Michigan begins its defense of the NCAA Mens Swimming Championship

Submitted by ehatch on March 27th, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Day 1 of 3 starts today for the Men's Swimming Championships.  Based on the Psych sheets Michigan is a slight underdog to Florida to repeat as National Championships by 25 points (391-376).  That does not include diving.  

 

Michigan got a huge boost by placing their 200 Free Relay into the A Final (they were seeded 17th just out of the points).  Assuming they have clean starts, at worst they pick up 22 points [I think, I am going from memory on the Relay points] from their seed points.  [Florida was seeded 5th and was 4th in prelims.  They would pick up 2 points if prelim results hold]

I use this link as a base, it will give you a link to the real-time results and live streaming.  

http://swimswam.com/2014-mens-ncaa-championships-day-1-prelims-real-time-recap/

Comments

S5R48S10

March 27th, 2014 at 1:23 PM ^

Michigan qualified 4 guys for finals in the 500.  Coach Bottom was brought in as a sprint specialist, but he has really carried on Urbancek's strong distance tradition. It really speaks to the coach's, and thus the program's, versatility. 

Also, the 200 free relay swam faster than at Big Ten's... that bodes well for the meet.

True Blue Grit

March 27th, 2014 at 1:27 PM ^

Do they still have 13 swimmers qualified, or has that gone up?  Coach Bottom told me they had 16 last year, which makes the numbers a little tougher this year.  But, that was almost two weeks ago he said that.  

As German as my name is, I love the Cal swimmer's name: Tyler Messerschmidt.  Very cool.  

MadMatt

March 27th, 2014 at 2:54 PM ^

SBW, if I understand what you're asking, you would like someone to give some background on how the meet works and why we think Michigan will contend for the National Championship, but is a "slight underdog" to Florida, correct?  I'm at work now, but I'd be happy to do so when I hit my lunch hour (in Honolulu; it may be your evening).  I will focus on why qualifying our relay in the top 8 is a HUGE deal, and just by itself might be enough to pull even with Florida in terms of expectations.  More later.

S5R48S10

March 27th, 2014 at 3:19 PM ^

Before each season, time thresholds are set for qualifying for nationals.  Obviously, if you go faster than a certain time (A-cut), you are guaranteed an invitation to swim at Nationals.  Surpassing a slightly slower time (B-cut), will get you an invitation if they need to fill out a field (minimum 32 swimmers per event, I believe). 

Before the Nationals meet, each event is seeded according each swimmer's best time from the season (1st seed = fastest of the year).  Based on preliminary seeding, Michigan is projected to finish just behind Florida in the runner-up position.  Of course, as with any sport, swim meets never go according to seeding, and that's why we "play the game."

To help you read the results pages in the link from the OP:  All swimmers in an event swim in the morning, called the preliminary session, or prelims.  The top 16 swimmers in the morning qualify for the night session, or finals.  They are divided into two heats of eight... In finals, if you finish in 8th in the fast heat, you can finish no lower than 8th, even if you are slower than 9th place, who won in the slower heat.  All swimmers who finish in finals score points. 

Michigan is in such good position not only because they have several kids competing for titles in individual events, but because the program has some serious depth.   

 

South Bend Wolverine

March 27th, 2014 at 4:00 PM ^

Thanks to all three of you who chimed in - all that info definitely helps me make sense of what's going on (as someone who's never been to or watched a swim meet, so the whole structure is still kinda foreign to me).  Naturally I get that each school will excel at certain events and struggle with others.  I gather this is part of what is so important about our relay reaching the top 8, that we'll be getting points in an event where we hadn't been expecting to score?

That's the sort of thing I am especially curious about, in terms of being able to understand the score-sheet as it stands at any given moment.

MadMatt

March 27th, 2014 at 6:41 PM ^

Those who analyzed the meet based on the entry times figured that if everyone swam the exact time entered for them, Florida would just shade Michigan for the Championship.  Michigan's 200 relay team was entered with the 22nd fastest time.  Since you only score point out to 16th place, that would mean Michigan's relay would score no points.  As previously stated, everyone swims in the preliminary heats.  The 8 fastest times make the "championship" finals, and will swim again to determine 1-8.  Same for 9-16, and no matter how fast the winner of the "consolation" heat swims, or who slow the 8th place team swims in the championship heat, the best the winner of the consolation heat can do is 9th place.  (Unless someone gets disqualified in the championship heat).

Because Michigan made it into the championship heat, they will get the points for 8th place (at minimum) as long as they don't disqualify.  Those are points they weren't expecting, and will just about close the gap with Florida.  Of course, anyone can swim faster or slower in any event, so meet's not over.  But, getting 8th in an event where Michigan expected to score no points is HUGE.

WolvinLA2

March 27th, 2014 at 7:07 PM ^

it looks like Florida has outperformed some of their seed times in the prelims as well, so we'll see how those times stick in the finals tonight.  Although they also had a guy in the 200 IM who was seeded 5th who didn't evem make the B finals, so basically the opposite of what happened in our 200 FR.

MadMatt

March 27th, 2014 at 9:25 PM ^

So, I've looked over the results of the finals through the 50 free.  Michigan started strong through the 200 free relay and the 500 free (of course), second to Florida by only a point.  By the end of the next event, the 200 IM, only 2 points separated them, but Cal and Texas had moved up, and then...

Cal and Texas dropped the hammer in the 50 free.  Cal scored a whopping 25 points, to vault into first place, with Florida and Michigan 15-20 points behind, and Texas lurking 5 points behind Michigan.  Everyone else is about 25+ points behind.

So, why do I say Texas is the story?  Look at the prelims for the diving.  Texas has four divers in the top half of prelims, and Cal, Michigan and Florida combined have...0.  The diving isn't over, but I'd be surprised if Texas is not leading when it is.

The 400 medley relay is unlikely to see any major movement among the top four teams (barring disqualifications).  All have qualified for the championship heat.

MadMatt

March 28th, 2014 at 2:33 AM ^

The 500 free was a minor disappointment.  We knew we were going to get waxed in the 50 free and the diving (we had no one within shouting distance of top 16).  But the 200 free relay was a big, pleasant surprise, and we have some good events for us coming up tomorrow.  Short version, we need to make up some ground tomorrow if we want to repeat.

BTW, MGOBLUE.com has good info and recaps, and a link to live resutls.  Just look in the calendar for the meet, and use the links you find there.