NCAA Tennis Championships Feature 3 Men’s Teams in Final Four
Three Big 12 men’s teams make up three of the four teams that remain in the NCAA Tennis Championships that will take place on Monday and Tuesday at the Hurd Tennis Center on the campus of Baylor University.
Oklahoma, TCU and host Baylor make up three of the four teams still playing as the men’s team championship heads into the semifinal round on Monday.
The No. 1-seeded Sooner men’s team (28-2) polished off Georgia 4-2 in its quarterfinal match on Saturday, while No. 2 Baylor disposed of defending national champion USC, the No, 7 seed in the tournament this year, by the same 4-2 score.
TCU, the No. 5 seed in this year’s NCAA Championship, advanced to the quarterfinals and a Monday match against Big 12 champion Oklahoma with a 4-1 win in its quarterfinal encounter against the team from North Carolina.
That gives the Big 12 three of the four teams remaining in the tournament. While the Sooners and Horned Frogs (25-7) will face each other in one semifinal match, Baylor (25-5) will go up against the No. 3-seeded Virginia Cavaliers (27-3) in the other semifinal match.
If the brackets hold true to form, and Oklahoma and Baylor advance to the championship final, to be played on Tuesday, OU and the Baylor Bears will meet for the second time in less than a month with a championship at stake. This time, though, it will be the national championship, in which the Sooners were the runners-up a year ago, losing to top-seeded USC in the championship final.
Oklahoma and Baylor met in the Big 12 Championship on April 26, with the Sooners prevailing by the narrow count of 4-3. The men’s conference championship came down to the final singles match of the day, in which OUs Florin Bragusi defeated Baylor’s Felipe Rios 6-4 in the third and deciding set.
Should it come down to an OU-Baylor showdown for the national title, it will be staged in the same place that the two teams battled for the conference crown.
The Big 12 also has a team still alive in the women’s national championship. Playing before a home crowd, the No. 8 seed Baylor women (24-6) eliminated No. 9 Virginia. That earned the Bears a spot across the net from the No. 1 seed USC Trojans (24-2) in Sunday’s quarterfinals.