Thursday, March 15, 2018

2018 NCAA Tournament Most Interesting Second Round Matches


#9 Ronnie Bresser (Oregon State) Vs #8 Ethan Lizak (Minnesota) 

On paper this looks like a cakewalk victory for Bresser.  After all he made a man out of whom the Hawkeye faithful originally thought was a God, in a 2-1 victory over Spencer Lee.  The same Spencer Lee who scored a technical fall over Lizak later in the year.  Yet this is wrestling,and it happens off paper and on a mat for a

#13 Zeke Moisey (West Virginia) Vs #4 Nick Suriano (Rutgers) 

Years ago Cornell's Nahshon Garrett was on a short list of names that was going to win the NCAA title that season until he ran into West Virginia's Zeke Moisey and all plans were thrown out the window. This year Suriano is one of four names most mentioned to take the NCAA title this year at 125 lbs.  Could Moisey repeat history and knock another name off as he did a few years back?  I'd certainly give it plausibility.

#7 Taylor Lamont (Utah Valley) Vs #10 Sebastian Rivera (Northwestern)

Commonalities all over the place.  Both freshman.  Both made the wrestling world well aware of who they were earlier on in the season. Both have thus been set aside for more interesting things.  Both have the opportunity to be Quarter-finalist.


U.S. Rico Montoya (Northern Colorado) Vs U.S. Tariq Wilson (North Carolina State)
Somebody going to the Quarter-finals unseeded.  That's worth mentioning.

#11 Dom Forys (Pittsburgh) Vs #6 Scotty Parker (Lehigh) 
Forys defeated Parker earlier this season 7-6. Look for this to be one of the most interesting and fun matches of round two.

#7 Austin DeSanto (Drexel) Vs #10 Jack Mueller (Virginia)
How can you not look forward to this one?  Mueller was the first to show us that DeSanto's offense could be shut down when he defeated him twice at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas invitational 4-0 and 7-0.  It seemed that Mueller had DeSanto's number, but then the two met again at the Scuffle.  And up until an injury caused DeSanto to default he was winning.  It'll be interesting to see what happens in Cleveland later today.


U.S. Sa'Deria Perry (Eastern Michigan) vs U.S. Ryan Diehl (Maryland) 

Both are coming off of huge first round upsets and both are eager to be among the handful of unseeded headed into the Quarterfinals. 

#5 Kevin Jack (North Carolina State) Vs #12 Tyler Smith (Bucknell)
I said it earlier in a blog and now I'm saying it again  Tyler Smith is one of the most unheralded wrestlers of the year who has always been "right there" yet never quite done that one thing.  A win over Jack here would most certainly be that one thing and considering he just knocked off Brent Moore of Virginia 7-0, who recently beat Jack 6-4 sudden victory at the ACC's, that is a possibility.

#6 Dean Heil (Oklahoma State) Vs #11 Mike Carr (Illinois) 
As much as I'm pulling for Heil to make like a Harry and totally redeem himself at this tournament, silencing all critics I can't help but worry.  And the worry starts here in the second round with Carr.  Carr is dangerous and he'll make Heil work for every point he gets. Any finger nails I have left, will be gone before the end of this match.

#7 Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) Vs #10 Jason Tsirtsis (Northwestern) 
I'll be moving onto my toenails at this point, as I'll have no fingernails left to chew on.  Much like Heil, little would please me more than to see Tsirtsis have the tournament of his life.  Yet, he barely survived a first round 2-1 tiebreaker. Deakin won't let him get away with that. He's going to have to be offensive and he's going to have to score.  If he doesn't, Deakin will win this match. 

#6 Mike Kemerer (Iowa) Vs U.S. Paul Fox (Stanford)
Kememer better not be looking ahead.  You overlook Paul Fox, especially at this tournament, and you'll regret it.  Kemerer is one of the best 157 lbs wrestlers in the country. I don't have to tell anyone that, but so is Fox. He may wait until the last minute to prove it year in and year out, but he is.  Kemerer better be ready.

#7 Micah Jordan (Ohio State) Vs #10 Markus Scheidel (Columbia) 
In the battle for the team title with Penn State, every win counts but this match could favor the Nittany Lions as a different kind of Lion will be giving Jordan all he can handle.  I've been on the Scheidel bandwagon three weeks before football season even ended. Still am and am excited for this match.

