PHOENIX, Arizona, February 26. I hope you had time to catch your breath, because college conference championships start up again tomorrow morning. The Big 12 championships will feature pretty much the University of Texas claiming all the swimming and diving events for both men and women in their home pool, especially now that longtime rival Texas A&M, as well as Missouri, have moved on to the Southeastern Conference. Texas Christian University and West Virginia are the only other schools in the Big 12 to have men's teams, so the field, especially in relays, will be small there. On the women's side, the field of teams will include West Virginia, TCU, Iowa State and Kansas, as well as Texas of course. While not as competitive, this will be Texas' tuneup to the NCAA championships.
The Big East championships will also be a combined meet, and it will be held at the IU Natatorium in Indianapolis, which is where the NCAA Division I championships will be held for men and women. Watch for Louisville to come out swinging -- yes, I made a little baseball pun there -- and Joao de Lucca will be a major force, even though he's already put up automatic NCAA qualifying times at last December's USA Swimming nationals. Notre Dame is also doing well, especially with 200 freestyler Frank Dyer and breaststroker Emma Reaney putting up times in the top 10 this season.
Also starting tomorrow is the men's Atlantic Coast Conference championships, the men's Big 10 championships. Virginia looks to dominate this week, just as the women did last week, at the ACC meet. Michigan looks good to defend their team title on their way to what could be one of their best NCAA team performances in two decades.
Of course, Swimming World will be tracking all the results for you all week on swimmingworld.com.