Sunday, March 6, 2022

MAC - I Need an At Large Bid/Wildcard

 The MAC Championships are said & done, and as we look over our NCAA qualifiers at each weight it is quite obvious that thus far quite a few very talented wrestlers with impressive 2021-2022 resumes did not qualify.  As loaded as each weight class is in the NCAA overall, the unfortunateness of it all is that some of these guys will be staying home. However, there is still hope for some with the NCAA bids we call At Larges & us guys that have been following wrestling forever still refer to as Wildcards.  

Who in the MAC could potentially get one? 

125 lbs 
Jake Ferri Kent State 

Some might be in a hissy about me including MAC 3rd place Jake Ferri of Kent State, while not including MAC Runner-up Joey Fischer of Clarion. I'll tell you why I think Ferri stands a better shot at getting an At Large/Wildcard over Fischer.  For one, they didn't meet at the MAC's, both were beaten by Champion Anthony Noto of Lock Haven. Secondly, head to head, Ferri defeated Fischer 6-4. Lastly, Fischer doesn't have any huge wins on his resume, whereas earlier this season Ferri defeated Southern Conference Champion Fabian Gutierrez of Chattanooga 6-5. 

133 lbs 
Derek Spann Buffalo 

As loaded as 133 lbs is & as few at large bids as what their are, it's going to be difficult for Buffalo's Derek Spann to get into the NCAA's this year.  What he has going for him is that he finished runner-up at the MAC championships.  What he has going against him is that out of his 18 wins this season, none really stick out. 

149 lbs
Alex Madrigal George Mason 

Madrigal deserves to go to the NCAA championships. If the selection committee doesn't select him for a bid to the NCAA tournament they are doing him, the fans of wrestling, & the sport of wrestling a tremendous disservice. He was leading this year's MAC champion Kody Komara 5-0 before his shoulder gave out & he had no other choice but to medical forfeit. This caused him to go all the way down to 6th place, which in this year's MAC tournament was one match shy of qualification.  This has happened to Madrigal in the past.  In 2020, he should have been an At Large Bid/Wildcard & he wasn't.  I sure hope the NCAA doesn't make the same mistake twice. 

Arguments for Madrigal? At the start of the MAC championships he was ranked #23 in the nation. He placed 6th at the Southern Scuffle tournament, one of the nation's toughest in-season tournaments.  He deserves to go. 

I'd also like to throw in slight maybes for both Alec Hagan of Ohio & Brent Moore of Clarion but we're into wishful thinking here.  Moore was ranked #27 in the nation, but had a horrible MAC tournament. As to Hagan, he finished 7th, but doesn't have any big wins on the season.  Love to see both of them get in too, but 2021-2022' is the most loaded season I've ever witnessed in my 30 years following the sport. 

157 lbs 

Ok, bare with me here real quick.  The NCAA has allotted for five At Large Bids for 157 lbs this season & you know as well as a I do there's no way that the MAC is getting three of them. Yet I can see the MAC getting at least one. No guarantee of course, but the argument to get at least one is there.  Yet there's a major problem. 

Truth is, record wise, or better put what's on that record is best represented by Alex Carida of Bloomsburg, BUT he finished 5th compared to Michael Petite of Buffalo & Jordan Slivka of Ohio above him.  Carida has a 4-3 win over Southern Conference Champion Dazjon Casto of The Citadel, a 4-2 win over Marcus Hartman of Army & a 7-2 victory over Jake Keating of Virginia who is most likely going to earn NCAA qualification later today at the ACC championships.  If he had taken 3rd, then it'd be a no brainer. 

Yet where do you go with Petite and Slivka?  Slivka has defeated Carida twice head to head & Carida is 2-1 over all against Petite.  When Petite & Slivka have met Petite has won two 4-3 decisions. 

174 lbs 
Sal Perrine of Ohio 

I think Perrine's chances of an At Large/Wildcard bid are very good, or at least they should be. He's 24-4 on the year & two of his only losses this season occurred back to back yesterday at the MAC championships. He lost a hard fought 7-5 battle to Mason Kauffman of Northern Illinois in the finals & then turned around & lost a 3-2 tiebreaker to Jay Nivison of Buffalo in the True 2nd place match.   What could possibly hurt him here is that he might not have the quality wins that some of the others looking for bids will. 


On a personal note I'd also like to see Kyle Davis of George Mason get in.  He had a pretty good tournament this weekend, finishing 3rd. Yet I gotta be realistic & honest when I evaluate these things. I cannot justify giving him an At Large/Wildcard bid because it really is a case of too little/too late. Doesn't have enough matches, enough quality wins. Not in the whacko 2021-2022 season anyway. Hopefully he'll be 100% & can wrestle a full season next year, & we'll see him at the NCAA's in 2023.  If he does get in this year, I'm all for it. 


  1. Would love to see Bagoly get in. He was a qualifier in 2020 when it cancelled and really battled at the conference tournament. Here is a chance for the NCAA selection committee to right a wrong.

    1. 3rd at the MAC's, I'd say he stands a shot. They took the top 2. What kills him though is not being ranked in the top 33 & not having any big wins on the season.