Kennedy Monday of North Carolina sure is having one Hell of a tournament.  Pretty such that goes into the Quarterfinals.  From there, don't know.

#7 Logan Massa (Michigan) Vs #10 Evan Wick (Wisconsin)
Nothing sweeter than revenge and no better place to get it than the NCAA tournament.  It was at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational when Wick handed Massa an 8-4 loss, after losing earlier to him at the Michigan State open 11-3.  It seemed that maybe the reason for the loss was due to not being 100%, but after upsetting Iowa's Marinelli, Massa again lost to Wick, this time 4-3 at the BIG 10 championships.  Massa who at the beginning of the year was seen as a title threat, was quickly moved off of that lists after his loss to Wick. A win here would spell redemption.


#8 Jadaen Bernstein (Navy) Vs # 9 Keaton Subjeck (Stanford) 
The two best seniors in the weight class yet to AA and they're up against one another in the second round. While it's not a shoe-in, it is believable that whoever wins here will eventually work his way onto the award stand and whoever loses will be among the list of best to never

#7 Taylor Lujan (Northern Iowa) Vs Ethan Ramos (North Carolina) 
Ramos finished in sixth place as a freshman at the NCAA championships and has yet to make it back to the award stand. He's been wrestling as good as he's ever been wrestling, but Lujan will not be easy to over come. 

#8 Drew Foster (Northern Iowa) Vs #9 Max Dean (Cornell)
These two have split matches this year, with Dean winning 9-7 and Foster winning 9-5. Both seem to have a chip on their shoulder, out to prove something.  Dean, the younger brother of four time All American, three time finalist Gabe and Foster, trying to cement himself as the Panther's all time greatest at 184 lbs. 

#13 Jeric Kasunic (American) Vs #4 Mike Macchiavello (North Carolina State)
I find this match to be most intriguing because here you have two seniors who no one gave the slightest thought to at the beginning of the season.  Now here they are, duking it out to be in tomorrow's Quarter-finals.  I would like to think that there has to be some coach out there that is having his going to be a senior next year wrestler looking at this match. Proving that prerequisites don't mean jack  in wrestling and last year ain't got squat on the year and now.

And there you have it. The matches I look forward to most!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

2018 NCAA Tournament First Round Matches I Look Forward to Most

125 lbs

#16 Jacob Schwarm (Northern Iowa) Vs Drew Mattin (Michigan) 

As of right now on paper, this one seems to belong to Schwarm. The two haven't met yet, but as of late, Schwarm has been wrestling better than Mattin. What makes this match interesting is two things. Both are freshmen at their first NCAA tournament. So neither have the advantage of experience nor the element of "nothing to lose because I have three years left."  The Wolverines have one of their best teams ever, which could produce one of their best finishes ever. The team title itself has all but been placed into the hands of either Penn State or Ohio State, but the race for third place is hot and heavy. That has to be weighing on Mattin's mind and could be the motivation needed to pull the upset.

133 lbs 

#8 Montorie Bridges (Wyoming) Vs Ben Thornton (Purdue) 

At first glance this would seem like a routine major decision victory for the slick and aggressive Bridges. Yet Thornton's style is to slow a fast pace down and frustrate an opponent who grows tiresome of of being unable to score. If Thornton can keep the match close in the first two periods, I think he can wear Bridges down and pull off the upset. 

#14 Korbin Myers (Edinboro) Vs Scott Delvecchio (Rutgers) 

The two met earlier this season, and while it ended in a tiebreaker, Delvecchio came away the winner. I think we'll have another close match, but I think Delvecchio will win again here.

141 lbs

#12 Tyler Smith (Bucknell) Vs Brent Moore (Virginia) 

A lot of people are picking Moore to upset Smith in this match, but I'm not one of them. Smith has been a steady, fighting hand for the blue and orange for the past four seasons. One of the most ignored and unheralded of those at 141, they made his path to All American status anything but easy.  While knocking those above him off may not play in the cards, I think he'll at least show the wrestling world that he was worth paying attention to.

