Can Kansas Win NCAA 1st Rd A Player Down?
However, there are some interesting first round matchups between No. 2 and No. 3 seeds that could go either way.
Coming in at No. 2 on the list is...
No. 32 Notre Dame vs. No. 34 Kansas
These two teams are closely ranked because Kansas has been playing without a No. 3 doubles team and without a No. 6 singles player for half of the season. Maria Toran Ribes has been out since March with an injury. She is on the roster to play at NCAAs, but we'll have to wait and see. She didn't play at the Big 12 tournament, and we have no report on whether or not she has actually been cleared to play in the NCAA tournament.
With Toran Ribes, Kansas beat Clemson 4-1 (Notre Dame lost to the Tigers 4-0 in the ACC Championships last week) and No. 22 TCU 4-1. The Jayhawks lost to No. 40 Tulsa without Toran Ribes. So if Kansas is able to play with a full lineup, they will be the favorites to beat Notre Dame. Without a full lineup, the Jayhawks have a chance, but that's hard to say with an automatic one point going to Notre Dame.
The Fighting Irish have been all over the place this season. They went from an 11-match winning streak to a five-match losing streak to end their season. In three of those last matches, Notre Dame didn't win a single point. If the Irish can get over whatever mental block they're working with, they can win this matchup, especially if Kansas is down a player. If KU has a full lineup, it will come up with the W.
PREDICTION: Kansas def. Notre Dame 4-3
Other matchups on the list:5) No. 21 LSU vs. No. 40 Tulsa
4) No. 31 Washington vs. No. 38 Clemson
3) No. 30 NC State vs. No. 35 Oregon