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Wrestling Nationals Session 1 Preview

Session 1 kicks off with Penn State favored to go 9-0 in Round 1

Seeded 3 or 33, Aaron Brooks is ready to do his thing.
Scott Pilutik, Black Shoe Diaries

It’s time.

Penn State has taken its broadest lineup since 2012 to the Nationals in Tulsa, and is primed to put up their best team score since 2017.

After two late scratches, to Lehigh’s Connor McGonagle at 133 and App State’s JonJon Millner at 149, the updated brackets & seeds project final (non-Bonus) team scores like this:

via Jp customizations to Luther Ace interactive bracket.

In short, for Penn State to not win this year’s Championship, some combination of their nine wrestlers will have to wrestle epically below their seeds. Inside a lineup with 2x National Champ Aaron Brooks as the 3-seed and 1x Champ Max Dean as the 9-seed, such a performance would be insanely antithetical to everything Cael Sanderson has taught the college wrestling world these past 14 years.

Still, Domination Fatigue is a pervasive phenomenon that hits each of us in different ways, and leads to super-fun predictions from wrestling internet, such as this one from a Pitt fan, in which 4 separate Penn State grapplers are predicted to lose in the finals on Saturday night. Admittedly a bit of a bit at this point, but fun for PSU h8rs & lovers alike.

Penn State’s Seed-Projected Lineup Points

(Reminder: does not include Bonus Points)

Penn State’s Seed-Projected Team Points per Wrestler

Looking in the opposite direction, for PSU to finish with 9 All-Americans, Van Ness, Facundo & Dean will have to out-place their seeds.

Iowa’s Seed-Projected Lineup Points

Iowa’s Seed-Projected Team Points per Wrestler

The Hawkeyes are seeded to place 5 AA’s, but 14-seed Jacob Warner is a 3x AA and was a National Finalist last year. See the aforementioned seed-related epic fail needed by PSU for Iowa’s chances to win this year’s Championship. But they are still heavily favored to hold off Cornell, Nebraska, NC State & Mizzou for second place.

Cornell’s Seed-Projected Lineup Points

Cornell’s Seed-Projected Team Points per Wrestler

The Big Red are sitting on some nice top-end firepower, but likely do not have the breadth required to catch the broadly-covered Hawkeye lineup.

Nebraska’s Seed-Projected Lineup Points

Nebraska’s Seed-Projected Team Points per Wrestler

Mark Manning’s turn as Gandalf the White led to a fantastic Nebraska Big Ten Tourney, as the Huskers showed out both on the mat and on the mic. BSDWrestle’s commentariat community enjoyed watching & listening to their off-mat interviews.

They should give Cornell a good run for the money, in the chase for the last-two team trophies (awarded to the Top-4 teams).

Penn State Round 1 Matchups

via BubbaPage23Nationals

The Nittany Lions are expected by seed to win each of their 9 first-round matchups and nearly all of them are capable of earning Bonus Points for the team, by winning their bouts via:

  • Major Decision (1 team Bonus Point)
  • Technical Fall (1.5 Bonus Points)
  • Pin (2 Bonus Points; includes Forfeits, Injury Defaults & Disqualifications).

Don’t be surprised to see Penn State finish this session with 15 or more points.

Schedule + How to Watch

2023 Wrestling Nationals Schedule

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