#11 Michael Carr (Illinois) vs Henry Pohlmeyer (South Dakota State)

A lot of Rider wrestling fans are not happy with Pohlmeyer's inclusion in the 2018 NCAA tournament. They feel that their Tyson Dippery should have gotten the nod in the at large bid selection over him.  It'll be interesting to see how they feel if Pohlmeyer is able to knock off Carr.  Based on Carr's outstanding "out of nowhere" performance at the BIG 10's, it isn't that much of a stretch to think that he might knock of Heil in the second round. Yet he wrestles a style that suits Pohlmeyer quite well. Pohlmeyer likes to wrestle those who are constantly on the attack. He's put more than one person on their back who has wrestled that style and he's stuck a couple of them as well.  If Carr goes after Pohlmeyer like the bat out of Hell he was at the BIG 10's, Pohlmeyer could end up catching Carr on his back.

#10 Mason Smith (Central Michigan) Vs Tommy Thorn (Minnesota)

Smith stuck Thorn earlier this season, and it was clear that Thorn was not 100% at the BIG 10's. If still not 100%, then I'll gladly tip my hat to Smith in this match up. However, if 100%, an unseeded Tommy Thorn is about the last person I'd want to face.  He's a returning All American, and although it was two years ago, a 14-8 decision proves that he has beaten Smith before and he can again.  While their is a case for others out of those unseeded, Thorn is arguably the most legitimate threat to AA.

149 lbs 

#3 Grant Leeth (Missouri) Vs Steve Bleise (Minnesota) 

Another match, that on paper seems like an open and shut case. The reason why I think this could be a good one is because of Leeth's loss to Davion Jeffries of Oklahoma and because of timing for Bleise. Bleise is a tough kid. He proved that wrestling 141 lbs for Northern Illinois the past two seasons.  It's taken him time to adjust to a Minnesota Golden Gopher schedule and up 8 lbs from 141.  I think the little break between the BIG 10's and the NCAA's is the mental readjustment that Bleise needs.  Upset or not, I think this one will be very close.

#2 Brandon Sorensen (Iowa) Vs Jared Prince (Navy)

In a world where all ended right and happened as it should I wouldn't ever dare dream of suggesting what I'm about to type. As the planets align, Saturday night will come, Sorensen will be given his silver medal and we'll happily place him among the list of best to never win an NCAA title.  Yet his path in getting their is anything but easy. It doesn't even start out simple. His first round opponent is Navy's Jared Prince. A guy who while still in high school was defeating All American's Randy Cruz of Lehigh and Richard Durso of Franklin and Marshall.  The conservative and reserved Sorensen could find himself in trouble against the not afraid to put points on the board Prince. Most likely his defense will prove to be unpierceable and he'll walk away with a one or two point victory.  Simply noting the possibility of a different outcome.

157 lbs

#16 Mike D'Angelo (Princeton) Vs Taleb Rahmani (Pittsburgh) 

Not a huge upset but I do see Rahmani winning here.

#13 Luke Zilverberg (South Dakota State) Vs Justin Staudenmayer (Brown) 

Staudenmayer has had quite the career at Brown. He started off with a flash as a freshman making a quick name for himself placing at various tournaments and garnering some notable wins. Then it seems he all but disappeared minus wrestling well enough at the EIWA's for an NCAA qualification.  In his last year as a bear, he found himself earning a second Midlands medal that he hadn't seen since his freshman campaign, along with a handful of notable victories to add to his resume.  Considering Zilverberg already handled him quite easily 5-0 earlier this season, there is no logical reason to think Staudenmayer will win here. Yet wrestling is rarely logical. Staudenmayer has an uncanny ability to show up when least expected.  Probably won't, since I sort of expect it now. But just in case he does....

#11 Clayton Ream (North Dakota State) Vs Paul Fox (Stanford)

I argued last year numerous times that Paul Fox of Stanford was one of the best 157 lbs wrestlers in the country and it wasn't until the NCAA tournament when Fox placed seventh without the benefit of a seed that he proved me right.  Kick me in the can, the son of a gun is doing it again to me this year.  I still maintain that Fox is one of the best 157 lbs wrestlers and again he's coming into the NCAA's without a seed.  He knocked Ream off last year in route to his All American finish and I say history repeats itself.

