Monday, March 11, 2024

In Contention For an At Large/Wild Card Bid NCAA DI = 157 lbs

There are four At Large/Wildcard spots here at 157 lbs & take it to the bank, two of them are "spoken for."   The other two?  Not sure, but trust me, the first two I mention are going to the 2024 NCAA DI tournament. 

Vinny Zerban
Northern Colorado

What happened this past weekend to Vinny Zerban is a classic example of how cruel & unforgiving this sport can sometimes be.  Per, Vinny Zerban entered the BIG 12's the #2 ranked wrestler in the country & he fell to a 7th place finish in a bracket that took the top 6.  24-2 on the season, those thus far are his only losses.  Titles won at the Black Knight Invitational, the Cougar Clash & the Southern Scuffle, this Bear will be on the mats in Kansas City.  Owns a 9-5 win over Michigan State's Chase Saldate & a 13-2 victory over Legend Lamer of Cal Poly. 

Bryce Andonian
Virginia Tech

A four time ACC runner-up, I wondered all year long if Bryce Andonian of Virginia Tech would finally win a conference title or if he'd finish out with five silver medals.  Ironically enough, he did neither & he took 3rd.   He's a two time All American (3rd & 7th) and he put together a 17-5 record this year.  4th at CKLV he owns a 37 second fall over SOCON champion Tommy Askey of Appalachian State & a 17-7 major decision over PAC-12 runner-up Daniel Cardenas of Stanford.  He also has a 7-3 decision over Cael Swensen who took 3rd in the BIG 12.  Andonian is getting in. 

Nathan Lukez

An NCAA qualifier last season, Nathan Lukez of Army finished 4th in an EIWA bracket where he needed to finish at least 3rd. I can see Lukez getting one of the at large bids this year. 


I'm really, really curious to see who that fourth person will be or if Lukez will even be one of them.  I know Zerban & Andonian will be.  Another I'd like to see it be, but can almost guarantee it won't be is Marcus Robinson of Cleveland State.  A two time MAC runner-up, Robinson plain and simple doesn't have the matches to get in this year I'm afraid.  Finished 6th in a tough bracket where he needed to finish in the top 5.  

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