While Texas is practically guaranteed to win heading into the final night of the 2015 NCAA Championships, their lead will be further asserted by 7th seed Mark Anderson in tonight’s platform event. There are still some tight battles within the top 10, and a few teams will fight to move up within the top 15. After looking at the post-prelims scoring projections, diving can have a big impact on some of the top teams tonight.
Purdue put on an impressive show this morning in platform diving, qualifying 3 divers for the championships final. They’re projected to score 47 points, led by top seed and Thursday night’s 1-meter champion Steele Johnson, as well as his teammates Sean Mokhtari and Jamie Bissett.
Auburn’s Fraser Mckean landed a spot in the championship final again. This has a major impact on the team scoring, as NC State, Alabama, and Auburn are projected to be 8th-10th respectively, separated by just 17.5 points. If the swimmers hold their own, and Mckean is on his A game in finals, Auburn could push there way up to 8th place overall.
Kristian Ipsen will be a key player for Stanford tonight. Stanford and Georgia look to be separated by just 1 point after tonight’s finals. If the Stanford swimmers hold their own, and Ipsen scores his projected 6 points or higher, the Cardinal will beat out UGA for 6th place.
After an impressive day 3 prelims, USC is in position to pass Florida for 4th place overall. Collin Pollard will look to help his team move up tonight, but he’ll be up against Florida’s Zach Hernandez in the consolation final. How these two divers place might factor into where the Gators and the Trojans land in the top 5.
For the 11th-15th place teams, diving points will be extremely valuable. 11th-15th are projected as follows: Missouri 133, Indiana 110, Arizona 109.5, Louisville 107, and Tennessee 95. Among the major players for these teams will be James Connor of Indiana, Rafa Quintero of Arizona, and Mauricio Robles of Tennessee.
2nd-seed Connor and 3rd-seed Quintero could be the determining factor between Indiana and Arizona for 12th and 13th. With both set to pick up big points, it is possible for both teams to pass Missouri. The tigers sit in 11th place in the scoring projections, but won’t pick up any extra diving points tonight. Depending on how the swimming shakes out, that may bump the Hoosiers and the Wildcats above them.
Consolation Finalist Robles picked up the 9th-seed this morning, and may be able to set Tennessee to take 14th over Louisville, as the Cardinals also have no divers in tonight’s final.
While the swimmers fight to improve on their projected scores, diving will clearly be a major factor in the final NCAA results. The top 16 divers may end up being the difference-makers tonight for a lot of these teams.
The championship finalists are: Johnson, Connor, Quintero, Barnard, Mokhtari, Bissett, Anderson, and Mckean.
The consolation finalists are: Robles, Pollard, Ipsen, Gismervik, Boschult, Zoe, Miller, and Hernandez.
Projected Platform Diving Scores: