Lets call this Operation Best Guess. I went a modestly unfulfilling 15 of 24 on my Women's Regionals picks last week, being outpaced by two folks at that other weekly golf publication (kudos to Mr. Ringler and Ms. Baldry).
I'd love to convincingly say that I will get my revenge this week with my selections for Men's Regionals, but well have you seen the field at each of the six sites? Seriously, there are a minimum of eight teams at each that can advance if playing close to their potential. (Interestingly, a fair number of these schools could also potentially lay an egg this week too if they're not on their games.)
All this said, here they are ... the 30 teams that will be advancing to the NCAA Championship later this month. Nate Silver, eat your heart out!
There is no truth to the rumor that by the time you stop reading this, the California men will have won another title.
The Golden Bears' winning ways (10 titles/12 starts) in 2012-13 will make this a year to remember regardless of their postseason showing. Of course, should they hold form and win an NCAA title, the number of memories will increase exponentially, not to mention the number of comparisons to the game's all-time great programs.
Here's a look at the Division I top 25 as we enter NCAA men's regionals week.
East: No. 10 Northwestern, No. 14 Auburn
Central: No. 9 Michigan State, No. 19 Mississippi State and No. 20 Wisconsin
West: No. 12 South Carolina, No. 14 Oregon, No. 19 San Jose State
Here's a look at all 24 qualifiers:
Crystal-balling what's going to take place this weekend at the three NCAA women's regionals— specifically identifying the eight teams that will advance from each site—requires a combination of four elements:
* Basic knowledge of the teams competing
* Historical understanding of how top seeds have done in previous years
* Willingness to let gut-instinct win out over reasonable logic
I'm not 100 percent sure which of these four is the biggest factor, but I'm more than 10 percent sure it's not in the above order.
Nevertheless, I will go ahead and make my annual stab uhh, I mean, well-researched attempt at predicting who will succeed and who will struggle at Auburn University Club, Jimmie Austin OU GC and Stanford GC.
If you are thinking of trying to do this at home, I offer you one statistic that might be a nice nugget to take into account. In 2010, eight schools not among the top eight seeds at the three regionals pulled off "upsets" and advanced to the NCAA Championship. In 2011, eight schools not among the top eight seeds also and advanced to the NCAA Championship. In 2012, seven schools not among the top eight seeds advanced to NCAA.
Are you seeing a pattern here? Picking chalk isn't necessarily the best method to this madness. You've got to make some bold choices.
Or you can follow what I did here.
Defending NCAA champion Alabama held on to the No. 2 spot in the poll, earning the remaining two first-place votes. The Crimson Tide are the No. 1 seed in the East Regional and have won five titles this season as well, including the SEC crown.
Duke, the ACC champion and No. 1 seed in the NCAA Central Regional, remained ranked third with Oklahoma and UCLA rounding out the top five.
The top six schools in the most recent Golf World/Nike Golf men's Division I coaches' poll—California, Alabama, Texas, UCLA, New Mexico and Washington—earned No. 1 seeds when the NCAA golf committee announced the 81 teams and 45 individuals that will compete in the six regional tournaments May 16-18.
The top five teams from each regional and the low individual not on those teams advance to the 116th NCAA Championship at The Capital City Club (Crabapple Course) in Atlanta, May 28-June 2.
Golden Eagle G&CC, Tallahassee, Fla.
Teams (by seed)
Washington, Georgia Tech, Florida State, North Florida, Oklahoma, Wake Forest, N.C. State, Oregon, Oregon State, Iowa, USF, San Diego, Loyola (Md.)
Sean Bosdosh, Maryland; J.T. Poston, Western Carolina; Maverick Antcliff, Augusta State; Richard Fountain, Davidson; Ryan Fricker, Bethune-Cookman; Trey Rule, Mercer; Daniel Walker, Richmond; Edward Figueroa, Florida Gulf Coast; Alex Wennstam, Augusta State; Hans Reimers, Mercer
The Blessings GC, Fayetteville, Ark.
Teams (by seed)
Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, SMU, Kent State, Illinois, Liberty, Tulsa, Kentucky, Colorado, Indiana, UNC Wilmington, UM-Kansas City, Alabama State
Chris Gilbert, Kansas; Mitchell McLeroy, Stephen F. Austin State; Pep Angles, Central Arkansas; Patrick Newcomb, Murray State; Paul McConnell, UT-Arlington
University Club of Baton Rouge, Baton Rouge, La.
