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Beverly Oden

NCAA Men: Top Two Teams To Face Off Friday

By February 27, 2013

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No. 1 UCI may sit atop the national rankings and they may have owned that position for seven of the nine weeks that the poll has been taken. But BYU is currently No. 1 in the MPSF with a slightly higher winning percentage than the Anteaters. This Friday the No. 1 and No. 2 teams will face off at the Bren Center in the match of the week.

David Kniffin's UCI team is on a ten-match win streak that they are hoping to extend to 12 this week with wins over the Cougars and the upstart No. 12 Cal Baptist team that beat them in five sets back in January. If you missed last week's articles on Kniffin, check out the Q & A I did with him along with his thoughts on defending the national title this year.

BYU is coming off of a great five set match with No. 4 Stanford in Provo last week. Both teams played very well, but the Cougars converted on points when it counted at the end of the fifth. They squeaked away with a 15-13 win in that last set, breaking Stanford's streak of six straight victories in this match up.

The winner of the match will take the top spot in next week's poll and most likely the MPSF standings as well. This should be a great match, so don't miss it. Also worth a look are a couple of Saturday match ups: No. 5 Pepperdine at No. 4 Stanford and No. 10 Lewis at No. 7 Ohio State.

As we reach the mid-season mark, the top teams are beginning to solidify their places at the top of the poll. The rankings remained much the same this week, though there were small moves here and there. The biggest change was that USC fell four spots to No. 13 after losing to both UCLA in three and to Santa Barbara in four. The Trojans will head up north to try to turn things around against Stanford and Pacific this weekend. Here are the rest of this week's matches to watch.

Matches to Watch:

Wednesday, February 27th
No. 12 Cal Baptist @ No. 1 UCI
UCSB @ No. 6 UCLA

Friday, March 1st
No. 2 BYU @ No. 1 UCI
UCSB @ No. 3 Long Beach State
No. 5 Pepperdine @ No. 15 Pacific
No. 8 CSUN @ No. 11 Hawaii
UCSD @ No. 12 Cal Baptist

Saturday, March 2nd
No. 2 BYU @ UCSD
No. 5 Pepperdine @ No. 4 Stanford
No. 10 Lewis @ No. 7 Ohio State
No. 13 USC @ No. 15 Pacific

Sunday March 3rd
No. 13 USC @ No. 4 Stanford
No. 8 CSUN @ No. 11 Hawaii

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