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ACL Kickoff Battle 2021 Information

15 min read
ACL Kickoff Battle 2021 Information

Live Streaming Schedule & Links

Click here for all the live streaming links so you don’t miss any of the action

Live Streaming Approximate Schedule

All start and end times are subject to change  except for featured court broadcastsAll times listed  are  EST.

Friday, February 5

10 am – 12:30 pm: Women’s Doubles Secondary Court

12 pm – 2 pm: Women’s Doubles Feature Court

4 pm – 6 pm: Pro Doubles Secondary Court

4 pm – 7 pm: Miscellaneous Mobile Streaming of Pro Doubles

7 pm – 8:30 pm: Pro Doubles Secondary Court

5 pm – 7 pm: Pro Doubles Feature Court

9 pm – 10 pm: ACL SuperHole II (Live on ESPN2)

Saturday, February 6

12 pm – 4 pm: Miscellaneous Mobile Streaming of Pro Singles

12 pm – 4 pm: Pro Singles Secondary Court

4 pm – 6 pm: Pro Singles Feature Court

8 pm – 10 pm:  Pro Singles and Doubles Finale (Live ESPN3 Only)

Bracket Links

Follow your favorite Pro or Double team through the brackets

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ACL Kickoff Battle 2021

PRO SINGLES BRACKET PICKS

It’s finally here, the week of the ACL Kickoff Battle 2021. Mike Morton breaks down the 4 different Singles brackets, A, B, C and D and makes his picks for each section, overall winner of the brackets as well as overall winner of the Pro Singles ACL Kickoff Battle 2021. Check it out and see if you agree or disagree with him and be sure to leave your picks in the comments here or on Facebook.

ACL Kickoff Battle 2021 Bracket A

Top Left

Hard to go against Windsor here although he didn’t exactly draw an easy win in his first match. I expect Brandon Corwin to give him a test, but Windsor is just too strong. Allison Peters is a dark horse here, one of the up-and-coming Women’s division stars would like nothing more than to make a statement and come out of this section of the bracket. But ultimately, I’m going with: Windsor.

Upper Middle Left

This portion of the bracket contains some interesting matchups. I believe it has the potential for the first big upset of the day with Pete Zazueta giving Erick Davis everything he can handle. I know Erick too well to pick him to be upset in the first round – but I really think this one will be close, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see the upset.

Also, we have Tom Gustafson who I admittedly don’t know very well, but I have a healthy respect for based on word of mouth and bracket tracking, taking on Kyle Malone. I think both players are good enough that regardless of who wins, it won’t be an upset. We also have perennial Women’s division rock star Christine Papcke in this section, and no one can afford to sleep on her. In the end I’m going with: Kyle Malone

Lower Middle Left

My first reaction to this portion of the bracket is that it is fairly evenly matched, I don’t see any name that just leaps off the sheet and says they will run away with it. Ty Lopez has been strong of late, Dave Sutton is always strong, I’ve had a chance to see Mike Ferreira throw great, and I’ve seen more than my fair share of Eric Ryder at tournaments recently and he has been lights out each time. Gun to my head and force me to pick a name… Dave Sutton.

Bottom Left

The first matchup in this ACL Kickoff Battle 2021 bracket features the “sidekick” matchup, pitting a couple guys that sometimes get hidden beneath their more well-known partners, but Phillip Haydon and Sean Short are contenders in their own right, and I expect this to be a real duel. I’m anxious to see Steven Bernacet in person, I’ve seen him throw in videos a few times and I think he is going to be one of the new pros that can make an impact this season.

Duncan Clemmer may sneak up on a few people, but not on me… first year pro, this young gun will turn some heads this year. We also have super steady Leslie McIver that doesn’t seem to get enough credit. I think I’m going to go with my first surprise pick here and go with: Steven Bernacet.

Top Right

There is enough concentrated firepower here to alarm anybody. Noah Wooten and Frank Modlin battle it out in first round, and the “survivor” of that powerhouse matchup is rewarded with James Baldwin who at least gets a bye before being tested early. No offense to the rest of the bracket, but I can’t go against the survivor of these three. I literally asked my Magic 8 Ball for help on this one because I literally think it’s a 3-way toss-up, the 8 Ball said: Noah Wooten.

