First Take on 2010 NCAA Draw

Well, folks, just like, the suspense is over and whew, we can all get on with our day. Ok, so it’s not quite that dramatic, but it’s exciting to finally find out where we are. After talking with a few of the guys, I’ll give you my immediate reactions and thoughts of what just transpired.

First, we are excited that we saw our name to host. While we thought we would, you never know, but it happened. Our first round opponent will be Sacramento State, winners of their conference. If we win that match, we will play the winner of UC Irvine and California. After playing both teams in years past, I think Cal will pull through and hopefully take us on in the Second Round. And it’s a tough second round; at their place, we won 4-3 and it was a close match (even though it was 4-1 and we lost two matches after the result). As all Pac-10 teams are, they are a tough foe and will definitely give us a battle. They are a very talented team who had a great year, and we have to be ready to play or we won’t be going to Athens. However, with two wins over them this year already, I am hopeful we can sneak by them into Georgia.

NOW, onto our “potential draw in Athens, Georgia. Well, it’s tough. VERY tough. In my opinion,  I think the four most talented teams this year are Stanford, USC, Virginia, and Tennesee. Ironically, three of those 4 are on OUR half of the draw (Tennessee is not). The top half of the draw features us, Stanford, ‘SC, Ohio State, and Virginia. All incredible teams. And not to slight any of the teams from the bottom half (because frankly, everyone is so good and so tough at this level and round), but Baylor, Florida, Georgia, Texas A&M all round out the bottom half. Virginia is tough every year and you have to respect the #1 ranked team, Ohio State obviously went to the finals and beat us last year, and ‘SC is the defending champions.

And first, our Round of 16 match has to be the one of the toughest–ever. Stanford, while underachieving a little this year along (as we did too I would argue), they got the #9 seed. In what was the closest, most intense match of the year for us (outside of our USC win), we lost 4-3 in a barnburner! Amit Inbar lost 7-5 in the third despite holding two match points. It will tough for us, really tough, and they are a tough out in the first round in Georgia. Very, very talented and as tough as a team as there is to play.

IF we get past the Cardinal (a BIG if and everything is hypothetical of course!), we are in line to play Virginia, the #1 seed. In my two years, we have lost to them both times when we played them at National Indoors. But they are a better indoor team as we are not. Obviously, they are #1 for a reason and you have to respect what their program continually accomplishes every year. However, I think we will be excited to play if we can get there.

Potentially in the semi-finals is either USC or Ohio State, a rematch of last years NCAA finals! We got creamed twice to the Trojans this year before winning the most miraculous match of the year only a few weeks ago. I think they will get through Ohio State and even though the Buckeyes return some top players, they lost two of their top 3 from last year and I don’t think is quite as strong as the year prior.

It’s kind of silly for me to still be going here in the finals, but, in the interest of the analysis and this blog, I predict Tennessee to be the winner of the bottom half of the draw. We played them and lost at Indoors for they are a darn good team, very talented and well-coached. Hey, if we get there, it’s anybody’s opportunity to win.

So….there you have it! My immediate thoughts on our half of the draw. In all honesty, you can’t help but see some of the most talented teams on our side of the draw, but that is how these things go. They are in the same boat that we are is how I look at it.

As Holden Seguso just told me, it’s time to get back to work as today is just “another day chasing the dream.” I’ll have more reactions from players and coaches later today, but wanted to give a quick rundown of what I thought of the draw.

Thanks for reading and staying tuned. GO BRUINS!

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