DURHAM, N.C. -- The 2012 NCAA Div. I Men's Tennis Championship gets underway this weekend with the 23rd-ranked LSU men's tennis team set to take on No. 43 Northwestern, Saturday at 8 a.m. CT at Duke University's Ambler Tennis Stadium in Durham, N.C.
The winner of the contest will face either George Washington or eighth-ranked Duke on Sunday, May 13 at 2 p.m. to compete for a trip to the NCAA Team Championships May 18-22 in Athens, Ga.
"It is good to have the team focused on tennis with finals and travel behind us," head coach Jeff Brown said. "You can feel the excitement building, and the team seems very dialed in."
LSU is led by No. 35 Oliver Borsos and No. 55 Neal Skupski, both of whom have also been chosen for the NCAA Singles Championship field.
The Hungarian product, Borsos, looks to add on to his five-match win streak on the top court this weekend. He is currently 12-10 and has defeated seven ranked opponents this season.
Skupski, a native of Liverpool, England, has produced a 14-8 record this season. Skupski hopes to close the door on his collegiate career in a successful fashion. Overall, he has racked up 74 individual wins.
A recent nominee to the All-SEC Freshman team, No. 100 Chris Simpson will also play a key role in Saturday's match. Posting a 13-8 mark this season, including two ranked wins over Georgia's Sadio Doumbia and Ole Miss' Jonas Lutjen, Simpson will need to play at an elite level for the Tigers to advance.
The Northwestern Wildcats are headed back to postseason play for the first time since 2009. With a pair of five-match winning streaks and seven wins in the Big Ten under their belt, this marks Northwestern best men's tennis team since 2001.
The Tigers hold a 28-27 all-time record in the NCAA Tournament. This appearance will mark the 27th time that LSU has made the tournament.
In Brown's 15 years as head coach, the Tigers have only missed out on the tournament one time. LSU reached the semifinals back-to-back in 1998 and 1999 in his first two years.
This will be the first time LSU and Northwestern have squared off this season and the eighth time overall. The two teams last met in 1974. Each program has four wins to credit to its all-time series.
All NCAA Championship matches this weekend will feature live video streaming on GoDuke.com. Streaming will begin five minutes before the start of each match and last through the conclusion of the contest. Updates on start times will be provided via the official Duke Men's Tennis Twitter handle (@Duke_MTEN).
For up-to-date information and behind the scenes access to the Tigers, fans can follow the LSU men's team on Twitter @lsutennis and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lsutennis.