U.S. WORLD TEAM TRIALS SUNDAY PREVIEW: METCALF AND KEDDY IN ACTION

Harry How

Day two of the U.S. World Team Trials gets underway -- with a lot of the big guns on tap.

We covered what the U.S. World Team Trials is -- and why it's so important -- yesterday, so if you need a refresher on that, make with the clicky.

The big news, of course, is Brent Metcalf, who will try to become the second Hawkeye Wrestling Club member to make the U.S. team competing at the World Championships, joining Tony Ramos who won the spot at 57 KG.  Mind you, Metcalf won't be the only ex-Iowa wrestler in action Sunday -- Phil Keddy will also be gunning to shock the world and earn his own spot on the team.  Best of luck to both Brent and Phil.

WHAT: U.S. World Team Trials
WHERE: Madison, WI
WHEN: 10 am CT, Sunday, June 1 (NOTE: Metcalf won't compete until Sunday evening)
HOW TO WATCH: Flowrestling ($), Universal Sports Network (June 9, 5 PM CT)

Men's Freestyle

65 KG/ 143 LBS

BEST 2-OF-3 FINALS
2014 US Open Champion Brent Metcalf v. TBA

CHALLENGE TOURNAMENT SEEDS
1) Kellen Russell
2) Reece Humphrey
3) Frank Molinaro
4) Jordan Oliver
5) Nick Dardanes
6) Coleman Scott
7) Jason Chamberlain
8) Nick Fanthorpe

ROUND ONE
(1) Kellen Russell v. (8) Nick Fanthorpe
(4) Jordan Oliver v. (5) Nick Dardanes
(3) Frank Molinaro v. (6) Coleman Scott
(2) Reece Humphrey v. (7) Jason Chamberlain

ROUND TWO
Russell/Fanthorpe v. Oliver/Dardanes
Molinaro/Scott v. Humphrey/Chamberlain

...and so on.

Again, by virtue of winning the US Open Championship a few weeks ago, Brent Metcalf has an automatic bye into the best-of-3 finals on Sunday night.  He'll be awaiting whoever emerges from the challenge tournament earlier on Sunday.  The favorite is ex-Michigan wrestler Kellen Russell, who was runner-up at the US Open (and has filled that role at several past events, in fact), but being the favorite might not mean much -- Saturday was full of upsets and head-spinning results.  Jordan Oliver certainly has the talent to win the challenge tournament -- and even push Metcalf (he was one of the last U.S. wrestlers to record a win over Metcalf) in the finals -- but his results of late have been wildly inconsistent.  Humphrey has a lot of freestyle experience, but is still adjusting to the new weight class.

BEST 2-OF-3 FINALS PREDICTION: After Saturday's craziness -- and given Oliver's obvious skill -- it's very tempting to pick something screwy here.  But Russell has been a solid #2 behind Metcalf at this weight -- I expect that to continue.  And I expect Metcalf to maintain his status as #1 at this weight (in 2 matches).

74 KG/163 LBS

BEST 2-OF-3 FINALS
2014 US Open Champion Jordan Burroughs v. TBA

CHALLENGE TOURNAMENT SEEDS
1) David Taylor
2) Andrew Howe
3) Tyler Caldwell
4) Moza Fay
5) Quinton Godley
6) Lucas Smith

ROUND ONE
(3) Caldwell v. (6) Smith
(4) Fay v. (5) Godley

ROUND TWO
(1) Taylor v. Fay/Godley
(2) Howe v. Caldwell/Smith

ROUND THREE
Taylor/Fay/Godley v. Howe/Caldwell/Smith

If only Kyle Dake was healthy and able to compete at this weight... alas.  We'll have to wait for the next Dake-Taylor showdown or an intriguing Howe-Dake throwdown.  Howe and Caldwell had some epically boring matches at 165 lbs. in college a few years ago and seem destined to square off in the semis of the challenge tourney here.  The most intriguing match of the challenge tourney figures to be Taylor-Howe, if results hold true to seeds.  But, really, the challenge tournament feels like one big prologue -- the big showdown would be between Taylor and Burroughs in the best-of-3 finals.  Burroughs edged Taylor in a tremendous match at the US Open, so getting (at least) two rematches here would be phenomenal.  Could Howe throw a spanner in that prediction?  Yeah... but I don't see it happening.

BEST 2-OF-3 FINALS PREDICTION: Burroughs v. Taylor (Burroughs in 3)

86 KG/189 LBS

BEST 2-OF-3 FINALS
2014 US Open Champion Keith Gavin v. TBA

CHALLENGE TOURNAMENT SEEDS
1) Clayton Foster
2) Ed Ruth
3) Phil Keddy
4) Jon Reader
5) Chris Perry
6) Quentin Wright
7) Robert Hamlin
8) Enock Francois
9) Austin Trotman
10) Patrick Downey

ROUND ONE
(8) Enock Francois v. (9) Austin Trotman
(7) Robert Hamlin v. (10) Patrick Downey

ROUND TWO
(1) Clayton Foster v. Francois/Trotman
(4) Jon Reader v. (5) Chris Perry
(3) Phil Keddy v. (6) Quentin Wright
(2) Ed Ruth v. Hamlin/Downey

ROUND THREE
Foster/Francois/Trotman v. Reader/Perry
Keddy/Wright v. Ruth/Hamlin/Downey

65 KG has the wrestler we care about the most (Metcalf), and 74 KG has the epic match everyone wants to see (Burroughs-Taylor), but 86 KG might have the most fireworks.  This weight -- and especially the matches featuring Ruth and Foster -- featured some incredibly entertaining and high-scoring matches at the US Open so this could be the weight to watch if you want to see fun wrestling on display.  Just about any match from the quarterfinals on could be a barn-burner.  There's also an Iowa tie-in -- former All-American Phil Keddy is in the mix here.  He's quietly had a pretty solid international career, hence his #3 seed at this event.  This field is absolutely loaded, so I don't know if he can break through make the World Team... but then again, I didn't think Ramos would, either, so maybe you don't want to put a lot of stock in my predictions.

BEST 2-OF-3 FINALS PREDICTION: Gavin v. Ruth (Ruth in 3)

The full seeds are here and you can access the brackets at Trackwrestling.  We'll keep the results updated in the comments here; feel free to follow along and join in!

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