NCAA Wrestling Brackets Released

Galen/BSD

The 2014 NCAA Wrestling Championship brackets have been released. Let's review.

For the second year in a row, Penn State rolls into NCAAs with the full compliment of 10 wrestlers. Eight Penn Staters are seeded. Let's take a quick look at each weight. The full printable brackets can be found here.

125 LBS

Seed Wrestler
1 Delgado (ILL)
2 Garrett (CORN)
3 Nico (PSU)
4 Martinez (AFA)
5 Peters (UNI)
6 Patterson (OU)
7 Taylor (WIS)
8 Clark (IOWA)
9 Cox (WYO)
10 Terao (AU)
11 Deutsch (Rider)
12 Lambert (NEB)
13 Silver (STAN)
14 Klimara (Okie St)
15 Zanetta (Pitt)
16 Dance (VaTech)

Nico gets the 3-seed, and PSU will count on him to do some damage. He has a matchup with Lehigh's true frosh Darian Cruz in the first round, and has a tech fall victory over Cruz on the books from our December dual. Nico will face the winner of Okie State's Klimara and App State's Dom Parisi in round 2. Oklahoma's 5th year senior Jarrod Patterson likely awaits in the quarters. True frosh Nico pulled the upset over Patterson two years ago in the 2nd round.

Other Items of Interest

Iowa's Cory Clark is seeded 8th, and if all goes well, he'd get a Big Ten semi-final rematch with the elusive 1-seed Jesse Delgado (who took that one 4-3). Cornell's Nahshon Garrett squares the 2-seed, but he'll have a tough road. Pitt's former All-American is his likely 2nd round matchup, and David Terao (whom Garrett beat in the EIWA finals 2-1) or Wisconsin's frosh Ryan Taylor is Garrett's probable quarterfinal matchup.

Round 1 Upset Special

Unseeded Nathan Kraisser (UNC) vs. 4-seed Josh Martinez (Air Force)

133 LBS

Seed Wrestler
1 Colon (UNI)
2 Schopp (EDIN)
3 Ramos (IOWA)
4 Morrison (Okie St)
5 Graff (WIS)
6 Beckman (LEH)
7 Quiroga (PUR)
8 Thorn (MINN)
9 DiJulius (OSU)
10 Soto (CHATT)
11 Mango (STAN)
12 Roth (CMU)
13 Brewer (OU)
14 Richards (ILL)
15 Grey (CORN)
16 McGuire (KSU)

Intermat's #14 wrestler at 133 lbs, our guy Jimmy Gulibon, went seedless. Worse, Jimmy's opener is against 4-seed, and former #1 ranked Jon Morrison, against whom Jimmy's already dropped a pair of decisions this year. In other words, it's not the best scenario.

The consolations might give Jimmy a chance to build some momentum. He'll likely face Vince Pizzutto (Eastern Michigan), and then Illinois' Zane Richards. Those are both winnable matches. Ryan Mango, who Jimmy knocked off at the Southern Scuffle, would be a possible 3rd round consolation match. Pull that out, and Jimmy's only 1 more win short of All-American status.

Other Items of Interest

What a stupidly deep weight class. 133 is a monstrous mix of well established senior beasts, like Ramos and Graff, as well as talented youngsters, like DiJulius, Beckman, and Grey. Prepare for your predictions to get ruined often.

Round 1 Upset Special

Having said all of that above, I don't see any upsets in the opening round. But if I have to pick one, I wouldn't be shocked if the Shelton Mack / Devon Lotito pigtail winner gave 3-seed Tony Ramos a little trouble early.

141 LBS

Seed Wrestler
1 Port (EDIN)
2 Stieber (OSU)
3 Zpain (PSU)
4 Carter (VaTech)
5 Mecate (ODU)
6 Dardanes (MINN)
7 Horan (CMU)
8 Vaith (HOF)
9 Henderson (UNC)
10 Preston (HAR)
11 Lazor (UNI)
12 Durso (F&M)
13 Dutton (MICH)
14 Bright (PITT)
15 Collica (Okie St)
16 Spisak (UVA)

So we spent a couple of days convincing each other that the seeding committee would use Devin Carter's return to action as an excuse to separate conference foes Zpain and Logie-bear from the 2/3 seeds. No such luck. But the seeding committee did do us one favor: they reminded us that we should all take these things one match at a time.

