The NCAA Wrestling Tournament is just over a week away, but after tonight we'll know the entire field --and what the bracket is for each weight.
EDIT: Here are the OFFICIAL BRACKETS!
Reminder, it's selection day! Qualifiers will be released by weight class on Twitter at 1 p.m., starting with 285 & moving down. #d1wrestle— NCAA Wrestling (@ncaawrestling) March 12, 2014
The Selection Show, revealing seeds & brackets, will follow the release of qualifiers. Tune in at 6 p.m. ET on http://t.co/4jQ0EYM263.— NCAA Wrestling (@ncaawrestling) March 12, 2014
The qualifier releases have gotten underway; you can find 184, 197, and 285 here. From an Iowa perspective, the only intrigue re: the qualifiers is at 149, where we wait to see if Brody Grothus received an wild card entry. He should get one of the four available slots, especially when you look at the contenders for those spots compiled by The Open Mat. Grothus has a solid overall record (4th best among the options there, if you're looking at winning percentage versus Division I opponents) and his 6-7 record vs NCAA qualifiers is better than anyone else at that weight (Ohio State's Ian Paddock comes the closest with a 6-10 record; no one else has more than 4 wins). But until we see his name officially listed among the other qualifiers, there will be a little anxiety -- the NCAA hasn't always done a lot of favors for Iowa or the Big Ten. We'll know for sure at 3 PM today, though. Iowa automatically qualified wrestlers at every other weight in the NCAA Tournament.
The brackets themselves will be revealed on a live show streaming on NCAA.com, beginning at 5 PM. PDFs of the brackets will be available immediately after the selection show.
And while we have to wait until then for the ofifical brackets, our very own twade brought his predictive powers to bear on the NCAA Tournament field and projected the possible seeds at all the weights. (NOTE: The NCAA is seeding out to 16 this year, but twade's projections don't go beyond 6-8 in most cases; seeding gets pretty hairy after that.)
1) Jesse Delgado, JR, Illinois
2) Nahshon Garrett, SO, Cornell
3) Nico Megaludis, JR, Penn State
4) Dylan Peters, RS FR, UNI
5) Ryan Taylor, RS FR, Wisconsin
6) Jarrod Patterson, SR, Oklahoma
7) Cory Clark, RS FR, Iowa
8) Josh Martinez, SO, Air Force
9) Tyler Cox, JR, Wyoming
Delgado has a worse record than Garrett (22-2 vs 26-1), but he owns a head-to-head win over Garrett, avenged one of his two regular season losses (to Nico), and just won a more difficult conference tournament. Clark's loss to Taylor in the Big Ten Tournament consos hurts -- he would have been looking at a top 5 seed before that.
1) Joe Colon, SR, UNI
2) AJ Schopp, JR, Edinboro
3) Tony Ramos, SR, Iowa
4) Jon Morrison, SR, Oklahoma State
5) Tyler Graff, SR, Wisconsin
6) Mason Beckman, SO, Lehigh
The top four look pretty straightforward: Colon owns wins over Schopp and Ramos, Schopp owns a win over Ramos, and Ramos owns wins over everyone ranked below him. Morrison's lone loss this year was to Ramos. After that it gets a bit stickier, but Graff's only losses are to Ramos, Schopp, and Colon and he does own a pair of wins over Beckman from last year.
1) Mitchell Port, JR, Edinboro
2) Logan Stieber, JR, Ohio State
3) Devin Carter, JR, Virginia Tech
4) Zain Retherford, FR, Penn State
5) Chris Mecate, SO, Old Dominion
6) Chris Dardanes, JR, Minnesota
Port has wrestled a much softer schedule than either Stieber or Retherford, but he also has a perfect record and you'll rarely go wrong banking on the NCAA seeding committee to reward shiny records like that. Stieber is an easy pick at #2 after avenging his early-season loss to Retherford. The question mark here is where Devin Carter slots in; he was expected to miss the entire season with a serious hamstring injury ("a complete avulsion of his hamstrings from his pelvis") but he made a shocking return at the ACC Tournament last weekend and won the title at 141. He's perfect on the year and appears healthy, which may be enough to bump him past Retherford.
As for Jeva... twade thinks he'll get a seed between 10-16, which sounds about right.
1) Drake Houdashelt, JR, Missouri
2) Chris Villalonga, SR, Cornell
3) Kendric Maple, SR, Oklahoma
4) Jason Tsirtsis, RS FR, Northwestern
5) Jake Sueflohn, JR, Nebraska
6) Nick Dardanes, JR, Minnesota
7) Scott Sakaguchi, SR, Oregon State
8) Dylan Cottrell, FR, Appalachian State
9) Brody Grothus, SO, Iowa
10) Josh Kindig, JR, Oklahoma State
11) Mitch Minotti, FR, Lehigh
12) Zach Neibert, SR, Virginia Tech
The merry-go-round at the top of this weight has settled down since Houdashelt ascended to the top spot, but there still isn't a ton of separation between the guys ranked here. The Big Ten contingent beat up on itself pretty good during the course of the regular season and Big Ten Tournament, which probably depresses their seed slightly. I would be a little surprised to see Grothus seeded as high as #9, but it's really a crapshoot to sort out this weight.
