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Wrestling: Wild Card Chances

Let's take a look at each of the cases for Penn State wrestlers who need a wild card.

Kade Moss is one of three Lions looking for a wild card berth to Nationals.
Kade Moss is one of three Lions looking for a wild card berth to Nationals.

Penn State put seven of its 10 wrestlers into the NCAA Wrestling Championship by automatic qualifying bid exiting the Big Ten tournament on Sunday.  The three who didn't place high enough to earn an auto bid were Kade Moss (141), Luke Frey (157), and Garett Hammond (165).  Later this week the NCAA seeding committee will release their list of wild card berths.  Let's take a quick look at each of our three Lions to see how they shake out in the hopes for a wild card.

157 LBS

The seeding committee assigned 27 (out of 33 bids) to conference qualifying tournaments at 157lbs.  That leaves six wild cards available to be assigned this week.  Now that all conference qualifying tournaments have concluded, we know exactly which 27 wrestlers earned each of those bids - and which wrestlers joined Luke Frey in the pool of hopefuls, waiting for a wild card life line.  Below is a table of the wild card candidates.

Rank RPI Wrestler School Conf Qualified Needs WC
15 5 Kelly Iowa Big Ten No 1
16 15 Collica Oklahoma State Big 12 No 2
18 12 Staudenmayer Brown EIWA No 3
20 9 DeAngelis Oklahoma Big 12 No 4
25 21 Jensen Northern Iowa MAC No 5
27 13 Kerr-Brown Duke ACC No 6
31 27 Zeerip Eastern Michigan MAC No 7
NR 19 Hvolbeck Stanford Pac 12 No 8
NR 28 Colgan Wyoming West Regional No 9
NR 30 Warner ODU MAC No 10
33 NR LeCount Central Michigan MAC No 11
NR NR Frey Penn State Big Ten No 12

When Luke lost the 9th place match to Iowa's Mike Kelly, it effectively doomed his chances (and saved Kelly's).  Because Luke didn't start wrestling at 157lbs until February, he didn't accumulate enough matches at the weight to earn an RPI.  And, of course, Luke wasn't ranked by the coaches - Dylan Alton was, because Luke didn't earn the spot in the lineup until the week preceding Big Tens.  Without an RPI or Coaches' Rank, and having placed 10th, behind Iowa's Kelly, Luke falls to the bottom of the pack hoping for a wild card.  With only six spots available, it appears the life lines run out.

141 LBS

Rank RPI Wrestler School Conf Qualified WC Order
13 11 Preston Harvard EIWA No 1
16 18 Morales West Virginia Big 12 No 2
17 19 Heil Oklahoma State Big 12 No 3
20 25 Rodriguez Iowa State Big 12 No 4
22 22 Fisher Michigan Big Ten No 5
11 13 Rodrigues Illinois Big Ten No 6
21 NR Locsin Stanford Pac 12 No 7
30 23 Small Kent State MAC No 8
31 31 Zeisloft Rider EWL No 9
33 28 Reynolds Oregon State Pac 12 No 10
25 NR Moss Penn State Big Ten No 11
27 20 Brown Maryland Big Ten No 12
NR 32 Canfora Pennsylvania EIWA No 13
33 NR Schilling Cal Poly Pac 12 No 14

There are 8 wild card spots available at 141lbs.  So, that's good news.  Harvard's Todd Preston, who appears to be first in line, injury default from the EIWA tournament.  If he can't go, you can move everyone in the table up one rung - more good news.  One last bit of hope for Kade - there's not much difference between #7 in the list, and Kade, whom we've ordered as #11. And don't be spooked by Maryland's Shyheim Brown appearing immediately behind Kade - Brown didn't make it as far as Kade at Big Tens, and thus can only be selected after Moss (as we understand things - which is why Michigan's Fisher, who beat Illinois' Rodriguez, leads the Big Ten contingent).

The bad news - Kade lost to Zeisloft, currently sitting at #9 in this list.  It's going to be a tough climb into that top 8.

165 LBS

Rank RPI Wrestler School Conf Qualified Needs WC
1 1 Dieringer Oklahoma State Big 12 No 1
2 2 Moreno Iowa State Big 12 No 2
11 10 Moore Iowa Big Ten No 3
19 15 Hammond Penn State Big Ten No 4
18 21 Fierro CSU Bakersfield Pac 12 No 5
20 18 Wanzek Minnesota Big Ten No 6
21 20 Rohskopf North Carolina State ACC No 7
22 29 Friesth Wyoming West Regional No 8
24 28 England Missouri MAC No 9
26 19 Schleifer Princeton EIWA No 10
29 25 Glass Oklahoma Big 12 No 11
31 26 Trott Gardner-Webb SoCon No 12
NR 27 Wohlfert CMU MAC No 13
28 NR Kee Appalachian State SoCon No 14
30 NR Peppelman Lehigh EIWA No 15
NR 30 Fuller Edinboro EWL No 16
NR 31 Renzi WVU Big 12 No 17
32 NR Bethea Pennsylvania EIWA No 18
NR 32 Strube VaTech ACC No 19
33 NR McKinney Lock Haven EWL No 20
NR 33 Dorsey Duke ACC No 21

Like 141 lbs, 165 holds 8 wild card spots open.  And as you can tell from this giant list, there will be a ton of wrestlers waiting anxiously this week for good news.

Garett lost his 9th-place match with Iowa's Nick Moore, so he'll fall into line behind him.  Thankfully, Moore racked up some good numbers during the season, and should be one of the first in line.  So did Garett - which is even better news.  After the top 3, Garett's the only wrestler - of the 21 hopefuls - to hold both Coaches' and RPI rankings in the teens.  That should leave him immediately behind Moore in the queue - and, hopefully, gets him a spot in the NCAA's field of 33 wrestlers.