165 lbs 

#12 Nick Wanzek (Minnesota) Vs Keilan Torres (Northern Colorado)

Torres defeated Wanzek twice last year, once by major decision. I don't necessarily think that sets a victory for Torres in stone, but I do think it helps to merit my belief in an upset here.  They're almost identical on so many levels. Both carry a 22-10 record into the NCAA tournament.  Both are seniors, with one last shot to do something defining for themselves and their teams. Both have risen to the challenge and shown their potential and both have had some ugly performances.  That's what makes this match interesting to me.

#16 Jonathan Chavez (Cornell) vs Andrew Atkinson (Virginia) 

There's always that guy in the background of films. He's never the main star. He's not even the secondary character. Yet there he is. You don't know his real name. He's just "that guy"....."yeah, I know who you're talking about."  You can name 15 films you've seen over the years with him in it, but you have no idea what his name is.  He's just, "That guy."   That's who Andrew Atkinson is to the 165 lbs weight class.  With the depth of competition he's not a name to come up often in talks of All American candidacy, yet if mentioned no one is quick to dismiss him either. He's the unsung 13th warrior of the Caviler squad and I say he sings at least one more song before his career is over. And I say it happens here in this match.

I'm 100% certain that Vincenzo Joesph of Penn State will eat right through Princeton's Jonathan Schleifer but I'm anxious to see what Schleifer does through the consolations.  He has a run like he did at this year Midland's, he'll be like an unstoppable Michael Myers from HALLOWEEN to any who stand in his way.

174 lbs

#15 Dylan Lydy (Purdue) Vs Johnny Sebastian (Northwestern)

These two have met twice this season going 1-1 against each other with identical 2-1 scores.  Find that rather interesting and worth mentioning in a weight class I foresee going as the seeding committee thinks it ought to.  At least in the first round.


#2 Ben Darmstadt (Cornell) Vs Jake Smith (West Virginia)

This is the first round match I look forward to the most tomorrow.  I get accused of going out on a limb sometimes and I'll admit there are times I dangle from the edge of the leaf, but I don't think I am here.  I think this is simply the case of a wrestler good enough to win the 197 lbs weight class, being overlooked because of injury and being given the shaft in drawing the #2 seed first round.  In all honesty I feel bad for Darmstadt. There isn't a high seed with a worse draw than him.  Out of the seven losses Smith has had this season, nearly all of them have been by 1 point and two of those 1 point losses were to #8 Nate Rotert of South Dakota State and #3 Jared Haught of Virginia Tech.  There will be the biggest upset of round one tomorrow and I say this is exactly where it happens.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Injuries and Being Left In the Dark

It's no secret nor is there any argument that when it comes to sports, wrestling is different than the rest.  You have football, baseball, and basketball. You have the rest, and then you have wrestling.  In many ways we pride ourselves on these differences. We have no quarrels with our contrasts.  Yet, at least in the opinion of this writer, there are some ways we could stand to be a bit more similar.

It seems in any other sport, when an athlete is injured, it is very open. It's news and it's known. We may not be given the exact injury and all of the details that go with it, but we know what we need to know. Someone is under performing or not performing at all because they are injured. We don't have to guess or assume, we know because we're told.

In wrestling unless it happens out on the mat during a dual or a tournament where we can see it, it's a big secret. We're kept in the dark.

As fans we want to know why.  We want to make sense out of why the wrestlers we follow made All American last season and this season they've got a 500 record.  It gives explanation to the questions we have.

Years ago Cassio Pero of Illinois place 3rd at the BIG 10's and  made All American as a sophomore in  2005.  He didn't do as well the next two seasons. On the surface it seemed that he simply had a good run as a sophomore. If it weren't for inside information from a teammate's mom, that'd be the answer. Come to find out, the real answer for Pero's regression was that he had suffered a neck injury that severely hampered his performance.  Yet you won't find that in any official press releases or news articles.

Maybe it's none of our business.  Coaches have there reasons for keeping the information about injuries to themselves.

Yet, it doesn't happen in other sports.  We ask questions, we get answers. And that's the difference.

I for one would like to know why B.J. Clagon made All American as a freshman, came within a second of it last year as a junior and then this year as a senior fails to qualify for nationals the first time in his career.

