NCAA Men's Swimming and Diving Championship Preview and Day 1 Open Thread

Can senior Tom Shields lead the Bears to a 3rd consecutive NCAA title? - Boris Streubel

Another week, another three-peat attempt by a Cal team. It has actually been another calendar year since the last Cal team championship. Can Men's swimming (and diving) makes it three in a row? The journey to a three-peat starts today (in the first of three days).

Day 1 Recap:

Your team standings after Day 1:

1. Michigan 153
2. California 123.5

Bears did not win any NCAA Championship today but most of Cal star, Tom Shields's events are coming up.

GO BEARS!

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No. 2 Cal Bears, fresh off breaking Stanfurd's 31 consecutive Pac-# Title, are back at it again, trying to win another NCAA Championship. Unlike last week when there was not video (as far as I know) available for all the non-ESPN televised events, there are links to the prelims and day one action.

Live stats: Update

Live Video (Prelims and Day One Final): Indiana Sports Corp

Live Video (Day two and day three finals): ESPN3

Prelims start at 8 AM PT, Finals start at 4 PM PT

The NCAA.com article sure has Cal as the favorite in the meet. Senior Tom Shields, swimmer of the meet last year, will sure lead the way. (Emphasis are mine)

Nine-time national champion Tom Shields of California will be a busy swimmer the next three nights at the Men’s Division I Swimming and Diving Championships. The championships begin with preliminary competition in six events on Thursday at the Indiana University Natatorium at IUPUI, and Shields returns with many accolades to live up to.

A senior from Huntington Beach, Calif., he was a triple individual winner at this year’s Pac-12 Championships. He’s also the defending national champion in the 100 and 200 butterfly and the 2012 Championship Swimmer of the Meet.

He is the top seed in the 100 fly. He’ll also swim in the 200 fly, 100 backstroke and four relay events.

"We ask him to do everything and he does it without complaint," Cal coach David Durden said.

Shields will take a leading role as Cal seeks a third consecutive national championship. The Golden Bears are dominant in the relays and Shields won two more Pac-12 championships this year on the 200 and 400 medley relays. They’ll face a battle in those relays from three-time Big Ten champion Michigan, which won all five relay races at its conference championships.


Interestingly, in the past few seasons, even with the NCAA success, the Bears have kind of waited to peak at the NCAA. This year, the Bears have been strong all season long, being perfect in the dual meets AND topping Furd to win the Pac-12 title.

CalBears.com list the top seeds for the Bears:

Shields (Huntington Beach, Calif.) is seeded first in the 100 fly (44.92), second in the 200 fly (1:41.23) and ninth in the 100 back (46.12) after winning all three of those events at the 2013 Pac-12 meet. Other top seedings for Cal include freshman Josh Prenot, seeded fourth (3:41.36) and Pac-12 champ in the 400 IM; Hamilton, seeded fifth (1:42.75) in the 200 fly; senior Trevor Hoyt, seeded fifth (1:53.76) and the 2012 NCAA runner-up in the 200 breast; freshman Jacob Pebley, seeded fifth in the 200 back (1:40.45) and Tarczynski, seeded sixth (1:43.10) in the 200 IM. The Bears' 200 medley relay (1:24.42, junior Tony Cox, Hoyt, Shields, Fleming) is seeded third and the 400 medley relay (3:06.09, Cox, Hoyt, Shields, Stubblefield or Gimondi) is seeded fourth. Additionally, Cal won 2013 Pac-12 titles in both the 200 and 400 medley relays.

