I knew that the 2021-2022 NCAA DI wrestling season would have an abundance of quality wrestlers that would not qualify for the NCAA championships. I knew it would because the season set itself up from the very beginning that it would end that way. When you end 21' with technically zero seniors, that's going to make the field tremendous tough the next year.
Keep in mind when I say the best to not quality for 2022, I mean in the 2021-2022 season. Yes, Dylan Duncan of Illinois for example had an excellent over all career, that included 4 trips to the NCAA's & an All American finish. However he went 3-4 THIS season & will not be included. Other such examples would be Kanen Storr of Michigan & Parker Kropman of Drexel. The focus again here, is THIS season.
|Derek Spann of Buffalo |
Two Time NCAA Qualifier
Finished off his career with a 2nd place finish at the MAC championships, finishing one match shy of qualification. What kept Spann out of the tournament this season was of course how loaded the 133 lbs weight class was to begin with & the fact that that he didn't have enough quality wins.
|Brent Moore of Clarion |
A career plagued by injuries, the fact that Brent Moore came back from missing all of the 2019, all of the 2021 & most of the 2020 seasons to go 21-7 this year is quite impressive. That's a lot to overcome, especially at the Division I level. What kept him out of the NCAA's in his final season? A bad MAC tournament, combined with not enough quality wins. The disadvantage here is that a smaller conference like the MAC isn't going to see the # of ranked opponents like a BIG 10 or a BIG 12 is going to. It makes things difficult.
|Alex Madrigal of George Mason|
Two Time NCAA Qualifier
This one really rubs me the wrong way. All I can say is this is simply a matter of their not being enough At Large/Wildcard bids for the NCAA's. This is the second time that Madrigal has finished one match shy of qualification in his career & the second time he's arguably the best guy on the list. Nevertheless, hope he looks back on a solid career. In a sport that puts so much emphasis (too much in my opinion) on the NCAA tournament, not many can walk around saying they're a two time Southern Scuffle place-winner. Madrigal can.
|Alex Carida of Bloomsburg|
Carida was 5th at the MAC's in a bracket that took the top 4. ON top of it he has wins over Army's Markus Hartman, The Citadel's Dazjon Casto & Virginia's Jake Keating. My thinking here is that he had to be on the fence. One of those, "could go with him or him" situations & the other guy got the nod over Carida because he wrestled a tougher schedule in a tougher conference. That's all I can figure. Carida is for sure one of the best to stay home this season.
|DeAndre Nassar of Cleveland State|
What killed Nassar here is losing in the 4th place match at the MAC's to Kyle Davis of George Mason. Had he won that match instead, I think he might have gotten into the NCAA's. Then again maybe not. This season he has wins over Max Lyon of Purdue & Matt Waddell of Chattanooga, both who qualified. Thankfully, Nassar is only a sophomore, with two more shots. It'll be tough again next season as it will be in 2024,but I see him ending his career a 3 time NQ.
As to Davis, just not enough matches on the year. Entering the MAC's with so few matches, I knew it was either qualify naturally or it wasn't happening. He'll thankfully be back next season too.
|Cody Bond of Appalachian State|
When you place 2nd in a conference tournament where you have to win it, it makes it so hard. It makes it practically impossible & that's the case with Cody Bond of Appalachian State. The SOCON guys are at a disadvantage as it is. We actually do graduate our seniors this season, so next year the playing field evens out.
|Austin Murphy of Campbell|
R12 in NCAA's Last Season
One match shy of All American status last season & this year not even going. Murphy like Bond was 2nd in a bracket that had to be won. The lack of matches on the season I think hurt him more than that though. Should come back strong for his final season.
|Chris Kober of Campbell|
Two Time NCAA qualifier
Kober got overlooked all season I felt. I felt a lot of of the 184 lbs'ers in the SOCON did. Again a Runner-up in a world that only accepts the champions. Ends his career with 80 career wins & three trips to the SOCON finals.
|Charles Small of Hofstra|
Victim of not enough At Large/Wildcard bids to go around. Really that simple. Finished 4th in an EIWA bracket that took the top 3. Had quality wins this season, including Chris Weiler of Wisconsin.
|Neil Antrassian of Penn|
Pretty impressive final season for the Quaker. Went into the season having never had a winning record & wrestlers to a 16-10 record, with enough quality performances to find himself in the rankings. Had he finished 4th instead of 5th at the EIWA's, I think he would have at least gotten a stronger look. Was hoping in terms of inspiration that he would be selected. Even though it didn't end in NCAA qualification, Antrassian is still a guy to look to in terms of going till the end & never thinking it's over until it actually is over.
|Andrew McNally of Wisconsin|
Three Time National Qualifier
I've been preaching this entire time the importance of a tough schedule and now I'm about to contradict myself. McNally is a three time MAC finalist & one time champion. In his final season he wrestled for Wisconsin with a BIG 10 schedule & it hurt him. Here's a guy that was R12 just last season & in his final year he stays home. Quality wins include Troy Fisher of Northwestern and Jackson Turley of Rutgers. He's living, walking breathing proof of why the BIG 10 gets as much as what it does. You may feel that too much is given to the BIG 10 year in and year out, but McNally as an example illustrates exactly why it is that way.
|Tanner Cook of South Dakota State|
A bad BIG 12 tournament is what kept Cook out of the NCAA's this year. I feel pretty confident that had he finished 5th instead of 7th, that he'd either be going or he'd be the #34 guy on the list. Quality victories this year include Drew Nicholson of Chattanooga & Luke Weber of North Dakota State.
|Gage Curry of Pittsburgh |
Four time NCAA Qualifier
This one just makes me sick to my stomach. Lack of matches? A bad BIG 12 tournament? I really can't justify leaving Curry out of the tournament & while I don't debate much on other wrestlers at other weights, I don't know if all of the At Larges at 125 deserved it more than him. This season he defeated MAC champion Anthony Noto of Lock Haven as well as Joe Manchio of Columbia and Pat McCormick of Virginia. Hate to see his career go out this way, but still despite the sour end, a great career. 129 total victories.
|Angelo Martinoni of CSU-Bakersfield|
Ramon Ramos of Arizona State is what kept Martinoni out of the NCAA's this year & I'm not sure how I feel about that. He damn near tech'd Ramos 16-2 earlier in the day & then lost 5-4 to him in the 3rd place match. Had Martinoni won that match, I'm pretty sure he'd be among the 33. Rarely, if ever does it come down to a single match, but I really feel that in this case it does. Only a sophomore thankfully, Martinoni defeated SOCON champ Shannon Hanna of Campbell earlier this season.
There you have it. Not sure if it agrees with your list or not, but these are the best guys in 2021-2022 in my opinion to not make the NCAA's. 2022 overall is the toughest year I've ever witnessed in twenty years!