I'd like to know why Javier Gasca a two time NCAA qualifier with a 21-10 record as a sophomore and a 26-9 record as a junior ends his senior season 12-14. 

I can assume that both Clagon and Gasca were injured this season, but I'd rather know than assume.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Final 2018 NCAA Division I Predictions

1. Nathan Tomasello senior Ohio State
2. Darian Cruz senior Lehigh
3. Spencer Lee freshman Iowa
4. Nick Suriano sophomore Rutgers
5. Ronnie Bresser junior Oregon State
6. Ethan Lizak junior Minnesota
7. Sebastian Rivera freshman Northwestern
8. Zeke Moisey junior West Virginia
R12 Louie Hayes freshman Virginia
R12 Luke Welch senior Purdue
R12 Taylor Lamont freshman Utah Valley
R12 Nick Piccininni sophomore Oklahoma State

1. Seth Gross junior South Dakota State
2. Stevan Micic sophomore Michigan
3. Kaid Brock sophomore Oklahoma State
4. Dom Forys senior Pittsburgh
5. Austin DeSanto freshman Drexel
6. Mitch McKee sophomore Minnesota
7. Scotty Parker senior Lehigh
8. Jack Mueller junior Virginia
R12 Josh Terao junior American
R12 Ben Thornton senior Purdue
R12 John Erneste sophomore Missouri
R12 Luke Pletcher sophomore Ohio State

1. Bryce Meredith senior Wyoming
2. Jaydin Eierman junior Missouri
3. Dean Heil senior Oklahoma State
4. Kevin Jack senior North Carolina State
5. Joey McKenna junior Ohio State
6. Yianni Diakomilhalis freshman Cornell
7. Tommy Thorn junior Minnesota
8. Josh Alber junior Northern Iowa
R12 Colt Schilling senior Cal Poly
R12 Nic Gil junior Navy
R12 Tyler Smith senior Bucknell
R12 Nick Lee freshman Penn State

1. Zain Retherford senior Penn State
2. Brandon Sorensen senior Iowa
3. Jason Tsirtsis senior Arizona State
4. Boo Lewallen sophomore Oklahoma State
5. Troy Heilmann senior North Carolina
6. Matt Kolodzik sophomore Princeton
7. Jared Prince sophomore Navy
8. Ke-Shawn Hayes junior Ohio State
R12 Ryan Deakin freshman Northwestern
R12 Justin Oliver junior Central Michigan
R12 Colton McCrystal senior Nebraska
R12 Steve Bleise junior Minnesota

1. Joey Lavallee senior Missouri
2. Josh Shields sophomore Arizona State
3.  Jason Nolf junior Penn State
4. Mike Kemmerer sophomore Iowa
5. Alec Pantaleo junior Michigan
6. Hayden Hidlay freshman North Carolina State
7. Markus Scheidel senior Columbia
8. Paul Fox junior Stanford
R12 Micah Jordan junior Ohio State
R12 Tyler Berger junior Nebraska
R12 Justin Staudenmayer senior Brown
R12 Archie Colgan senior Wyoming

1. Isaiah Martinez senior Illinois
2. Vincenzo Joseph sophomore Penn State
3. Chad Walsh senior Rider
4. Logan Massa sophomore Michigan
5. David McFadden sophomore Virginia Tech
6. Chandler Rogers junior Oklahoma State
7. Chance Marsteller junior Lock Haven
8. Anthony Valencia sophomore Arizona State
R12 Alex Marinelli freshman Iowa
R12 Isaiah White freshman Nebraska
R12 Jonathan Schleifer senior Princeton
R12 Richie Lewis senior Rutgers

1. Bo Jordan senior Ohio State
2. Zahid Valencia sophomore Arizona State
3. Mark Hall sophomore Penn State
4. Myles Amine sophomore Michigan
5. Ethan Ramos senior North Carolina
6. Jordan Kutler sophomore Lehigh
7. Daniel Lewis junior Missouri
8. Keaton Subjeck senior Stanford
R12 Taylor Lujan sophomore Northern Iowa
R12 Josef Johnson senior Harvard
R12 Jacobe Smith junior Oklahoma State
R12 Jadaen Bernstein senior Navy

