April 28, 2009
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Irish men’s tennis team has been named to the 64-team NCAA tournament field it was announced by the NCAA selection committee on Tuesday evening. Notre Dame will play Michigan in a first round matchup in Columbus, Ohio. The match will take place on May 8, with the hosts from Ohio State playing a first round match versus Xavier as well. The first round winners will then meet the following day for the right to advance to the NCAA round of 16.
For the tenth consecutive year, the NCAA men’s tennis Championship features a field of 64 teams, consisting of 31 automatic-qualifying conference champions and 33 at-large selections. The first and second rounds will take place May 8-10 at 16 campus sites. The winner of the second-round matches will advance to College Station, Texas, with Texas A&M playing host to the final four rounds of the tournament at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center from May 14-24.
By virtue of their at-large selection, the Irish have now qualified for the NCAA Division I Championship 18 times in the last 19 seasons. Michigan was also an at-large selection to the field, and enters with a 13-14 overall record. The Wolverines are one of only three men’s teams to enter the tournament with a sub .500 record. Ohio State is the No. 3 overall seed and will face Xavier in the other first round match in Columbus, Ohio. The team that emerges from the Columbus regional will take on the winner from the Alabama regional also includes Alabama, Furman, Boise State and Middle Tennessee.
On March 4, the Irish played host to the Wolverines inside the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Notre Dame won five of the six singles matches to produce a convincing 5-2 win. The storied rivals have not met in NCAA tournament play since the 2002 season when the Irish earned a 4-0 win in the NCAA Region IV semifinals, played in Notre Dame, Ind.
The Irish have been invited to 18 of the last 19 NCAA Tournaments, making them one of just 11 schools to have accomplished that feat, along with Duke, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Pepperdine, Stanford, Texas, TCU, UCLA, and USC. Head coach Bob Bayliss is one of only two Division I coaches – along with Georgia’s Manuel Diaz – to have led his current team to at least 18 NCAA bids in the last 19 years.
Notre Dame has reached the round of 16 in the NCAA’s on seven occasions, highlighted by a runner-up finish in 1992 and a 1993 quarterfinal result. The Irish lost in the opening round in 2004, ’05 and ’08, but reached the round of 16 2006 and ’07. Overall the Irish are 16-17 in NCAA tournament play including 6-12 on neutral courts and 3-1 against teams playing on their home court.
For more information on the NCAA men’s tennis tournament, including a full NCAA tournament notes package and match start times, check back with und.com as this information will be posted when it becomes available.
— ND —