The dust has settled, the last ball of the ACC tournament has been struck, and for the Wake Forest Men’s tennis team has won their second ACC tournament title in 3 years, defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels 4-0.
Before we get to the men, per usual lets start with the Women who had a bit of a run in the tournament themselves. They beat Notre Dame 4-2 in a match the Deacs needed to be comfortable gonig into Selection Tuesday of avoiding a first round matchup with a rough #1 seed. The next round however, the Lady Deacs avenged a recent loss to UVA with a convincing 4-2 lead against the #20 team in the land. In the quarterfinals the team found themselves facing off against the #2 team in the country, UNC. Wake came out swinging and won the doubles point with a victory at #1 doubles over the #3 doubles team in the country and pulled out a tight tiebreaker at #2 doubles over the #22 doubles team in the country. However in singles, UNC turned on the jets and took 4 straight singles matches to win 4-1(with Wake up a Set 5-4 on court 2 at least). This ended the Wake Women’s run however, where does that leave them going into the NCAA tournament?
So how the tournament works, very similar to the NCAA basketball tournament there are 64 teams and regions for each group. The top 16 teams host the first two rounds each getting a #2 seed (teams ranked 17-32) a #3 seed (teams ranked 33-48) and a #4 seed(teams ranked 49-64). You win, your conferene championship you’re auto in. In each regional if you win both matches, you advance to Winston-Salem as the round of 16 all the way to the championship is going to be played right here at Mother So Dear.
Not gonna sugarcoat it, Wake had a couple they shouldn’t have dropped. Losses to William and Mary, Boston College, and dropping 5 out of the last 6 did not help their chances this season of hosting a regional and dopped them from a potenial host to a middle of the pack #3 seed. With the two wins and showing against UNC, the team played themelves back into a mid #2 seed. Right now I see that they’re projeccted to end up in a regional against with Ole Miss, the number 5 team in the country. This wouldn’t be a death sentence for the team as I think they would take care of whoever the #3 seed is and have a close UTR power 6 (which is a metric that was created and developed to measure the strength of a college team) The highest UTR power 6 (ranking of their 6 best players) for the Women’s side is 70. Ole Miss rates out as a 67 and Wake’s Women team comes in with a 66. So definitely would be an upset but not of historic performances. The best case scenario would be for them to get Ole Miss or find themselves in Evanston for a regional with Northwestern. When the draw comes out, we’ll revist this team.
With the Men’s I think people can see where I’m heading with this. Number 1 team in the nation, ACC champions, have a player that hasn’t lost a match in almost 4 months, two top 5 players, a top 2 doubles team, this team is stacked. They will be the #1 seed and as long as they keep winning they’ll play every single match at home. Right now they’re projected to have South Carolina, Arizona State and Navy come to town. There’s not really a better case scenario this team can be in per se, it’s just going to come down to the bracket. I’m not necessarily afraid of any teams but there are just certain teams I’d like to wait to play, namely UCLA, Florida, Texas A&M, and depending on how JJ Wolf is playing Ohio State. Wake probably wouldn’t play those teams until the Semifinals or Finals, but it would kinda suck if they somehow landed square in the Quarterfinals or Round of 16. The sky is the limit for this team and they are in a good position to win it all but it’s up to them to play like it.