Saturday, November 20, 2021

Keystone Classic Preview (11-21-21)


The 25th Annual Keystone Classic will take place tomorrow hosted by the University of Pennsylvania. A tournament mostly consisting of teams in the northeast, this season Appalachian State will also be competing. 


Smith is the favorite here and I don't see him having much trouble in securing a title.  His opponent in the finals will most likely either be Mininno or Jones, which should be a very good semi-final.  The last the two met Jones won a back and forth 10-8 decision.  Curious to see what Miller does against the competition. 


A rather competitive weight, any way you slice it we're looking at two good semi-finals, a good final and a good consolation final.  Colaiocco I would think would be the #1 seed here, but I'm anxious to see who gets the #2 nod between Russell and Koehler.  Russell is currently ranked higher, but Koehler won their one and only head to head matchup by a 6-5 decision. Either way it doesn't really matter because a #2 and a #3 seed if they win out, meet in the semi-finals.  Colaiocco will have a tough one himself in Carter, who could still end up the Mountaineers starter before the season is said and done. He recently took Russell into sudden victory at the Mountaineer Open. 


Kinner by ranking and result looks to be the #1 seed here. He owns a 5-0 decision over Ferrante who finished runner-up here the last time the tournament was held.  Brito looks to be the #2 seed, but I wouldn't overlook Gil who finished 3rd the last time the tournament was held. Bell is currently redshirting but if he enters the tournament, it makes it all the tougher. Gil could really use a good tournament and a high placing. One of the better wrestlers yet to make the NCAA tournament in his career, he's not going to get any favors along the way.  He's going to have to pull off those upsets and win those big matches. He'll have plenty of opportunity here. 


I'm anxious to see how the seeding turns out in this bracket. Millner is a good 10 spaces ahead of Artalona in the rankings but the last the two met Artalona lit Millner up in a 21-4 technical fall that ended with a minute to go in the third period.  If result trumps ranking, Millner could possibly be challenged in a semi-final with Madrigal. Madrigal finally poked through at the bottom of the rankings, but I think he's better than that.  He'll have the chance to prove it here. Another guy to keep an eye on will be Nichter who looks to place in the top 6. 


Zapf won this tournament the last time it was held and he's going to have plenty of challenge in defending his title.  The #2 seed will most likely go to Bond with Kropman getting the #3.  If that semi-final takes place, I see it being a very good one.  I say if for the simple fact that both Palumbo and Jaffe strike me as the type to pull off an upset. Palumbo has already proven that he can wrestle well in big tournaments as he defeated Kropman at the EIWA"s last season 10-4.  For the record, Kropman avenged that loss 8-5 at the NCAA's.  Lastly I'll say that Silverstein hasn't looked too good so far this year, but I'd still say he poses a threat to placing top 6. 


The Crimson have an opportunity to crown a champion here in Conigliaro who should take the #1 seed.  He'll have challenge from either Formato or Barczak which should be our semi-final on the other side of the bracket.  Look for Revano and Kistler to both fight for a spot on the award stand in their own tournament. 


Look forward to finals match between O'Malley and Flitz, with O'Malley favored to win.  The Dragon who finished 3rd the last time this tournament was held owns a 7-3 decision over the Mountaineer.  Look for Kim to finish a strong 3rd. 


O'Malley will be our #1 seed here as his biggest challenge looks to be from Walton. The last the two met O'Malley won in a tiebreaker.  Walton is one of those wrestlers that seems to always be in the match, but to always lose it by a hair.  On paper, he's not currently ranked, but on the mat he has the ability to be a top 20 wrestler, maybe even better than that.  Winning this tournament would be huge for him.  Look for Blakely and Davis to battle for a top 6 showing. 


I think we have a three way war for the title here.  Correnti is currently the only one ranked out of these three, but the last he stepped on the mat with Stith, Stith won an 11-5 decision. With that said, Fiscella owns a 3-2 decision over Stith.  1st, 2nd, 3rd, I see these guys finishing in any order.  


Laird is currently redshirting so not 100% positive if he'll be entering this tournament or not. If so, the finals between himself and Slavilouski should be very good. Matter of fact, it might even be the match of the tournament.  Both of these guys are AA material. 


Should be a fun little tournament.  An opportunity for the southern kids in the hills of Appalachian to see how they fare against kids from the Ivy league of the northeast.  A chance for some overlooked, unknowns to pull off an upset or two and gain the attention of those who thus far have them unranked. 

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