Day One List of Events:

200-Yard Freestyle Relay

500-Yard Freestyle

200-Yard Individual Medley

50-Yard Freestyle

One-Meter Diving

400 Medley Relay

Full list of Cal Entries in the 2013 NCAA Championship:

50 Freestyle: Shayne Fleming (19.56), Seth Stubblefield (19.64)

100 Freestyle: Seth Stubblefield (43.34), Trent Williams (44.11)

200 Freestyle: Trent Williams (1:34.60), Will Hamilton (1:35.61), Seth Stubblefield (1:37.04), Jeremy Bagshaw (1:37.35)

500 Freestyle: Adam Hinshaw(4:18.08), Jeremy Bagshaw(4:18.65),Will Hamilton (4:19.00),Trent Williams(4:20.95)

1650 Freestyle: Adam Hinshaw(15:05.96),Jeremy Bagshaw(15:15.49)

100 Butterfly: Tom Shields (44.92), Marcin Tarczynski (45.97), Austin Brown (46.94), Tony Cox (47.49)

200 Butterfly: Tom Shields (1:41.23),Will Hamilton (1:42.75),Austin Brown (1:44.74), Ben Hinshaw(1:45.27)

100 Backstroke: Tony Cox (46.06),Jacob Pebley (46.51)

200 Backstroke: Jacob Pebley (1:40.45), Marcin Tarczynski(1:43.22)

100 Breaststroke: Trevor Hoyt(52.65), Ryan Studebaker (53.21), Christian Higgins (53.38)

200 Breaststroke: Josh Prenot(1:53.63), Trevor Hoyt(1:53.76), Christian Higgins (1:55.14), Ryan Studebaker (1:55.56)

200 IM: Marcin Tarczynski(1:43.10),Josh Prenot (1:43.73),Ben Hinshaw (1:44.79)

400 IM: Josh Prenot(3:41.36), Adam Hinshaw(3:44.36),Ben Hinshaw(3:48.05)

Relays: 200 Free (1:17.76, Fleming, Fabio Gimondi, Nick Dillinger, Stubblefield), 400 Free (2:54.41,Gimondi, Stubblefield, Dillinger, Shields), 800 Free (6:20.20, Williams, Shields, TBD, Hamilton), 200 Medley (1:24.42, Cox, Hoyt, Shields, Fleming), 400 Medley (3:06.09, Pebley, Hoyt, Shields, Stubblefield)

NCAA Scoring:

This is the same as for the women's:

The team scoring breakdown are the following, for each individual events, a team score points by the final standing of the events. For most event, the finish in the morning's trial determines who makes it to the two finals of the evening. The A Final ("Championship Final") guarantee a swimmer at least a 8th place finish while the B Final ("Consolation Final") determines places 9th-16th. Even if a swimmer from the B Final has a faster time than a swimmer in the A Final, the best the B Finalist can do is still 9th place.

Here is the official statement from the rulebook (this link I found is from 2010):

All events will be scored. Scoring shall be for 16 places as follows: relays, 40-34-32-

30-28-26-24-22-18-14-12-10-8-6-4-2; individual events, 20-17-16-15-14-13-12-11-9-

7-6-5-4-3-2-1. Except in time final events, points for first through eighth place shall be

awarded solely on the basis of a championship final. Points for ninth through 16th place

shall be awarded solely on the basis of a consolation final

So the point breakdown is basically one point per place for the individual events, with the exception for the winner who gets two extra bonus point for winning an event (so 3 points more than the 2nd place). The winner of the consolation event gets one extra bonus point as well. Again, relays are basically events where the points are doubled.

By the time that the championship finalists are determined, you can pretty much see which events Cal would be picking up points on the opponents and which events where we would have to hold our breath.

Cal Full Press Release:

A very interesting read, for those with time. It includes a few articles that have been written about the Bears this year.

You can find that here (PDF format).

As we have learned in the last three years, winning the NCAA championship is a full team effort. The difference comes from the performances of the less heralded swimmers picking up big points in the B Finals or just for making the A Finals. The bonus points from winning the relays are big as well.

From Swimswam's preview:

211. That’s the magic number this year. Michigan has a 211 point advantage on everyone else in the field based on seed. Even if you’re someone who doesn’t believe in scoring psych sheets, and thinks that psych sheet scoring is totally irrelevant to the meet, it’s gotta be hard to ignore a 211 point advantage.

Break that down into more comprehensible numbers, though. If Michigan finishes exactly on seed, Cal has to make up approximately 11.7 points per event according to seed. Another way to look at it is Cal has to be 70 points closer, per day, than seeded to Michigan.