Teams (by seed)
Alabama, Florida, LSU, Mississippi State, Houston, Northwestern, Tennessee, South Alabama, Coastal Carolina, UAB, Wichita State, S.E. Louisiana, Houston Baptist
Jonathan Grey, Georgia State; Tomasz Anderson, Jacksonville State; Alex Ellis, College of Charleston; Kamito Hirai, Winthrop; Blake Morris, Mississippi; Sam Bernstein, Yale; Josh Lorenzetti, College of Charleston; Josh Waters, LIU Brooklyn; Steve Burak, Fairfield; Chris House, Navy
Ohio State U. GC (Scarlet Course), Columbus, Ohio
Teams (by seed)
New Mexico, Stanford, Auburn, South Carolina, Missouri, UNLV, Texas Tech, Chattanooga, Georgia Southern, San Francisco, Virginia, Charlotte, Valparaiso
Scott Fernandez, Iowa State; Robin Sciot-Siegrist, Louisville; Chris Selfridge, Toledo; Charlie Bull, Akron; Adam Schenk, Purdue; Matthew Moseley, Michigan State; Nathan Kerns, Marshall; Erik Van Rooyen, Minnesota; Korey Ward, Xavier; Dave Tepe, Cincinnati
ASU Karsten GC, Tempe, Ariz.
Teams (by seed)
UCLA, Duke, Georgia, Texas A&M, Clemson, Vanderbilt, UCF, North Carolina, Arizona State, Kennesaw State, Arizona, Austin Peay State, New Mexico State, Lehigh
Glen Scher, UC Santa Barbara; Rufie Fessler, Fresno State; Cody Blick, San Jose State; Kyle Westmoreland, Air Force; Tyler Torano, Loyola Marymount
Palouse Ridge GC, Pullman, Wash.
Teams (by seed)
California, TCU, USC, St. Mary’s (Calif.), Virginia Tech, BYU, North Texas, Baylor, San Diego State, Ball State, Memphis, Pacific, Princeton, Saint Francis (Pa.)
Ryan Williams, Sacramento State; Tyler Raber, UC Davis; Mason Casper, Utah Valley; Taeksoo Kim, Boise State; Jordan Weir, Sacramento State
California likely has other things on its mind this afternoon as the Golden Bears attempt to claim the Pac-12 men's title at Los Angeles CC—they enter today's final round with a two-stroke edge on UCLA. They can be satisfied, however, that they remain the consensus pick as the No. 1 ranked program in the latest Golf World/Nike Golf Division I coaches' poll.
Steve Desimone's squad, winners of nine of their 11 starts, earned all 21 first-place votes to remain ahead of No. 2 Alabama, the recently crowned SEC champs.
Defending NCAA champion Alabama, Pac-12 champion USC and ACC champion Duke earned the three top seeds when the NCAA Division I women’s golf committee announced the 72 teams and 18 individuals to play in the three regional tournaments May 9-11.
The top eight teams from each regional, and the two individuals with the lowest scores not on those teams, advance to the NCAA Championship at the University of Georgia GC in Athens, Ga., May 21-24.
Led by reigning NCAA champion Thomas Pieters, Illinois won its fifth-straight Big Ten men's title, outpacing Minnesota by nine strokes at French Lick (Ind.) Resort's Pete Dye course. The Fighting Illini became only the third program in the 94-year history of the Big Ten tournament to win five straight titles, joining Michigan (1932-36) and Ohio State (1976-80, 1982-87) as the only programs to "five-peat."
Pieters won the medalist honors with a four-under 284 total, beating teammate Brian Campbell and Minnesota's Erik Van Rooyan by five strokes.
Other conference titles of note that were decided this weekend:
* Northwestern and Purdue shared the women's Big Ten title, each shooting 20-over 884 on the Donald Ross Course at French Lick. It's the sixth Big Ten crown for the Boilermakers but the first for the Wildcats. Purdue's Paula Reto was the individual champion with a four-under 212.
* Duke claimed the ACC men's title, ending Georgia Tech's four-year run at Old North State Club in New London, N.C. The Blue Devils shot a closing four-under 284 for a 25-under 839 total to pass Florida State in the final round. Virginia Tech tied with FSU for second, three strokes back of Duke, with Georgia Tech finishing fourth. Yellow Jacket sophomore Anders Albertson was the medalist with a 15-under 201 total.
Here is a look at the conference championships through this weekend:
The conference championship season started in earnest this past weekend, with several marquee conferences holding their annual events. I wrote for Golf World Monday this morning about the ACC Women's Championship and about how Duke's win was a blast from the past and maybe a harbinger of things to come.
Below is a chart for the entire schedule of the men's and women's D-I championships that will take place in the coming weeks.
(Related: Why the conference championship is so intriguing?)