The Weekend Ahead – March 15-17

Okay, crazies. It’s the final weekend of meets before all the various conference championships. We’ve now long since passed “There’s still time” territory. If teams aren’t showing postseason-level gymnastics this weekend, they can’t claim that they’re still getting on the right track.

It’s also a big weekend for fans of free streams since you will be able to watch both of the big Friday meets and both of the big Sunday meets (provided you have access to ESPN3 for Georgia/NC State). LSU is in action earlier on Friday and needs to show strong bars and beam rotations. That bars lineup is still in flux, and I want to see what kind of solution the coaches have devised. Jessie Jordan is certainly one of the top six in terms of quality of routine, but she’s a hitting risk.

That meet will be the opening act for the main event, Oklahoma and Alabama. You can bet Alabama is having none of Oklahoma’s higher ranking, and they likely consider themselves the better team. Oklahoma has seemed for all the country to have improved by miles on vault and floor, but this will be a crucial side-by-side test of that improvement. Also, Alabama’s bars, Alabama’s bars, Alabama’s bars.

I know it’s frustrating for those of you who are sans Pac-12 Network, but I will be here for Florida/Utah relaying all of the important points, both nonsensical and routine-based. This is one of those meets, like UCLA/Oklahoma, where Utah could lose by a point and still call it a victory. Alaina Johnson will not be competing but could be back on bars at SECs.

It’s a busy weekend, as it should be, so there’s no respite on Sunday. NC State has quite the tough little weekend with both LSU and Georgia both visiting. Georgia will be hungry for a good road score to shake off its status as the only top-ten team without a road 197. In the final action of the weekend, UCLA hosts Arkansas. The Razorbacks have been on an upswing of sorts, and the Bruins will be looking to cobble together a lineup capable of keeping them in contention with the very best.  

Top 25 Schedule

Friday – 3/15/13
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [5] LSU @ NC State
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Maryland, Rutgers @ [21] West Virginia
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – SEMO, New Hampshire, Cornell @ [22] Kent State
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – [1] Oklahoma @ [4] Alabama
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [23] Boise State @ Utah State
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [25] Iowa, San Jose State @ Southern Utah

Saturday – 3/16/13
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Eastern Michigan @ [24] Central Michigan
4:00 ET/1:00 PT – Iowa State @ [3] Michigan
6:00 ET/3:00 PT – [17] Illinois, every team from Illinois @ Illinois-Chicago
6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Missouri @ [18] Arizona
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [12] Auburn @ Pitt
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [20] Ohio State @ [14] Minnesota
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [19] Kentucky @ [16] Penn State
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [2] Florida @ [7] Utah
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Michigan State @ [13] Denver
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – [11] Nebraska @ Cal

Sunday – 3/17/13
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – [6] Georgia @ NC State
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – [15] Arkansas @ [8] UCLA