So Cal would need to defy the odds again to win the team title. Maybe the Bears have been hibernating until now (in terms of their best possible time).

Here are their preview for the top 3 teams:

1. Michigan Wolverines (Seeded Points: 510) - The Wolverine relays need to show up; they're not fighting just Cal, they're fighting some stiff challenges from the teams that will finish in the 4-8 range as a team. Dylan Bosch needs to score somewhere high; maybe not even as high as his crazy-good seeds. Just somewhere high. The Wolverines are on the high-end of a few ranges that see only a few tenths to slide many spots in either direction. The pressure is on them: they have a lot further to go down than they do to go up.
2. Cal Golden Bears (Seeded Points: 290) - For Cal to make up the ground and take the points, they need the guys who didn't score at NCAA's last year to do damage: Josh Prenot needs to score in three events, for example. They need to pick Michigan off in key events, like the 200 breaststroke where Josh Prenot and Trevor Hoyt are seeded just behind Michigan's Richard Funk. Even that might not be enough. A lot of the difference between "seeded points" and "needed points" for Cal will have to be in the relays, and without Tyler Messerschmidt they're down four vital swims out of the 20 they need to shift and shimy around to make the relays work.
3. Stanford Cardinal (Seeded Points: 183) - Stanford is the only team of these top five who will have any diving points coming at NCAA's. That's because they have qualified more divers (4) than any other team in the country for the meet except Indiana (who also has 4).
Now, nobody is pretending that four qualifiers will turn into 12 scores. Kristian Ipsen should be good for 50 points himself (remember that last year, when he was 10th on the platform, he dove conservatively to avoid injury prior to the Olympic Trials). If the other three guys combined can muster up another 20 combined the Cardinal will be happy. Beyond that, Stanford didn't look nearly as rested at Pac-12′s as they have in the past. Aaron Wayne missed the A-Final at that meet in the 50 free, and he should be in the top 8 at NCAA's. This Stanford roster continues to be one that has more depth than you realize until you start counting scorers. Their relays average seeds between 7th and 8th - that will be a key for the upward mobility of Stanford.

More Day 1 Previews:

collegeswimming.com for the 500 Free

Swimmer to Watch: Will Hamilton, California. As a freshman Hamilton won the ‘B’ final
in a time that would have placed fourth in the ‘A’ (4:15.04), yet he didn’t even individually qualify for the meet in this race. Could a big drop be in order?

swimswam list their favorites for the IMs

Top 8 Picks for each race, plus seed times:

200 IM
1. Marcin Tarczynski, Cal, 1:43.10
2. David Nolan, Stanford, 1:42.41
3. Cody Miller, Indiana, 1:41.85
4. Marcin Cieslak, Florida, 1:44.01
5. Kyle Whitaker, Michigan, 1:42.61
6. Austin Surhoff, Texas, 1:43.59
7. Chase Kalisz, Georgia, 1:43.04
8. Kyle Owens, Auburn, 1:43.45

Darkhorse: Nejc Zupan, Dartmouth, 1:43.94 – Zupan was a star at the Ivy League Championship meet, and crushed conference records in both IM races. Here, he’s dropped the 400 IM in favor of the 100 breaststroke, but will still be swimming this 200. He, like Fink, Kalisz, and Miller, is an outstanding breaststroker.

400 IM
1. Michael Weiss, Wisconsin, 3:39.17
2. Kyle Whitaker, Michigan, 3:40.94
3. Chase Kalisz, Georgia, 3:39.82
4. Sebastien Rousseau, Florida, 3:41.69
5. Adam Hinshaw, Cal, 3:44.74
6. Eduardo Solaeche-Gomez, Florida, 3:45.68
7. Josh Prenot, Cal, 3:41.36
8. Sam Trahin, Indiana, 3:42.75

Darkhorse: Couldn’t find one that I really liked that I thought would qualify as a true "darkhorse," so I punted on this one.

It should be an exciting three days.

GO BEARS!

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