1. Bo Nickal junior Penn State
2. Myles Martin junior Ohio State
3. Domenic Abounader senior Michigan
4. Ryan Preisch junior Lehigh
5. Zack Zavatsky junior Virginia Tech
6. Pete Renda senior North Carolina State
7. Drew Foster junior Northern Iowa
8. Steve Schneider senior Binghamton
R12 Taylor Venz freshman Nebraska
R12 Nick Gravina junior Rutgers
R12 Emory Parker junior Illinois
R12 Max Dean freshman Cornell

1. Shakur Rasheed junior Penn State
2. Jake Smith senior West Virginia
3. Mike Macchiavello senior North Carolina State
4. Ben Darmstadt freshman Cornell
5. Kollin Moore sophomore Ohio State
6. Jared Haught senior Virginia Tech
7. Frank Mattiace senior Pennsylvania
8. Preston Weigel junior Oklahoma State
R12 Scottie Boykin senior Chattanooga
R12 Cash Wilcke sophomore Iowa
R12 Jeric Kasunic senior American
R12 Willie Miklus senior Missouri

1. Kyle Snyder senior Ohio State
2. Adam Coon senior Michigan
3. Jacob Kasper senior Duke
4. Amar Dhesi senior Oregon State
5. Nathan Butler senior Stanford
6. Tanner Hall junior Arizona State
7. Nick Nevills junior Penn State
8. Sam Stoll junior Iowa
R12 Conan Jennings junior Northwestern
R12 Michael Hughes senior Hofstra
R12 Billy Miller junior Edinboro
R12 Jeramy Sweany junior Cornell

1. Penn State
2. Ohio State
3. Michigan
4. Arizona State
5. Oklahoma State
6. Iowa
7. Missouri
8. Lehigh
9. North Carolina State
10. Virginia Tech

2018 NCAA tournament First Round Upset Predictions

@ 133 Ben Thornton (Purdue) over #8 Montorie Bridges (Wyoming) - WRONG
@ 133 Scott DelVecchio (Rutgers) over #14 Kobin Myers (Edinboro) - WRONG
@ 141 Henry Pohlmeyer (South Dakota State) over #11 Mike Carr (Illinois) - WRONG
@141 Tommy Thorn (Minnesota) over #10 Mason Smith (Central Michigan) - WRONG
@149 Steve Bleise (Minnesota) over #3 Grant Leeth (Missouri) - WRONG
@157 Taleb Rahmani (Pittsburgh) over #16 Mike D'Angelo (Princeton) - RIGHT
@157 Justin Staudenmayer (Brown) over #13 Luke Zilverberg (South Dakota State) - WRONG
@157 Paul Fox (Stanford) over #11 Clay Ream (North Dakota State) - RIGHT
@165 Andrew Atkinson (Virginia) over #16 Jonathan Chavez (Cornell) - WRONG
@165 Keilan Torres (Northern Colorado) over #12 Nick Wanzek (Minnesota) - WRONG
@197 Patrick Brucki (Princeton) over #16 Christian Brunner (Purdue) - RIGHT
@197 Jake Smith (West Virginia) over #2 Ben Darmstadt (Cornell) - WRONG
@HWT Conan Jennings (Northwestern) over #15 Thomas Haines (Lock Haven) - WRONG


Man I really sucked it up in the first round.

On to the second!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

2018 # of NCAA Qualifiers by School

10 (2)  Lehigh & Ohio State

9 (7) Michigan, Iowa, Missouri, North Carolina State, Oklahoma State, Penn State & Virginia Tech

8 (2) Arizona State & North Carolina

7 (7) Central Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Purdue, South Dakota State, Wisconsin & Cornell

 6 (6) Lock Haven, Northern Iowa, Rutgers, Stanford, Virginia & Wyoming

5 (9) American, Bakersfield, Eastern Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Drexel, Duke, Edinboro & Navy

4 (13) Appalachian State, Clarion, Indiana, Kent State, North Dakota State, Northern Colorado, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Old Dominion, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, Princeton & Utah Valley

3 (9) Army, Brown, Chattanooga, Columbia, George Mason, Maryland, Southern Illinois Edwardsville, Rider &West Virginia