That first match for Zpain happens to be none other than Citadel's Ugi, last year's 4th place finisher here at 141 lbs. Yup - the dude who was one match away from the national final last year is un-seeded this season despite his 22-3 record, and is matched up with our guy Zpain in the first round. Un-be-lievable.

Other Items of Interest

One of the trade-offs of going to 16 seeds this year, instead of the traditional 12 seeds, was that the NCAA got rid of "conference protection" in the first round. That is, two conference foes could face each other in the opening round. And Iowa's Josh Dziewa gets paired with Michigan's 13-seed Steve Dutton, against whom Jeva's dropped both bouts. Okie State's Collica is seeded 15th, and figures to draw Logan Stieber in the 2nd round. Hello, consolations.

Round 1 Upset Special

Take your pick, as there are a ton. Laike Gardner could knock out 16-seed Joe Spisak in a battle of PIAAs. West Virginia's Colin Johnston might have something for 9-seed Evan Henderson. Rodrigues and 8-seed Luke Vaith looks intriguing, as does unseeded 2x AA Mike Nevinger against 7-seed Zach Horan, or Oregon State's Joey Delgado vs. 5-seed Chris Mecate. And, lest I be the only guy on the interwebs not listing it: watch out for Ugi vs. our favorite, 3-seed Zpain.

So....wow.

149 LBS

Seed Wrestler
1 Houdashelt (MIZZ)
2 Dardanes (MINN)
3 Villalonga (CORN)
4 Maple (OU)
5 Tsirtsis (jNW)
6 Sueflohn (NEB)
7 Sako (UVA)
8 Habat (EDIN)
9 Grajales (MICH)
10 Neibert (VaTech)
11 Kindig (Okie St)
12 Cottrell (App St)
13 Grothus (IOWA)
14 Sakaguchi (ORST)
15 Minotti (LEH)
16 Richardson (ODU)

Jim English, you've earned your chance. It's yours to take. Jim starts without a seed, and got paired with App State's Dylan Cottrell in the first round. Cottrell is a reshirt freshman with an extremely shiny 26-1 record. His only loss was to Big Ten Champ Jason Tsirtsis, by tech fall. Cottrell's best win was probably a 7-6 decision over unseeded true frosh Mikey Racciato from Pitt - who, coincidentally, pinned Jim at the BJC in December (Jim was leading at the time, and going for another takedown, as I recall). In any event, Cottrell looks like a winnable first match for Jim.

After that, though, things get more difficult. But that's to be expected. Big Ten Champ Tsirtsis (or Bryce Busler) waits in round 2.

Other Items of Interest

Iowa's Brody Grothus had a great Wednesday, securing an at-large bid as well as the 13-seed. But as with every bracket, the 13-seed should expect to face the 4-seed in round 2...and that would be last year's 141-lb champ Kendric Maple. Okie State's Kindig is seeded 11th, but he has the talent and the bracket setup to do some damage.

Round 1 Upset Special

Watch out, 3-seed Chris Villalonga. Pitt's frosh Mikey Racciato can pull some stuff out of you know where, and Villaglonga tends to wrestle...how shall we put this....close matches.

157 LBS

Seed Wrestler
1 Green (NEB)
2 St.John (IOWA)
3 Dieringer (Okie St)
4 Miller (KSU)
5 Jordan (WIS)
6 Taffur (BU)
7 Realbuto (CORN)
8 Pena (ORST)
9 Ness (MINN)
10 Butler (UVA)
11 Walsh (IND)
12 Smith (CMU)
13 Alton (PSU)
14 LaVallee (MIZZ)
15 Pack (SDSU)
16 Brunson (ILL)

So what happens when you go just 2-4 in your last six matches, and finish 8th at Big Tens just 4 weeks after you were ranked top 5 in the nation? Well, you get the 13-seed, and a first round matchup with one of two dangerous dudes who are wrestling a pigtail - Michigan's Brian Murphy (who just beat you) or Oklahoma's Justin DeAngelis. We'll know how Dylan's third NCAA tournament goes after the first 7 minutes of mat time. Fingers crossed it's a healthy one.

