Sunday, March 21, 2010

Men's NCAA's: Is It Even Worth Predicting?

On Saturday night, I got home and went to check the results of women's NCAA's. I wondered if it was Stanford or Georgia, or maybe Arizona or Cal. I looked through the event results. I saw the upset of Florida's Gemma Spofforth in the 200 back, Georgia's Chelsea Nauta's 12-place drop in the mile along with the great rise of Cal's Lauren Boyle, A&M's double victory, Elaine Breeden's title in the 200 fly for Stanford, and then I went straight to the 400 free relay; I saw the Stanford victory and then scrolled down to view the final team results. Florida? WHAT?

After the wild and crazy women's NCAA meet, the men's meet promises to be even more so. The battle for the team title in Columbus, Ohio, will be very tight between four teams, possibly more, while events will be fast and competitive. First, I will analyze the prospects for the top few teams and then go into my predictions for the individual events.

Arizona - Some big-time stars in Jack Brown, Cory Chitwood, Marcus Titus, and Jean Basson. Great 4x200 relay, but the other relays need drops. Not especially deep. Did not taper for Pac-10's, so they are somewhat of an unknown. They are a co-ed program, and their women had great success following the exact same plan.

Auburn - Deep in sprint freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke, and strong relays (except the 4x200) and they have senior Tyler McGill who is hungry for individual and team titles, but they are very weak in longer distances. They are a co-ed program, and their women did not swim well in Purdue.

California - Deep in the sprints, breaststrokes, IMs. They have huge event favorites Nathan Adrian and Damir Dugonjic and freshman stud Tom Shields. Not especially strong in backstroke. Will be a factor in all the relays. Not a co-ed program.

Texas - Strong swimmers all across the board, butterfly perhaps the weakest. Need Dave Walters and Scott Spann to step it up after fairly disappointing seasons, but the potential is there. Ricky Berens is a consistent top swimmer, while Eric Friedland and Austin Surhoff made big improvements at Big-12's. Could win 4x100 and 4x200 free relays depending on Dave Walters. Not co-ed.

Others - Stanford and Florida both have strong swimmers but not enough depth to crack these four teams.

For event predictions, I'm just going with top three. I have some other thoughts, but I'll keep those to myself. Please comment on these; tell me how stupid I am for thinking whatever!

200 Free Relay
1 - Auburn
2 - California
3 - Texas

500 Free
1 - Jean Basson, Arizona
2 - Conner Dwyer, Florida
3 - David Mosko, Stanford

200 IM
1 - Jack Brown, Arizona
2 - Tyler Clary, Michigan
3 - Shaune Fraser, Florida

50 Free
1 - Nathan Adrian, Cal
2 - Jimmy Feigen, Texas
3 - Josh Schneider, Cincinatti

400 Medley Relay
1 - California
2 - Auburn
3 - Texas

200 Medley Relay
1 - Auburn
2 - California
3 - Texas

400 IM
1 - Tyler Clary, Michigan
2 - Gal Nevo, Georgia Tech
3 - Jack Brown, Arizona

100 Fly
1 - Tyler McGill, Auburn
2 - Tom Shields, Cal
3 - Chris Brady, Michigan

200 Free
1 - Shaune Fraser, Florida
2 - Ricky Berens, Texas
3 - Jean Basson, Arizona

100 Breast
1 - Damir Dugonjic, Cal
2 - Marcus Titus, Arizona
3 - Adam Klein, Auburn

100 Back
1 - Eugene Godsoe, Stanford
2 - Pascal Wollach, Auburn
3 - Hill Taylor, Texas

800 Free Relay
1 - Texas
2 - Arizona
3 - Michigan

1,650 Free
1 - Chad LaTourette, Stanford
2 - Martin Grodski, Georgia
3 - Troy Prinsloo, Georgia

200 Back
1 - Tyler Clary, Michigan
2 - Cory Chitwood, Arizona
3 - Marco Loughran, Florida

100 Free
1 - Nathan Adrian, Cal
2 - Jimmy Feigen, Texas
3 - Gideon Louw, Auburn

200 Breast
1 - Curtis Lovelace, Stanford
2 - Sean Mahoney, Cal
3 - Aaron Opell, Indiana

200 Fly
1 - Mark Dylla, Georgia
2 - Shaune Fraser, Florida
3 - Dan Madwed, Michigan

400 Free Relay
1 - Texas
2 - Auburn
3 - California

My Top Ten:
1 - Texas
2 - California
3 - Arizona
4 - Auburn
5 - Stanford
6 - Florida
7 - Michigan
8 - Virginia
9 - Ohio State
10 - Georgia

I just wanna point out the fact that I really don't have a clue. These are all pure guesses and speculation. I thought about a lot of different swimmers and teams and orders, and this is just what makes the most sense to me. We'll see what actually plays out starting Thursday in Columbus!

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