The NCAAs Are Where They Belong

NCAAs

For the past two days – and for the next 10 – I have been in Athens, Georgia at the NCAAs at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. My Happy Place.

I’ve missed attending the NCAA Championships the past two years. For some reason, the Powers That Be thought there was a better place than UGA to host this premier college tennis event. Imagine that! And, after next Monday, Athens won’t see the Championships again until at least 2023. It’s at Wake Forest next year followed by UCF (i.e. the new USTA mega complex in Lake Nona), Oklahoma State, UCF again, then University of Illinois in 2022. Word on the street is that Lake Nona could become the permanent home of the Championships if all goes as planned in terms of attendance and the growth of the UCF tennis program under John Roddick’s guidance. I absolutely wish UCF all the best, but I hate to think of the NCAAs anywhere but Athens.

Driving onto the UGA campus brings back so many fond memories for me. My son attended Bulldog Tennis Camp starting at age 9. My middle daughter spent her Collegiate Tennis Hall of Famecollege years on that campus. And the energy it exudes during the Jewel in the College Tennis crown is unmatched. To top it off, this campus is the home of the Collegiate Tennis Hall of Fame. If that doesn’t make you believe the Championships belong here, well . . .

Just walking around the tennis complex is like Old Home Week. I run into friends made at junior tournaments around the country. I runNCAAs

Maria Cercone

into coaches I’ve interviewed. I run into industry people I’ve gotten to know over the past several years. I run into fellow tennis fans that I’ve met on the court myself. It’s just an amazing atmosphere.

Today, I’ll be back out there for four more men’s matches. My alma mater – UCLA – faces my daughter’s alma mater and the host team – UGA – this afternoon. It should be a great match, filled with all the elements that make college tennis so great. And it will be enhanced by the fact that the home team does such a bang-up job at getting its fans out en force to create an energy that rivals any football game.

I’m going to soak up everything about this year’s NCAA Championships because who knows when it will return to its rightful place: the University of Georgia Dan Magill Tennis Complex.

For everything you need to know about this year’s NCAAs, click here to go to the official website. For updates on scores and results during the matches, be sure to follow Bobby Knight @College10s2day on Twitter. I’m tweeting updates and posting on Instagram as well (@ParentingAces).

Today’s schedule: Men’s Quarterfinals

Noon:
#10 Texas vs. #2 Virginia
#6 TCU vs. #6 Ohio State

4pm:
#13 UGA vs. #5 UCLA
#9 UNC vs. #1 Wake Forest

Tomorrow’s schedule: Women’s Quarterfinals

Noon:
#6 Texas Tech vs. #3 Ohio State
#7 Stanford vs. #2 UNC

4pm:
#9 Oklahoma State vs. #1 Florida
#12 Pepperdine vs. #4 Vanderbilt

Note from Lisa: I seem to be having trouble formatting the photos so that they appear right side up on both computers and mobile devices. Please bear with me as I try to sort this out!

 

4 thoughts on “The NCAAs Are Where They Belong”

  1. I don’t have an opinion one way or the other about the event always being at UGA although I admit that the atmoshere seems incredible and the idea of Athens being to tennis playoffs what Omaha is to the baseball CWS is pretty cool.

    My daughter was recruited by UGA. She passed because the location/weather are not what she is looking for. I was hoping she’d at least take a visit 🙂

    At some point I wonder if the ITA won’t ultimately move the NCAAs to Tempe. The ITA is now based in Tempe and at some point in the not too distant future there will be a beautiful new tennis complex at ASU. You will have weather that incredibly predictable: warm and dry.

    Holding the event in Orlando – meh.

  2. Lisa, I think your southern location is clouding your judgement here. The NCAA team tournament was a total flail this year with rain delays and only 4 indoor courts. Sending teams to play offsite in Atlanta and staggering 1-4 singles, then 5 and 6 is like a USTA match, not NCAA championship situation.

    While the weather in the west was sunny all day every day, and other programs having good indoor facilities, that is the reason UGA will not be hosting anymore. Remember that when UGA used to host every year back in the day, it was only the mens tournament, so the logistics were much easier, not to mention it was a huge unfair advantage for the Bulldogs. That being said, they seem to get great support from the community, and a lot of the best programs are in the South, and Mid Atlantic right now.

    1. From a FB post from a FL resident: “”State”, otherwise known as The Florida Level 3 “Bobby Curtis” Sectional Championship (or something like that ) starts next Saturday, June 10 in Orlando and Lake Nona. Players and coaches turn their attention to preparing and training for this tournament. It isn’t that easy. The rainy season has started late and it will rain everyday from now on.” So, this is what we have to look forward to in the years the NCAAs are at Lake Nona – the Rainy Season. Great.

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