Upper Middle Right

There are a few familiar names here that wouldn’t surprise me if they made a run, like Jeremy Schermerhorn or Doug Zafft, as well as a couple newer names that I’ve heard good things about. But one name stood out for me and that’s newcomer Mike Harvey. I could be accused of home territory bias, but that’s just fine, I’ll wear the label if I must – I’ve seen him too many times. Call me a homer and give me hometown boy Mike Harvey.

Lower Middle Right

Another section that I feel is kind of wide open. I think the hot hand will ultimately survive here and my leading candidates are McGwire Shepherd, Justin Lang, and Storm Hogg. Also, I don’t think you can ever rule out the Professor of Cornhole Science who could decide to give everyone a lesson in Bracket Advancement! Ultimately on more hunch than anything else, I’m going with Cali: McGwire Shepherd.

Bottom Right

Pretty strong section of the ACL Kickoff Battle 2021 bracket here with 3 names that intrigue me. I have seen Michael Lucas Jr turn in a LOT of dominant performances and shudder at the thought of picking against him. And from my own personal perspective, Chris “Tornado” Tornatola may be the most improved pro I’ve observed. And finally, there is steady, reliable Bob Vonch. Bob usually finds a way to be alive near the end because he is just so consistent. My pick: been on the wrong end of the scoreboard in too many matches with Michael Lucas Jr… I’ll take him here.

Winner Bracket Final 8: I’ll go with Windsor over Malone, Bernacet over Sutton, Wooten over Harvey, and Lucas Jr over Shepherd

Winner Bracket Final 4: Give me Windsor over Bernacet and Wooten over Lucas Jr

Winner Bracket Finals: In a classic, I see Windsor outlasting Wooten to go to the King’s Seat

Finals for Bracket A: I like Baldwin and Modlin as contenders to rebound from early losses, but ultimately, I think Noah earns a rematch with Ryan in the finals and I give the nod to Ryan Windsor to win the bracket.

ACL Kickoff Battle 2021 Bracket B

Top Left

This section of the ACL Kickoff Battle 2021 will be fun to watch. I like young gun Tucker Stills to make his presence felt as well as cagy veteran Timmy Pitcher. “Dangerous Danny” Seals also lurks here as well. It wouldn’t surprise me to see any of these three survive this section. In the end: I think Timmy Pitcher figures out a way to win.

Upper Middle Left

There is no denying the firepower in this piece of the bracket, unfortunately for the players involved, but fortunately for people wanting to watch great first round matches, there is a great one here. (Insert your own accolade here) Jamie Graham will square off the hard throwing young gun from Texas, Kaleb Batson. Grab your popcorn to watch this one, it’s going to be both close and exciting.

The bracket also has newcomer Jordan Power who I got to see sling some pretty good bags recently. But at the end of the day, this bracket will come down to the winner of Graham/Batson. My pick: In an upset that will rock the building, I’m going to take Kaleb Batson and then watch a determined Jamie Graham just ruin people’s lives as he takes no prisoners in the loser’s bracket.

Lower Middle Left

This will be a fun section to watch, as long as you aren’t playing in it. Allison Heine is one of the strongest Women’s division players and would love nothing more to make a statement with a deep run. She will have to contend with the silent assassin Isidro Herrera and none other than BOTH members of the Pro Doubles Team of the Year Jimmy McGuffin and Greg Geary, whom fate decided to throw into the same bracket. Only one will survive, and I pick: the “Machine” Isidro Herrera.

Bottom Left

Down here, we find a super competitive first round matchup in James Washington vs Josh Groce. I’m personally a big fan of both of these guys and I’m sure they will put on a show. Sarah Cassidy is also lurking here, looking to build on her incredible finish to last season with a strong start here. And veteran Emory Parker is an absolute threat to make a run. I’m going to go with: James Washington.

Top Right

While Matthew Morton is the biggest name here, there are some other players here that are extremely capable of coming out of this section. Maya “On Fiya” Cupp is the real deal and will ruin anyone’s day given half a chance. Don’t let Tyler Cobb sneak up on you – he may be a first-year pro, but he does NOT throw like a rookie. And although Eric Stowe is a bit unheralded, I’ve seen him take down huge names before and from all accounts seems to be on his game right now. And Derek Fateiger throws as good as anyone in the country.

I think this bracket has more names than most that COULD survive. Ultimately, I’m going with: Matthew Morton… I’ll take the heat for being biased, but this bracket will come down to whether Matthew shows up at the top of his game. When he is at the top of his game, he is a Top 5 player, and I feel like he is about ready to peak. 

