CHICAGO – The college tennis world shifts its gaze to the shores of Lake Michigan this weekend as 16 of the top men’s programs in the country meet in Chicago for the 44th ITA Indoor National Championship.
The single-elimination tournament features 16 of the Oracle/ITA top-20. The four-day event at the Midtown Athletic Club will determine the Indoor champion, and each team is guaranteed three dual-matches over the course of the weekend even if eliminated.
Top-ranked Wake Forest is the defending NCAA and ITA Indoor champion, and a rematch of either of last year’s championship matches remains a possibility. NCAA runner-up No. 2 Ohio State and Indoor runner-up No. 7 UCLA both made the fields this season, and neither team has a blemish on its record with the Buckeyes at a perfect 3-0 and the Bruins sitting at 8-0 in 2019.
Dethroning the Deacons has been a difficult task in recent years, though. Wake has only lost six matches in the past three seasons, but one of those losses came in their last outing against ACC rival and No. 13 Virginia, who also punched a ticket to the round of 16.
When it comes to familiar faces, the Deacons and Cavaliers won’t be lonely in the Windy City as the ACC sends four programs to the event, the most of any conference. The Pac-12 brings three teams and the SEC, Big 12 and Big Ten send two, including host No. 14 Illinois.
The biggest surprise of the ITA Kickoff Weekend was No. 20 Tulane. The Green Wave rolled through the Tallahassee regional to become the only AAC team to advance to Chicago. The Ivy League also sends one program in No. 12 Columbia.
Fifth-ranked Southern California comes into the tournament with the most men ranked in the ITA singles top-125, putting seven Trojans on the list. Ten of the 15 highest-ranked men, including No. 1 Petros Chrysochos of Wake Forest, will take to the courts at the Midtown Athletic Club this weekend.
The teams playing for the title are Wake Forest, Ohio State, No. 3 Mississippi State, No. 4 Florida, Southern California, No. 6 Texas, UCLA, No. 8 North Carolina, No. 9 Baylor, No. 10 Stanford, 11th-ranked Notre Dame, Columbia, Virginia, Illinois, No. 15 TCU and Tulane.
The Championship will run Feb. 15-18 in Chicago, and draws will be announced two days prior to the first day of competition on the ITA website. Live results will be provided by Tennis Ticker, and a live stream will be available.
No. 1 Wake Forest – ACC
No. 2 Ohio State – Big Ten
No. 3 Mississippi State – SEC
No. 4 Florida – SEC
No. 5 USC – Pac-12
No. 6 Texas – Big 12
No. 7 UCLA – Pac-12
No. 8 North Carolina – ACC
No. 9 Baylor – Big 12
No. 10 Stanford – Pac-12
No. 11 Notre Dame – ACC
No. 12 Columbia – Ivy
No. 13 Virginia – ACC
No. 14 Illinois – Big Ten
No. 15 TCU – Big 12
No. 20 Tulane – American
It’s finally here! The ITA National Team Indoor Championship begins tomorrow morning and the Deacs look to defend their title! #GoDeacs
— Wake Men’s Tennis (@WakeMTennis) February 14, 2019