1) James Green, JR, Nebraska
2) Alex Dieringer, SO, Oklahoma State
3) Derek St. John, SR, Iowa
4) Isaac Jordan, RS FR, Wisconsin
5) Ian Miller, SO, Ken State
6) Dylan Ness, JR, Minnesota
This is a tricky one. Green has only one loss and beat a killer field at the Big Ten Tournament, including a second victory this year over Derek St. John. Dieringer also has only one loss this year, but beat a lackluster field at the Big 12 Tournament and has lost to DSJ (who Green has a pair of wins over). Based on this year's results, Green seems to deserve the higher seed, but... you never know.
1) David Taylor, SR, Penn State
2) Nick Sulzer, JR, Virginia
3) Steven Monk, SR, North Dakota State
4) Nick Moore, JR, Iowa
5) Tyler Caldwell, SR, Oklahoma State
Obviously, Taylor is in a class by himself. Sulzer's only loss this year was to Caldwell. Caldwell's only losses this year were to Taylor (x2) and Nick Moore. Nick Moore's only losses this year were to Taylor (x2) and Monk. Monk's only loss this year was to UNI's Cooper Moore, which he's since avenged twice. It would be great if Moore could get the #3 seed here, but it seems unlikely; that loss to Monk in the Midlands finals looks like it's really going to haunt him.
There was some late season intrigue here, since Perry knocked off Howe in the Big 12 Tournament* finals, which moves him into the #1 seed. Seeds 3-6 are just the finishing order from the Big Ten Tournament. Evans keeps quietly climbing the ranks, though.
* Aside: can you really call a one-day event with 4 teams a "tournament"?
1) Jimmy Sheptock, SR, Maryland
2) Gabe Dean, FR, Cornell
3) Ed Ruth, SR, Penn State
4) Ethen Lofthouse, SR, Iowa
5) Max Thomusseit, JR, Pitt
6) Jake Swartz, SR, Boise State
Remember what we said back at 141 about the NCAA loving shiny records? Here's lookin' at you, Jimmy Sheptock! Everything else is pretty straightforward. This would be an absolutely beautiful draw for Lofthouse.
1) Kyven Gadsen, JR, Iowa State
2) J'den Cox, FR, Missouri
3) Nick Heflin, SR, Ohio State
4) Morgan McIntosh, SO, Penn State
5) Richard Perry, SR, Bloomsburg
6) Scott Schiller, JR, Minnesota
In a better world, Gadsen and Cox would have rumbled for the Big 12 title last weekend; alas, Gadsen grabbed a B12 title and Cox grabbed a MAC title instead. Heflin is the best of the rest after stalling his way to victory in the Big Ten Tournament last weekend. Perry is an unfamiliar name, but again: gaudy record (29-1).
1) Tony Nelson, SR, Minnesota 26-4 (W over Gwiaz, Chalfant, Telford, L to Chalfant, Telford, McMullan, Coon)
2) Nick Gwiazdowksi, SO, NC State 38-2 (W over McMullan, L to Coon, Nelson)
3) Adam Chalfant SR, Indiana 25-3 (W over Nelson, McMullan (2x), L to Telford, Colling, Nelson)
4) Bobby Telford, JR, Iowa 22-5 (W over Nelson, Chalfant, McMullan, McClure (2x), L to Nelson, McMullan, Coon (2x) Medbery)
5) Mike McMullan, JR, Northwestern 13-4 (W over Nelson, Telford, McClure, L to Chalfant (2x), Gwiaz, Telford)
6) Adam Coon, FR, Michigan 30-3 (W over Nelson, Gwiaz, Telford (2x), L to McClure, Tavanello, Gingrich)
7) Mike McClure, SR, MSU 27-7 (W over Coon, Medbery (2x), L to Nelson, Chalfant (2x), Telford (2x), McMullan, Dhesi)
Clear as mud! Despite his four losses, Nelson should be the #1 seed -- he avenged two of those four losses at the Big Ten Tournament (and the other guys who beat him finished much lower at that event) and has a h2h win over the most obvious contender for that #1 seed (Gwiaz). Gwiaz will get a high seed, though, benefiting for the gaudy record he compiled while not getting his brains beat in during the Big Ten season like everyone else seeded in the top 6-8. After that it's just the finishing order at the Big Ten Tournament, with a few tweaks for Coon and McClure. I suspect Coon might be a tad lower because of his flame-out at the Big Ten Tournament, but he does have a great set of wins.
We'll keep things updated in the comments throughout the day.
(Another big THANK YOU to twade for his NCAA seeding projections!)
UPDATE: And here are the OFFICIAL BRACKETS!