Upper Middle Right

I think this section is Cody Henderson’s to take if he shows up with his “A” game. If he slips, Drew Brown is there waiting, although it feels like forever and a day since I’ve seen him throw. Newcomers Nate Stevens and Rudy Ai would love to make an immediate impact as well. We’ll know which Cody shows up early as he faces Brad Powers in his first match and Brad is on a mission to improve his singles performances this year. My pick: Can’t go against Cody in this one.

Lower Middle Right

Here I think we have two names with enough firepower that kind of dominate the section, Jay Corley, and Adam Hissner. I feel like it will be a toss-up between these two. Because I know Jay will use it as extra motivation… I’m going to go with Adam Hissner.

Bottom Right

Few names down here that I’m familiar with but haven’t seen play so I’m not quite sure what to expect here. In the absence of other information, I’m going to stick with the Man of the Year from two years ago, John Kitchin.

Winner Bracket Final 8: I’ll go with Batson over Pitcher, Washington over Herrera, Morton over Henderson, and Hissner over Kitchin

Winner Bracket Final 4: Give me Washington over Batson and Morton over Hissner

Winner Bracket Finals: Morton over Washington

Finals for Bracket A: I see Jamie Graham and Jay Corley as strong contenders to come back from earlier losses and contend, but I think I’m going to stick with James Washington to come out of the loser’s bracket for a shot at redemption. In the end, I see James pushing it to a second game but Matthew ultimately winning the bracket.

ACL Kickoff Battle 2021 Bracket C

Top Left

This section of the ACL Kickoff Battle 2021 bracket features 3 of the top Women’s division players in Brittany Emge, Kamryn Belvin, and Cheyenne Renner. All 3 are contenders to come out of this section. I also see Derek Singleton and the obvious contender – Bret Guy. I’m going to go with a bit of surprise pick here: Kamryn Belvin.

Upper Middle Left

I think this section is wide open as I don’t see huge gaps in talent between the players. I think it may come down to either Jamie Hudson or Timmy Jonas, and my gut says to go with: Jamie Hudson.

Lower Middle Left

Seems like I have seen a lot of Greg Collins lately and he hasn’t failed to impress. I see him as the favorite here, along with Mike Jacques. Bob Mallonee is a sleeper/not a sleeper… some people may not see him coming, but I know how capable he is, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him go on a run. My pick to come out of this section: Greg Collins.

Bottom Left

Super strong section here! Jay Rubin, Justin Stranger, and Derek King are the big-name favorites, but you can’t discount any of the 7 players here. It’s hard to pick against any of the favorites here and it’s unfortunate that they all ended up bunched together. Reluctantly forced to choose… I’ll take Justin Stranger; he seems to be peaking at the right time.

Top Right

Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to see a couple of the players in this section. Here’s what I do know. Sam Finley continually impresses me. Give me Finley here. 

Upper Middle Right

I like Kyle Hutley here as a bit of a sleeper. I don’t know what to expect of former World Singles Champion Jordan Langworthy since he took a year off… Surely someone of his caliber couldn’t drop too far, right? But will he have to shake any rust off at all? But the biggest matchup here is a couple upstarts in Logan Virgilio and Tony Smith. Tony has gotten a LOT of attention lately and this first National is the place where will get to show just how deserving he is. I say he comes ready to go. I’ll take Tony Smith.

Lower Middle Right

ALL matches involving Jay Dotson are entertaining, so this is going to be a fun section to track. I see him as a favorite here, with Jordan Kimbrell giving him a run for his money. But at the end of the day – give me Jay “Bird” Dotson to survive.

Bottom Right

This section of the ACL Kickoff Battle 2021 Bracket C is a murderer’s row… it’s a shame only one will survive in the winner’s bracket out of Burchfield, Rockwell, Dennis, Valdivia, and even Eian Cripps the 10-year-old appearing in his first National. Burchfield is easily the favorite as most people have in their top 3-4 picks to win the whole event, but he has an extremely difficult bracket to survive early on.

Rockwell and Dennis seem to always play each other in the Senior Division and now here they are squaring up in the first round of the regular tournament… brutal. What’s a prognosticator if he isn’t afraid to pick a few upsets… My pick: Daymon Dennis shaking things up by surviving the murderer’s row of Bracket C.