Other Items of Interest

Hawkeyes are pleased because DSJ wouldn't have to see James Green until the final. Gopher fans are less pleased, as Dylan Ness's 9-seed gives him a 2nd round match with Oregon State's Roger Pena, who tech falled Ness earlier this year. Okie State's Dieringer should have a smoother path than that from the 3-seed.

Round 1 Upset Special

Some of these just jump off the page. I like Clarion's true frosh Austin Matthews against Boston senior and 6-seed Nestor Taffur.

165 LBS

Seed Wrestler
1 Taylor (PSU)
2 Caldwell (Okie St)
3 Sulzer (UVA)
4 Monk (NDSU)
5 Moore (IOWA)
6 Mock (CHATT)
7 Harger (jNW)
8 Moreno (ISU)
9 Booth (HOF)
10 Moore (UNI)
11 Luvsandorj (CIT)
12 Morse (ILL)
13 Yates (MICH)
14 Palacio (CORN)
15 Zilverberg (MINN)
16 Wilson (STAN)

One of the hidden benefits of having David Taylor on your school's squad is that you don't have to look at the bracket. You don't have to wonder about potential matchups or pitfalls. As a blogger, you can pretty much write whatever you feel like in the space where you might otherwise have to focus on such things. Just thought I'd let you in on that small bit of blogging pleasure.

Other Items of Interest

So Iowa's Nick Moore gets ridiculously deep on 2 or 3 high crotches against NDSU's Steve Monk in the Midlands final. Monk's only lifeline out of the first period was a rock solid crotch lock. Then Monk took bottom and escaped. And then Monk rode Moore like a pony. Match over. And that one result, more than likely, is the difference between Nick Moore, 5-seed with a potential quarters rematch with Monk and semi-final against David Taylor (the two guys who own all 3 of Moore's losses this year); versus Nick Moore, 2-seed, with a clear path to the semis against Tyler Caldwell, whom Moore already beat.

And some coaches claim the regular season doesn't matter.

Round 1 Upset Special

Assuming Ramon Santiago can clear his pigtail, he might pull one off against 8-seed Mike Moreno, last year's 4th place finisher. But sticking with our top 5 seed or better theme, watch out for Penn's Casey Kent against the aforementioned 4-seed, Steve Monk.

174 LBS

Seed Wrestler
1 Perry (Okie St)
2 Howe (OU)
3 Kokesh (NEB)
4 Evans (IOWA)
5 Brown (PSU)
6 Storley (MINN)
7 Wilps (PITT)
8 Walters (OHIO)
9 Riddick (LEH)
10 Ottinger (CMU)
11 Doty (UVA)
12 Weatherman (ISU)
13 Zilmer (NDSU)
14 Martin (OSU)
15 Curling (ODU)
16 Miller (NAVY)

Hulk Hands squared the 5-seed, and that's just about right given his 3rd place finish at Big Tens, and the Perry-Howe-Kokesh triumvirate. The best part is that Hulk Hands won't have to wait long to get a measure of revenge - Iowa's Mike Evans awaits in the quarters from his 4-seed.

Other Items of Interest

Yes, I'm too disgusted to write anything much about Okie State's Chris Perry. Minnesota could explode up the team race rankings, or, as has been their case this year, completely flame out by the quarters, where 6-seed Storley gets a rematch with 3-seed Bob Kokesh.

Round 1 Upset Special

I'm not trying to pick on the Hawkeyes, here. Really. But 4-seed Mike Evans better show up impressed by his round 1 opponent, CSU-Bakersfield's Bryce Hammond.

184 LBS

Seed Wrestler
1 Sheptock (MD)
2 Ruth (PSU)
3 Dean (CORN)
4 Thomusseit (PITT)
5 Lofthouse (IOWA)
6 Swartz (BSU)
7 Steinhaus (MINN)
8 Dudley (NEB)
9 Abounader (MICH)
10 Courts (OSU)
11 Thomas (PENN)
12 Bernstein (BROWN)
13 Dechow (ODU)
14 Rizqallah (MSU)
15 Loder (UNI)
16 Vetterlein (VaTech)

If anyone in this field has earned the right to complain about a tough draw, it must be Ed Ruth. First, the odds-on favorite got the 2-seed, thanks to fellow PA native Jimmy Sheptock. Fine. Whatever. But watch what happens next. Ruth's opener is against top 20 conference foe Jackson Hein. Then Ed (probably) gets a 2nd round match with All-American and top 5-ish Ryan Loder, who somehow only squared the 15-seed. Win that, and Ed's likely quarterfinal match is against All-American 7-seed, Kevin Steinhaus. Earn a win, and advance to the semifinals to face, probably, Gabe Dean, the only dude to beat Ed in the last 3 years and counting. Luckily, he is Ed mutha f'ing Ruth, which helps out a ton.

