Despite Joseph Schooling’s Stunning Miss, Texas Has NCAA Title Locked Up

Joseph Schooling -- Photo Courtesy: Dan D'Addona

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By David Rieder.

Usually, when the two-time defending NCAA champion and the fastest man in history in an event finishes 37th, his team would be in some major trouble. But most teams are not the Texas Longhorns, currently holding a 138.5-point lead with one evening of competition to go.

Joseph Schooling lagged behind his heat in the 200 fly prelims and finished in 1:45.47. It was four seconds off his seed time and more than 7.5 off his NCAA record of 1:37.97 set on his way to a stunning come-from-behind NCAA title last season.

And yet, Texas still put five swimmers plus a top-seeded 400 free relay into championship finals and is projected to score 147 points and win the meet by more than 200. But even if Texas did not score a single point during the final day, the current 391.5 is more than any other team will reach.

Little drama for the team title, and not much else behind the Longhorns. The second-place Cal Bears went two up-two down this morning, but it could have been more for the Bears. Connor Hoppe was disqualified in the 200 breast after swimming a time that would have been good enough to make the A-final.

That makes three would-be A-final disqualifications for the Bears this week, including two by Matthew Josa. And unless something else dramatic happens in the last finals session, those DQs won’t come back to bite because of the enormity of Texas’ lead and Cal’s strong hold on second place.

Florida only has two swimmers in the finals, with Caeleb Dressel in the 100 free A-final and Jan Switkowski in the 200 fly consolation heat, leaving them out of range to catch Cal. But the Gators should still be safe for third, despite what looked to be a monster final day of scoring for NC State.

That’s because the Wolfpack took a major lump in the morning’s first event when fourth seed Hennessey Stuart did not score in the 200 back. Ryan Held will score big in the 100 free final, as will Andreas Vazaios in the 200 fly, but NC State needed everything to go right to have a chance at catching Florida.

Indiana’s diving helped the Hoosiers stave off challengers for that fifth-place spot, but with only one individual A-finalist plus a lower-seeded 400 free relay compared to NC State, moving up to fourth seems unlikely.

Check out the final set of scoring projections for the meet, courtesy of NCAA swimming statistician Price Fishback.

TeamCurrent ScoreDay 4 Psych SheetDay 4 Prelims SeedsPlus/MinusProjected Total Score
(1) Texas391.5117147+30538.5
(2) Cal2538584-1337
(3) Florida224.58877-11301.5
(4) NC State19611287-25283
(5) Indiana189.56447-17236.5
(6) USC142.55385+32227.5
(7) Stanford1602966+37226
(8) Georgia1413055+25196
(9) Missouri135.53440+6175.5
(10) Louisville102.55549-6151.5
(11) Alabama986252-10150
(12) Auburn100.52521-4121.5
(13) Arizona State685528-2796
(=14) Michigan395041-987
(=14) South Carolina602827-187

It was a strong morning for USC, Stanford and Georgia, with all three moving up at least 25 points in the psych sheet projections.

Georgia put three up in the 200 fly (Chase Kalisz, Gunnar Bentz and Pace Clark), but the Bulldogs did not score in the 400 free relay, giving Stanford and USC (both in the A-final) a big advantage.

The Cardinal and the Trojans look to be within striking distance of Indiana for fifth, but the Hoosiers will get an influx of diving points that figure to help Ray Looze’s team hold onto that spot.

The Missouri Tigers were plus-six in prelims and are on track to finish in the top ten. Michael Chadwick will contend for a top-three finish in the 100 free, and Carter Griffin also made the A-final in the 200 back, but the Tigers hopes suffered a blow when Fabien Schwingenschlogl missed the top 16 in the 200 breast.

The full list of ups and downs is below.

Ups/downs in individual events:
Texas – 5/1
Georgia – 3/2
USC – 3/2
Alabama – 2/2
Cal – 2/2
Louisville – 2/1
NC State – 2/1
Missouri – 2/0
Stanford – 1/4
Florida – 1/1
Indiana – 1/1
South Carolina – 1/1
Texas A&M – 1/1
Virginia Tech – 1/1
Arizona – 1/0
Denver – 1/0
Notre Dame – 1/0
Purdue – 1/0
Auburn – 0/3
ASU – 0/1
Cornell – 0/1
Harvard – 0/1
Michigan – 0/1
Minnesota – 0/1
Missouri State – 0/1
Penn State – 0/1
Towson – 0/1
Wisconsin – 0/1

Ups/downs for 400 free relay:
A-final: Texas, Florida, USC, Stanford, NC State, Cal, Indiana, ASU
B-final: Alabama, Auburn, Missouri, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Arizona, Minnesota

3 Comments

3 comments

  1. Tab Tyler

    he’s giving the win to Conger

  2. avatar
    JohnnyTooBad

    What is the Ups/Downs?

Author: David Rieder

avatar
David Rieder is a staff writer for Swimming World. He has contributed to the magazine and website since 2009, and he has covered the NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials as well as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

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