Winner Bracket Final 8: Hudson over Belvin, Stranger over Collins, Finley over Tony Smith with a big upset to get everyone’s attention, and Dennis over Dotson

Winner Bracket Final 4: Stranger over Hudson, Dennis over Finley

Winner Bracket Finals: Stranger over Dennis

Finals for Bracket C: Contenders to come back from early losses include Bret Guy, Jay Rubin, Derrick King, Burchfield, and Rockwell; ultimately, I’m going to say Burchfield survives the loser’s bracket to face Justin Stranger in an all teenager final. My pick: Justin Stranger makes his presence known and survives with a signature win at this ACL Kickoff Battle 2021.

ACL Kickoff Battle 2021 Bracket D

Top Left

Most people will be tracking this section of the ACL Kickoff Battle 2021 bracket more than any other. Matt Guy gets a test in his first match, going up against Haseeb Habiban, someone who will not simply roll over for the overwhelming tournament favorite. Besides Habiban, I think Guy’s biggest test could be Devon Harbaugh who has elevated himself to Top 20 status but hasn’t gotten his “signature” win yet. I don’t expect him to go down without a fight. In the end: Simply can’t pick against Matt Guy.

Upper Middle Left

This portion of the bracket is loaded with names that all have the potential to go on a deep run and make a name for themselves – but unfortunately only one will get a chance to do so through the winner’s bracket. Of these, I give Sorrells, Schultz and Poythress the best shot. My pick for moving on: Sorrells.

Lower Middle Left

One of my favorite sections of any bracket. I kind of wish they would stop the tournament and play this bracket out so we could all watch these matches. I like Camba, Youmans, Pressley, Dinges, and although I haven’t seen him lately, Speas. With facts being facts and only one name allowed to move on, I’ll take (in a bit of an upset): Pressley.

Bottom Left

Some more contenders all buried in the same section of the bracket – Scott Lane, AJ Sims, Dusty Thompson, and Matt Stout all have a very real chance of moving on. I’m going to pick: AJ Sims, to start the season how he left off last season… throwing fire.

Top Right

One of the more interesting sections of the ACL Kickoff Battle 2021 bracket for me. You’ve got partners Adrian Johnson and DJ Powell, the enigma Ryan Smith, Tyler Parent and Anthony Kissell here. While acknowledging the obvious, and that is that any of those players could get hot and move on through this bracket, here’s what I think: Even though I haven’t seen Ryan Smith in what feels like an eternity, he’s still a GOAT. He’s my pick here although I’m flying blind.

Upper Middle Right

Another very interesting section with players that may not be tournament favorites but all very capable and very eager (I’m sure) to make a name for themselves. New Pro Tom Walter vs Eddie Grinderslev in the first round will be a great match… and you can never rule out Lester Price. Jackie Sayasone facing off against Seto Soto who has recently catapulted his game to new heights will also be a good one to watch. In the end there can only be one… I’ll take: Eddie Grinderslev.

Lower Middle Right

I see three names separating themselves from the pack here: David Morse, Chuckie Love, and Hunter Thorne. No disrespect to the first two, but Hunter Thorne recently made a believer out of me… I’ll take Thorne.

Bottom Right

I see two names here that I like a lot. Eric Anderson is a Top 10 player from last year and can be absolutely dominant when he is “on”, and that has been more often than not lately. But I also like Brandon Jones an awful lot, I think he is going to surprise a lot of people this year. When it comes down to it though, I’ll take: Anderson.

Winner Bracket Final 8: Matt Guy over Sorrells, Sims over Pressley, Grinderslev over Ryan Smith, and Anderson over Thorne

Winner Bracket Final 4: Upset alert… Sims over Guy and Anderson over Thorne

Winner Bracket Finals: Sims over Anderson

Finals for Bracket D: Contenders to come back through the loser’s bracket from early losses are Camba, Youmans, and Smith… but I’ll take Matt Guy to rebound from a loss in the Final 4 and make it back to the finals for a redemption match with AJ Sims. Not to be denied, I’ll take Matt Guy in double dip fashion – and I’ll even call my shot, despite AJ’s best efforts, Guy doesn’t let him get to double digits either game.

Championships

Windsor over Morton

Guy over Stranger

ACL Kickoff Battle 2021 Finals

Championship Match: Guy over Windsor

Third/Fourth Place: Morton over Stranger 

Do you agree or disagree with Mike’s picks for the ACL Kickoff Battle 2021? What are your picks for the ACL Kickoff Battle 2021?