The last quarterfinal pits Wash U against Kenyon, and I don't see either of these teams as a true threat to win the title. Wash U is looking for their 4th consecutive Final 4 appearance and Kenyon is back in the Final 8 after a one-year hiatus.

I think it would be great to see semis between Emory-Wash U and CMS-Amherst. That has the best current rivalry in D3 along with a match between two unbelievable teams. When you look at the top 3, it really is anyone's tournament to win. This will be about who wants it the most and who executes, because talent wise there is not a large difference.