March Madness on the Mats

The brackets are out for the NCAA wrestling tournament that start next week. They can be found here.

It's mostly good news for Penn State with the exception of 133 (to be expected) and 197.

The most surprising bracket comes at 174, everyone was expecting a seeding of 1. Amuchasteagi 2. Ruth 3. Perry. Which would set up a for a showdown between Ruth and Perry before the rematch with Amuch. But the official seeding is 1. Ruth 2. Perry 3. Amuch. That leaves Ruth a much easier road to the finals and he'll only have to face one of Amuch and Perry. Many fans probably hoping for the rematch with Amuch plus it will knock an Oklahoma State wrestler out of the finals.

Other weight breakdowns.

125: Nico is sitting in a pretty good spot, he avoids all the big names at this weight. If everything goes to chalk which I suspect it won't he'll have either Mele or Mango from Stanford in the consis for a shot at All American honors. Both of those are very winnable matches.

133: Frank got a pretty rough draw, landing top seed Jordan Oliver in the 1st round. He'll have a shot at a win or two in the consis.

149: Molinaro gets an interesting 1st round match with Villonga, and then gets Grajales in the qtrs. Should be a fairly clean draw to the finals though.

157: This bracket is a little odd it's an all Big Ten lower bracket with St. John grabbing the 2 seed, Welch grabbing the 3 seed, and Alton getting the 7. Alton draws St. John in the qtrs, he took him to overtime this past weekend so that match is certainly winnable if he finishes his shots. A loss there sets him up with a possible match against Frank Hickman from Bloomsburg (Alton beat him 14 - 12 earlier in the year) or Justin Lister, that's a very winnable match which will get him to All American honors.

165: Taylor top seed as expected he could hit Kokesh in the qtrs, who he teched in the dual meet. After that he's looking at likely Evans again or Bezkod from Clarion. Bezkod would be interesting since he's now coached by Dernlan and Letters who should know Taylor very well.

174: As mentioned great seeding for Ruth. He's probably looking at Storley or Lofthouse in the semis.

184: Interesting here that Wright got the 6 seed and Ihnen who placed higher got the 7. Wright has a pretty good road, he'll hit Bennett in the qtrs which is probably the most favorable high seed for him. He should be able to make All American. Another interesting note the highest Big Ten wrestler at this weight is 5th.

197: That brings us to McIntosh who got the absolute worst draw of any Penn State wrestler, and honestly I don't see him reaching All American honors, in fact worse yet this could be a very low scoring weight for Penn State. He has a very winnable match in the 1st round. In the 2nd round he draws top seed Cam Simaz of Cornell. A loss there drops him into a colossal mess. His 1st wrestle back could be against Camp again which has proven to be close the past two times they've wrestled. That's followed by a likely match against Powless/ Hernadez (Wyoming) a win there and he's look at a match against Sonny Yohn or Big Ten champ Mario Gonzalez, which he would need to win for All American honors. Honestly I think he's capable of beating anyone on that list outside of Simaz and Gonzalez but that is a very tough row to hoe.

Hwt: Wade got a decent draw he got the 6th seed which honestly is a bit generous. He'll get Tucker Lane in the 2nd round who he beat 8 2 in the dual meet. After that he gets 3rd seed Clayton Jack like Wright I think this is best possible high seed for Wade. He lost to Jack in the Southern Scuffle 4 3 but that match is certainly winnable. Even with a loss there he's looking at a very favorable match to get to All American honors.

Overall I really like Penn State's placements. They're looking at a pretty good shot a 7 All Americans, granted they have to get it done on the mat. The other thing I like is unlike the Big Ten Penn State has a lot of chances to wrestle above seed in this tournament. Where as I felt most of their seeds were their ceiling in the Big Ten tournament. I haven't had a chance to break down much of the other teams. Iowa's spots look pretty good as well, although I see a few weights with some potential stumbling blocks.

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