2 (6) Binghamton, Buffalo, Fresno State, Cal Poly, Campbell & Northern Illinois

1 (11)  Air Force, Bucknell, Citadel, Cleveland State, Michigan State, Franklin & Marshall, Gardner Webb, Harvard, Hofstra, Iowa State & Ohio

0 (4) Bloomsburg, Davidson, Sacred Heart & VMI

Top 5 To Stay Home This NCAA Tournament 2018

This is never a fun topic to discuss or write about. Wrestlers who deserve to be wrestling at the NCAA tournament that will either be staying home or watching from the stands. I'm writing this as fair and objectively as I can based on this year's results. Even though it breaks my heart that neither B.J. Clagon of Rider or Javier Gasca of Michigan State will be participating in this year's NCAA tournament, I have to admit that it is fair that they were not selected. 

I've narrowed it down to the top 5 best to not Qualify for the 2018 tournament.

Image result for gregg harvey Pittsburgh
Gregg Harvey
My number five pick on this list is Pittsburgh redshirt freshman Gregg Harvey.  Harvey ended his season with a 14-14 record that included an impressive Round of twelve finish at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational and a win over NCAA qualifier Dylan Gabel of Northern Colorado. Still young with plenty of time left in his career, look for Harvey to win an ACC title or two before his career is all said and done, as well as contend for All American honors.
Image result for Tyson Dippery Rider
Tyson Dippery
The Rutger's transfer had a solid final year for the Broncos going 19-8 on the season. Notable victories include an 8-4 and 7-1 handling of NCAA qualifiers Vince Turk of Iowa and Kyle Shoop of Lock Haven.  Had 141 had one more qualification slot, its almost certain that it would have went to Dippery.
Image result for Kyle Langenderfer
Kyle Langenderfer
Looking over the 157 At Large selections it is difficult to fathom why Langenderfer wasn't selected. It is almost certain he was considered. His best performance of the season was at the Bakersfield Open, where he took the title with a 9-4 win over NCAA qualifier Andrew Crone of Wisconsin. Unfortunately for Langenderfer, although he'd keep it close, he'd lose two heartbreakers to Crone as the season progressed. Inconsistency was the biggest adversary to Langenderfer this year as proved at the BIG 10 championships.  He dropped a 7-3 decision to Jake Tucker of Michigan State only to come back and beat him by an identical score in the 9th place mini-tournament.  Langenderfer ended his career as an Illini with a 58 second fall over Northwestern's Shayne Oster.
Alex  Mossing
Alex Mossing
Air Force 
The point of the new qualification put into place a decade ago was to make sure that even in spite of a bad conference tournament, wrestlers who proved themselves throughout the season would still get to attend the NCAA tournament. For the most part, that is the way it works and the system has proven itself to be very fair 99/100 times. The 1 out of 100 still occasionally happens, and at least in the opinion of this wrestling enthusiast, Alex Mossing of Air Force is one of them.  A Round of 12 finish at the Southern Scuffle and more importantly a strong fifth place showing at Reno help to illustrate the claim.  A 3-1 sudden victory over PAC-12 runner up Hunter Willits of Oregon State and a 7-6 victory over All American Paul Fox of Stanford also add fuel to the fire.  Thankfully Mossing has another year left of eligibility to make for it.
Image result for Ian Parker Iowa State
Ian Parker
Iowa State 
Take a stand against my other four picks if you will, but indisputably the best wrestler not participating in this year's NCAA tournament that should be, is Iowa State's Ian Parker.  The why as to why he wasn't selected is quite confusing. Perhaps it is because he went from 133 lbs to 141 lbs mid season and didn't have enough criteria at 141 to qualify.  None the less he finished his redshirt freshman season 22-9, with an assortment of impressive victories.  He was the first to show the vulnerability of potential All American Austin DeSanto of Drexel when he handed the phenom freshman a 7-5 loss. He's also defeated NCAA qualifiers Matt Schmitt of West Virginia and Ali Naser of Arizona State.  If that isn't enough to convince you that he should be wrestling at this year's championships perhaps the 3-1 victory over two time NCAA champion Dean Heil of Oklahoma State he had back in late January will.  Iowa State has had a disappointing season as it is, and being jipped out of arguably their best wrestler not getting a qualification only adds salt to the wound.