One year after nearly making match play at the NCAA Championship, UCF is sneaking up on no team.
The Knights are the sixth-ranked team in the country, and they’re coming off their third victory of the season, a six-shot win Sunday at FAU's home event.
Individually, Ricardo Gouveia went wire-to-wire to capture his third career title, while teammate Greg Eason – No. 12 in Golfstat’s rankings – finished solo second. It was his seventh top 10 in eight starts.
But how good is this team?
During UCF’s season-opening victory at the Northern Intercollegiate, it knocked off Virginia, Houston and Liberty, among others. In the Knights’ other two wins, they haven’t beaten a top-50 team.
Head-to-head against other teams, UCF is 94-11 overall. The only teams with a better winning percentage this season are Alabama (97-5), Oklahoma State (112-7) and Cal (110-12).
But the Knights are only 13-7 against top-25 teams. Of the top 25 teams in the country, only South Carolina (12 top-25 opponents), Virginia Tech (12) and Houston (18) have played fewer elite teams than UCF. By comparison, Alabama and Oklahoma State, the top two teams in the country, and 40-4-1 and 44-6-1, respectively.
The Knights, of course, can only play the teams that are on their schedule, which is what makes this week’s Augusta Invitational so intriguing. They are the top-ranked team in the field, but they’ll have to square off against fellow sleeper Houston, 2013 NCAA finalist Illinois, one-win Virginia and talented (but underperforming) Texas.
Eleven teams in this weekend’s field are ranked inside the top 50, the Knights’ most daunting challenge since the Isleworth Collegiate. They weren’t overwhelming at that tournament – they finished second, behind only No. 1-ranked Alabama.