What to expect from NCAA Men's Regionals
New look to regionals, with five teams coming out of six sites this year, makes for a new dynamic in the prognostication department. __
____Galloway National GC (Par 71, 7,022 yards)
(For live results, click here to link to Golfstat)
Shouldn't have a problem: Clemson, Illinois
On the good side of the bubble: Tennessee, Coastal Carolina
On the bad side of the bubble: Wake Forest, Colorado State, Minnesota
Will play respectably: Kent State, Virginia, Penn State, VCU
Just happy to be there: Columbia, Sacred Heart
__Most likely player to advance as an individual:John Hahn, Kent State
Alabama's young squad has struggled of late, but for some reason I think the time off since its sixth-place showing at the SEC Championship will be enough to get them refocused. It better, because Clemson will be more than willing to steal the title away should the Crimson Tide falter. Big Ten champion Illinois, winners of seven tournaments this season, will make sure its great year won't go for naught. Tennessee is another squad that will benefit from having a few weeks off to get the negative vibes from a 11th-place showing at SECs out of its mind. As Zack Byrd goes, so goes Coastal Carolina, but I have a hunch they're both going to nationals, beating Wake Forest in a playoff for the final spot.
____RedTail GC (Par 71, 7,136 yards)
Shouldn't have a problem: Indiana
On the good side of the bubble: South Carolina, UCF, Augusta State,
On the bad side of the bubble: Florida State, Arizona, Georgia Southern
Will play respectably: Kentucky, Georgia State, Iowa, Charlotte
Just happy to be there: Campbell, Loyola (Md.)
__Most likely player to advance as an individual:Drew Kittleson, Florida State __
Top-ranked Georgia has a chance to make a statement with a strong showing; says here the Bulldogs will do it. Finishing in the top five is something Indiana has become accustom to this season, having done it nine times already. South Carolina will avenge a miserable showing at last year's regional. UCF's solid record since November (three wins, seven top-fours) might have been enough to convince me it would move on. Add the home-course advantage and the Knights should be golden indeed. Augusta State is a bit of a streaky bunch, but the two wins they posted in April suggest they have the talent to advance to nationals.
____The Club at Olde Stone (Par 72, 7,400 yards)
Bowling Green, Ky.
Shouldn't have a problem: Georgia Tech, UCLA
On the good side of the bubble: N.C. State, East Tennessee State
On the bad side of the bubble: Mississippi, Duke, Louisville
Will play respectably: Ohio State, Vanderbilt, Middle Tennessee State
Just happy to be there: Austin Peay State, Cleveland State, Bucknell
__Most likely player to advance as an individual:Mike Van Sickle, Marquette
Washington will shrug off the fact that it deserved to stay out west rather than have to travel to Kentucky and show it's a serious contender for the national title, if the Huskies' four wins in their last five starts hadn't proved it already. ACC champion Georgia Tech and (Chesson Hadley in particular) is picking up momentum at just the right time. Now that the whole ".500 rule" issue has passed, defending NCAA champion UCLA can just go out and play. N.C. State sophomore Matt Hill is a great anchor for the Wolfpack, but they've got some depth too. East Tennessee State will be playing with heavy hearts after the recent death of recruit Ben Enoch, brother of current player Rhys Enoch. Inspiration will help lift this squad.
__SOUTH CENTRAL REGIONAL
Karsten Creek GC __(Par 72, 7,407 yards)
Winner: Oklahoma State
Shouldn't have a problem: Arkansas, TCU
On the good side of the bubble: LSU, Chattanooga
On the bad side of the bubble: Pepperdine, Baylor, Northwestern
Will play respectably: Michigan State, Denver, Wichita State
Just happy to be there: Tulsa, Oral Roberts
__Most likely player to advance as an individual:Andrew Putnam, Pepperdine
No team seems to be more of a lock to win its regional than Oklahoma State, playing at its home course and having won three of its last four starts. Arkansas has been a pleasant surprise this season and will continue to shine. Perhaps TCU didn't have the toughest of schedules this season, but winning three times and finishing in the top five in 10 events did prepare the Horned Frogs enough to claim the Mountain West title and also will do the same in reaching nationals. LSU is a bit of a feast or famine squad, having won four tournaments but finishing outside the top five in five events, too. Still, expect a solid performance from the Tigers. Hard to remember now the great start to the season Chattanooga had but the Mocs showed they had quality depth and should do it again in Stillwater.
____University of Texas GC (Par 71, 7,412 yards)
__(For live results, click here to link to Golfstat)
Shouldn't have a problem: Florida
On the good side of the bubble: Texas, UNLV, California
On the bad side of the bubble: Texas Tech, Lamar, Virginia Tech
Will play respectably: Michigan, UT Arlington, Mississippi State
Just happy to be there: New Mexico State, Jackson State
__Most likely player to advance as an individual:Drew Weaver, Virginia Tech
Stanford has been money in the postseason the past two years; no reason to think anything will change now. Florida's Billy Horschel makes the Gators dangerous in any tournament they compete in. Playing at home will be nice for Texas, as will having Charlie Holland back in the line-up. UNLV has stumbled of late, including a 12th-place showing at U. of Texas GC in March, but for some reason I think Dwayne Knight is going to have the Rebels rolling this week. Maybe it's a flyer to think that California will muscle out Texas Tech and Lamar, in their home state, for the fifth spot, but I feel like the Bears will have a lot less pressure on them than the Red Raiders or the Cardinals.
Lake Merced GC (Par 72, 6,863 yards)
Daly City, Calif.
Winner: San Diego State
Shouldn't have a problem: USC, Arizona State
On the good side of the bubble: Texas A&M, Oregon
On the bad side of the bubble: Colorado, New Mexico
Will play respectably: UC Davis, UC Irvine, Kansas State
Just happy to be there: Oregon State, San Diego, San Francisco
__Most likely player to advance as an individual:Steve Sauders, New Mexico
OK, so picking the No. 4 seed might be a stretch, but I like San Diego State's chances of pulling off the upset over Pac-10 powers USC and Arizona State. That doesn't mean I think USC isn't going to play well, although I'd feel a lot better saying that if they hadn't struggled to a eighth-place finish at conference. Arizona State has quietly improved over the past two months. Might be able to say the same thing about Texas A&M, although you wish the Aggies had posted another win after taking the team title in three of their first four starts. Oregon knocks off Colorado in a playoff, although you can easily reverse the order of those two teams, they're that similar in talent. Unfortunately, there are only five spots up for grabs.