Monday, March 20, 2023

JT#1 Final Thoughts NCAA DI - 133 lbs 2023


Arujau Steals The Show With Unbelievable Performance 

I had it in the back of my head (and I alluded to it in numerous articles) that if anyone could stop Roman Bravo Young Vs Daton Fix part III it'd be Vitali Arujau of Cornell. Never in a million years did I think he'd do it in the fashion he did though. I thought maybe a sudden victory or a tiebreaker.  The idea of majoring Daton Fix 11-3 & then turning around and damn near majoring RBY 10-4 was the furthest thing from my mind.  If he wrestles anything at all like he did this tournament, he'll have an undefeated season next year in route to his second NCAA title. 

RBY & Fix end Careers as Four Time All Americans, as McGee Proves He Should Have Been a Part Of the Conversation All Along 

I spent a lot of time this season wondering what would happen when RBY & Daton Fix met up again. Low & behold, it didn't happen.  RBY ends a stellar career at Penn State going 8-1-1-2 & Fix ends his stellar career as a Cowboy 2-2-2-4.  The other major surprise here was fellow senior Michael McGee of Arizona State showing that he too was a threat as he took RBY into overtime & defeated Fix 2-1.  McGee ends his career a three time All American 6-4-3. As I said when talking about Cardinale of West Virginia, I just can't figure out Old Dominion.  The Athletic Director there must be mentally incompetent. That's all I can figure. 

One Redshirt, One True, Freshmen Show Off Youthful Talent Of The BIG 10 

As Arujau will graduate next year, the future of 133 lbs in '25 & '26 could very well belong to the BIG 10.  Redshirt freshman Aaron Nagao of Minnesota  & true freshman Jesse Mendez of Ohio State both had phenomenal runs at the NCAA's this year.  Nagao placing 5th & Mendez placing 6th.  This could be a future NCAA finals. 

Arujau's Competition? 

Already looking ahead into the '23-'24 season one of the biggest questions that we will have is, "Who will challenge Arujau?"  Well, what I can tell you is that Arujau suffered exactly one loss this season & it was to this man, Sam Latona of Virginia Tech.  May I also add that as Arujau dominated throughout the NCAA bracket, his closest match was an 8-5 decision over Latona. Latona ended up in 7th place after losing a 1-1 tiebreaker to Mendez in the consolation quarter-finals. 

Improvements Lead Orine To All American Status 

Figuring out your competition & learning how to turn close losses into wins is absolutely vital to getting yourself to the next level.  Orine did that this season & that is what lead him to an ACC title & an NCAA All American honor. 

Micky Phillippi Makes History As First Ever to Finish R12 Four Times 

Dan Marino of the Miami Dolphins would much rather have the history books read that he was a Super Bowl champion, but instead they read that he is among the best to never win a Super Bowl.  Phillippi no doubt, would much rather have earned an All American honor, but instead the history books will read that he is among the best to never be an All American.  As far as I'm concerned R12-R12-R12-R12 speaks for itself.  He made the finals of the ACC tournament 5 times, 2nd at both CKLV & Matmen & 3rd at the Southern Scuffle.  Not to mention he had wins over All Americans in every season that he competed. A career mark of 107-24.  

Finishing up my thoughts on 133, I would expect Lucas Byrd 5th in '21 & '22 who was R12 this year to come back with a vengeance next season.  I also think that Zach Redding of Iowa State & Kyle Biscoglia of Northern Iowa is a feud that is only going to get better.  As always more I could say, but this is already long enough as it is. 

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