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NCAA Wrestling Championships Previews - Lightweights (125-141)

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Spencer Lee owns your soul

NCAA Division I Men’s Wrestling Championship Photo by Jay LaPrete/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Here’s the part where I would give you a schedule and some broadcast info. Slight problem: we don’t have anything yet! We know the tournament will start on Thursday and end on Saturday, but we don’t have session times, a broadcast partner, or even know whether there will be fans! We do have some idea about the weights though, so let’s look at that. And send mean tweets to the NCAA. Here’s your brackets.

Edit: Okay, now they did it. The first round will start at 10AM (central) on ESPNU, with the second flight starting at 1PM. The second round will be later that night, starting at 5PM on ESPN2 and the second flight at 8PM. Quarterfinals will be Friday morning, starting at 10AM on ESPNU, and the second flight at 2PM. The semifinals will be at 7PM on ESPN2, and the medal rounds will be at 10AM on ESPN2 on Saturday morning. The championships will be at 6PM on ESPN on Saturday evening. No individual or consolation mat coverage announced yet.

125: (Kind of…)

From a B1G perspective, 125 is a weight that might prove slightly disappointing. Don’t get me wrong, Spencer Lee is a phenom and should roll to a 3rd national title (though he did give up two takedowns last...nevermind).

No, the potential for this weight to disappoint is that, because of the draw, the B1G might only be able to convert their 10 bids into 4 All-American spots, even though there are 7-8 guys who have All-American potential. The non-B1G guys in the top 8 are (mostly) legit. Maybe.

B1G wrestlers in the bracket

Spencer Lee, Iowa Hawkeyes (1); Devin Schroder, Purdue Boilermakers (8); RayVon Foley, Michigan State Spartans (9); Malik Heinselman, Ohio State Buckeyes (10); Dylan Ragusin, Michigan Wolverines (11); Michael DeAugustino, Northwestern Wildcats (12); Liam Cronin, Nebraska Cornhuskers (13); Patrick McKee, Minnesota Gophers (15); Eric Barnett, Wisconsin Badgers (19); Robert Howard, Penn State Nittany Lions (23).

Considering that Justin Cardani (Illinois Fighting Illini) was competitive with these guys all year, late addition Dylan Shawver (Rutgers Scarlet Knights) upset McKee at the B1G tournament, and Brock Hudkins (Indiana Hoosiers) was good enough to make the blood round as a freshman (while at Northern Illinois) and beat Drew Hildebrandt (this year’s #4 seed) last season, the B1G is absolutely loaded at this weight. [Maryland Terrapins, think about your life choices at this point.]

Non-B1G contenders

(2) Sam Latona, Virginia Tech Hokies: ACC Champ and freshman phenom

(3) Bandon Courtney, Arizona State Sun Devils: Pac-12 Champ, accomplished, but not as tested as others

(4) Drew Hildebrandt, Central Michigan Chippewas: MAC Champion, 100 career wins, never made All-American yet, who knows?

(5) Brody Teske, Northern Iowa Panthers (transferred from Penn State), Big 12 Champ

(6) Jakob Camacho, North Carolina State Wolfpack, ACC runner-up, lost two tight matches with Latona

(7) Taylor LaMont, Utah Valley Wolverines, Big 12 runner-up

What might reasonably happen

B1G wrestlers go 9-1 in the opening round with Barnett pulling a small upset (maybe homering a bit there), have a rough round of 16 and chew each other up on the consolation side of things. I do think Schroder has re-captured his form and will surprise us. Otherwise, pick a couple of B1G guys at random and a couple of place numbers and your guess is as good as mine. Because it’s so close, I’ll shake up the B1G results a big and go wit the following, which you should be sure to clip-and-save to laugh at how wrong this ends up being: 1) Lee, 2) Latona, 3) Schroder, 4) Teske, 5) Cronin, 6) Camacho, 7) Foley, 8) Hildebrandt

133: (HWAHSQB)

B1G Wrestlers in the Bracket

#2 Roman Bravo-Young (RBY) PSU, #4 Austin DeSanto (ADS) Iowa, #7 Lucas Byrd Illinois, #8 Chris Cannon Northwestern, #18 Kyle Burwick Wisconsin, #23 Boo Dryden Minnesota, #25 Jacob Rundell Purdue, #30 Jordan Hamden MSU

This is one of the weaker weight classes in the B1G with only four top 10 seeds and 8 qualifiers. Ohio State’s Jordan Decatur would probably have qualified, but was injured prior to the B1G tournament. The Big Ten will have one first round matchup as Cannon and Rundell square off on Friday.

Non-B1G contenders

#1 Daton Fix THE Oklahoma State University undefeated Big XII champ and 2019 finalist, #3 Korbin Myers VT undefeated ACC champ, #5 Micky Phillippi Pitt ACC runner up only loss to Myer, #6 Matt Schmitt Mizzery MAC champion and WVU transfer, #9 Michael McGee ASU, #10 Louis Hayes UVA

Expectations

Fix is the favorite, but RBY is a legitimate threat to win the title as well. I think the Big Ten will struggle here and I expect only three All Americans. I think the double digit seeds will lose their first round matchups. Lucas Byrd got a tough draw with the very competent Louis Hayes in the second round. I will go with RBY as champ and Fix the runner-up followed by DeSanto, Myers, Phillippi, Byrd, Hayes, and Schmitt as the All Americans. Cannon will make the blood round and come up just short.

141: (HWAHSQB)

B1G Wrestlers in the Bracket

#1 Jaydin Eierman Iowa, #2 Nick Lee PSU, #3 SeaBass Rivera Rutger #8 Chad Red Nebraska, #14 Dylan Duncan Illinois, #18 Parker Filius Purdue, #25 Drew Mattin Michigan, #26 Collin Valdiviez Northwestern, #28 Marcus Polanco Minnesota, #30 Dylan D’Emilio OSU

This is a strong weight class in the B1G both at the top as well as depth. I hate that Collin Valdiviez was an upset qualifier because that made me have to learn how to spell his name.

Non-B1G contenders

#4 Tariq Wilson NC State undefeated ACC champ, #5 Don Demus OU, #6 Allan Hart Missouri Tigers, #7 Ian Parker Iowa State, #9 Dresden Simon CMU, #10 Zachary Sherman UNC

Expectations

The top three seeds at the Big Ten tournament are the top three seeds again here. Fourth place finisher Chad Red drew the 8 seed. This kind of stinks because he’ll see Eierman early. No one outside the Big Ten will challenge those top three. I fully expect the top three at Big Tens to finish top three in the same order again. Beyond that, I really like Iowa State’s Ian Parker as the top non-B1G finisher. I’ll take Chad Red to place fifth, followed by Tariq Wilson and Allan Hart. For the last All American spot, my homer pick is Dylan Duncan because I’m a fan and seniors die hard.

Lee-Rivera and Eierman-Lee were great matches at the B1Gs and I’m really looking forward to seeing those matchups again.