Other Items of Interest

Hawkeyes are downright giddy for Ethen Lofthouse, since, as the 5-seed, there's no one on the top half of the bracket that scares them all that much. On the plus side of things, Minny's Steinhaus lines up against Okie State's at-large Nolan Boyd in the first round - so someone from the team race is headed to the consolations early (hint: they wear orange).

Round 1 Upset Special

Not to make Hawk fans any more pleased than they already are, but: keep an eye on Rider's Clint Morrison against 4-seed Max Thomusseit from Pitt.

197 LBS

Seed Wrestler
1 Heflin (OSU)
2 Cox (MIZZ)
3 McIntosh (PSU)
4 Schiller (MINN)
5 Gadson (ISU)
6 Perry (BLOM)
7 Rutt (OU)
8 Wellington (OHIO)
9 Boley (MD)
10 Bennett (CORN)
11 Burak (IOWA)
12 Meeks (ORST)
13 Mitchell (AU)
14 Penny (VaTech)
15 Atwood (PUR)
16 Polizzi (jNW)

Morgan gets a friendly face for his opener from the 3-seed, Lehigh's John Bolich, who Morg majored 10-2 at the December dual. After that, things get tricky, as they always do. Pitt's Bonaccorsi - an overtime win for Morg - lurks as a potential round 2 match. But Morg's earned his 3-seed, and PSU will be counting on him to earn big points.

Other Items of Interest

Iowa's Burak gets seeded 11th, and has a winnable match to start, though his struggles at takedowns may limit his progress in the championship bracket. Okie State's returning All-American here, Blake Rosholt, actually landed an at-large. I didn't think he'd make it. Unfortunately for him, that at-large gives him a pigtail against Illinois' Mario Gonzalez, and then, if he wins that one, an opening round match with Mizzou's stud J'Den Cox. In a similar twist of fate, Minny's Scott Schiller probably makes the quarters, and definitely could miss the semi-finals, since Iowa State's Kyven Gadson would likely be waiting there. Those darn quarterfinals have been awful for the Goofers.

Round 1 Upset Special

Nothing too appealing here from the top 5. So how about Brandon Palik over 7-seed Travis Rutt? Stranger things have happened.

285 LBS

Seed Wrestler
1 Nelson (MINN)
2 Gwiazdowski (NCST)
3 Chalfant (IND)
4 Coon (MICH)
5 Telford (IOWA)
6 McMullan (jNW)
7 McClure (MSU)
8 Felix (BSU)
9 Medbery (WIS)
10 Johnson (OHIO)
11 Marsden (Okie St)
12 Myers (MD)
13 James (EDIN)
14 Gingrich (PSU)
15 Fager (UVU)
16 Dhesi (ORST)

Jon Gingrich took advantage of his post season opportunity, placing 6th at the loaded Big Tens, including an upset of (then 1-seed, now 4-seed) Adam Coon. He has his work cut out for him to make the podium in this field, but it's do-able. And lest we all forget - Big Jon first captured our attention with a beautiful double leg takedown of (now 3-seed) Adam Chalfant, during a Penn State 51-0 shutout of Indiana last year. Anything can happen in a one-move match.

Other Items of Interest

Iowa's Telford lands at the 5-seed - right about where you'd expect. If all seeds hold - and, they won't, but play along for a minute - Telford will need to avenge a couple of Big Ten losses to make the semifinals (4-seed Coon) and final (1-seed Nelson). Bad news here is that Minny's Nelson or Iowa's Telford is probably a favorite to make the final from the top half. Good news here is that Okie State's Marsden runs into Mike McMullan in the 2nd round.

Round 1 Upset Special

The way 4-seed Adam Coon has been wrestling, he could bounce in the first round against OU's Larson.

Stick around Black Shoe Diaries. We'll be running something wrestling related every day up to the NCAAs. Previews. Fond memories. More previews. Hidden gems. Matches to watch. More previews.....

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