NCAA Week 11 – Schedule and Links

Wednesday, March 14 Scores Stream
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [9] Kentucky @ Illinois State  LINK  ESPN3
Thursday, March 15 Scores Stream
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Ball State @ Central Michigan  LINK  ESPN3
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – [16] Boise State, [19] BYU @ [8] Washington  LINK  FREE
Friday, March 16 Scores Stream
6:00 ET/3:00 PT – Western Michigan @ Eastern Michigan  LINK  EMU($)
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – [18] George Washington, Temple @ Kent State  LINK  FREE
7:00 ET/4:00 PT – Penn @ William & Mary LINK  FREE
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – [15] Denver, Iowa State @ [11] Arkansas  LINK
8:00 ET/5:00 PT – Lindenwood, SEMO @ [21] Missouri  LINK  SEC+
8:30 ET/5:30 PT – [1] Oklahoma @ [6] Alabama  LINK  SEC+
9:00 ET/6:00 PT – Southern Utah @ Utah State  LINK  FREE
9:30 ET/6:30 PT – [20] Georgia @ [4] Utah  LINK ESPNU
10:00 ET/7:00 PT – [13] Oregon State, [17] Arizona State, UC Davis @ Sacramento State LINK  FREE
Saturday, March 17 Scores Stream
12:00 ET/9:00 PT – Southern Connecticut @ West Chester
1:00 ET/10:00 PT – Pittsburgh @ North Carolina  ACC+
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Big Five – [11] Nebraska, [24] Ohio State, Illinois, Maryland @ Michigan State  LINK  BTN
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – Northern Illinois @ Bowling Green
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Arizona @ [2] LSU LINK  SEC+
5:00 ET/2:00 PT – Air Force @ Seattle Pacific  LINK FREE
5:30 ET/2:30 PT – Big Five – [7] Michigan, [22] Minnesota, [25] Penn State, Iowa @ Rutgers  LINK  BTN
6:30 ET/3:30 PT – Brown, Yale, Centenary @ Bridgeport
Sunday, March 18 Scores Stream
2:00 ET/11:00 PT – [23] NC State, West Virginia, Cornell, William & Mary @ Towson  LINK  FREE
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – [1] Oklahoma @ TWU
3:00 ET/12:00 PT – New Hampshire @ Illinois-Chicago  LINK

*Meets marked BTN or ESPNU will be broadcast live on TV and may also be streamed online for those who have cable-subscriber log-ins or subscriptions to participating Sling, Roku whatnots.

*Meets marked SEC+ or ACC+ may be streamed for those who have cable-subscriber log-ins or subscriptions to participating Sling, Roku whatnots.

*Meets marked ESPN3 may be streamed on the WatchESPN app for those who have a participating ISP.

*Meets marked [School]$ are streamed through school-specific services and require a subscription to that school’s web streaming.

*Meets marked FREE are streamed through school-specific services and require no log-in or subscription fee.

Marquee Meets

[20] Georgia @ [4] Utah
Oh, the old rivalry—renewed with an extra dash of Yoculan. Makes everything spicier. Now we’re going to need Greg Marsden to run out onto the floor (and get a yellow card) just for nostalgia’s sake. Please.

A sense of it all: Both teams have technically won 10 college gymnastics national championships, but Georgia uses the endpoint of the NCAA recognizing women’s sports so that it can say Georgia has 10 NCAA championships and Utah has 9, since one of Utah’s titles came in the AIAW years. Utah, meanwhile, uses both the NCAA and AIAW years so that it can say Utah and Georgia each have 10 college gymnastics national championships. So it’s a whole ordeal. The “number of championships” controversy is one of my favorite things about this rivalry, and you have to pick a side.

As for the actual gymnastics, Utah is the definite favorite, though Georgia will hope that the newly full lineups and improved level shown at the most recent home meet will make this much more of a contest than the rankings suggest it will be. Of particularly importance will be Georgia being able to replicate those big home floor scores that still have not yet followed away from home.

Regardless of ultimate W/L, the score is much more important for Georgia than the result since this current, piddly ranking of #20 will never do. Georgia needs at least a mid-196 out of this thing to start moving up to a place where it can be seeded at regionals. No team has ever reached 197 from the first session of SECs, where Georgia will be, putting that much more pressure on this meet to be a strong score.

[1] Oklahoma @ [6] Alabama

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen Oklahoma scored in “unfriendly” confines, having spent the last five weeks competing within the state of Oklahoma. So even though no one will expect a particularly conservative score-scape here, it should at least be an opportunity to evaluate the team in a different biome heading toward the mattering meets, which will also be held in less friendly zones. Expect Oklahoma’s two-meet weekend to feature some backups and some important routines resting, though it’s more likely that will happen in the safe meet against TWU on Sunday rather than in this one.

For Alabama, this also presents a fresh realm of evaluation because it’s been since early February that Alabama came into a meet as the weaker team. In those early-season cases (against Florida and LSU), Alabama finished 7-8 tenths behind those likely Super Six teams. Alabama will consider itself a different team now than it was in the first month of the year, but this will be a test of whether Alabama really has found a new level of Super Six competitiveness. Are the margins respectable?

The Big Fives
All 10 of the Big Ten Conference gymnastics teams will gather in two locations this weekend to compete in their annual Big Five meets. For our purposes, these are essentially just normal regular season meets with a fancy name—except for their role in determining the session assignments for the Big Ten Championship the following weekend.

Rather than assigning sessions based on ranking, as other conferences do, the Big Ten assigns them based on the results of these Big Five meets. The top three finishers in each meet will  compete in the 6-team evening session at the conference championship, while the bottom two finishers will compete in the 4-team afternoon session. Like peasants.

Nap Time
Keep in mind that as we speak now, a number of teams have already finished competing until the conference championships, including UCLA, Florida, Kentucky, Cal, Auburn, and Stanford. So they’re just waiting to see where their rankings end up.

Danger zone watch
For the next two meets, keep an eye on Iowa, New Hampshire, Central Michigan, Kent State, Arizona, Pitt, Utah State, and North Carolina. A 196.000 is sort of the very rough “good score” these teams will be looking for this week to try to lift themselves out of trouble, but check out the RQS Update for specifics.

Today, Central Michigan just scored a 196.175, a gigantic must for a team that was in real danger coming into the week, putting more pressure on the others to match that total. CMU is still not out of the woods, but life just got that much harder for the teams outside the top 36 trying to get in. CMU was the team is the current top 36 that looked the most vulnerable to being caught.

Last year, it took 195.420 to advance to regionals. It’s going to take multiple tenths higher than that this time around.