Apparently competing on Friday isn’t the cool thing to do anymore as just three of the top-ten teams will be in action. The most important meet is Alabama/LSU, and I don’t think many would have predicted Alabama coming to LSU in March as the lower-ranked team. Bars will be the primary event to keep an eye on since LSU has been overperforming there and Alabama has been underperforming. Alabama has a fairly good shot at passing LSU in the rankings with a win at this meet (guaranteed if the Tide score 197.300).
Saturday is a bit more of the place to be, particularly because of the Utah/Georgia meet, which I will obviously be blogging. I thought Georgia was a little hard done by with the result at LSU, but it has become too easy to dismiss the Gymdogs since there always seems to be something wrong. They could use a home 197. Beam will unsurprisingly be the event to watch, but keep an eye on all of Georgia Dabritz’s performances for Utah. The Utes will not ultimately be successful unless she is their top AA gymnast for at least 39.5s every week.
On Sunday, UCLA hosts Michigan and some other teams, but mostly Michigan. I’m just as interested in this meet as I am in Georgia/Utah and frankly, UCLA could use the benefit of a little home scoring with all these low 196s going around. Who knows with UCLA’s lineups, but Mattie may be coming in on vault, which is all kinds of necessary. If MDLT is healthy, she should be coming in on vault and bars as well. These are the kinds of personnel changes UCLA needs to compete with the likes of Michigan, a team that seems solidly 197 at this point. Zamarripa and Sampson are the top AAers in the country (because Hunter and Sloan don’t have RQS), so that should be an interesting individual contest as well.
It’s going to be a good weekend. This is the time when teams have to start polishing those final lineups, and we should get a clearer sense of how they will perform over the next month+.
Top 25 Schedule
Friday – 3/8/13
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Bowling Green @  Kentucky
7:30 ET/4:30 PT –  Illinois @ Missouri
8:00 ET/5:00 PT –  Arizona @  Oklahoma
8:00 ET/5:00 PT –  Alabama @  LSU
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Lindenwood @  Auburn
10:00 ET/7:00 PT –  Boise State, Davis, Seattle Pacific @ San Jose State
Saturday – 3/9/13
2:00 ET/11:00 PT –  Kent State, Air Force, Alaska @ Eastern Michigan
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – New Hampshire, Penn, Temple @  Penn State
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Bridgeport @  Ohio State
6:00 ET/3:00 PT –  Utah @  Georgia
7:00 ET/4:00 PT –  Nebraska,  Arkansas, Centenary @  Minnesota
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Arizona State, Illinois State @  Denver
10:00 ET/7:00 PT –  Washington, Sacramento State @  Oregon State
Sunday – 3/10/13
1:00 ET/10:00 PT –  West Virginia @ George Washington
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – Ball State, Illinois-Chicago @  Illinois
3:30 ET/12:30 PT –  Stanford, North Carolina @  Oklahoma
5:00 ET/2:00 PT –  Michigan, Cal, Iowa State @  UCLA
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Central Michigan, Yale @  Maryland