NCAA Wrestling Championships Preview 2015

The team title will be competitive at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis with Missouri, Iowa, Cornell, Minnesota and Ohio State. Missouri comes in fresh off winning the Cliff Keen National Team Duals over Iowa, and the Mid-American Conference Championship qualifying all 10 wrestlers. The Tigers have three #1 seeds in Alan Waters, Drake Houdashelt, and defending NCAA Champion, J'Den Cox. Always dangerous Iowa also qualified all ten wrestlers, but doesn't have anyone seeded first; their highest seeds are #3 Bobby Telford, Mike Evans, and Cory Clark. Co-Big Ten Champion Ohio State has this season's most dominant wrestler, Logan Stieber, going for his 4th NCAA Title; the Buckeyes have three #4 seeds and seven seeded wrestlers in ten weight classes. Cornell is led by Sophomore Michigander Gabe Dean, a #1 seed, and two #2 seeds in Nashon Garrett and Brian Realbuto; the Big Red has won the EIWA nine seasons in a row, and is bringing nine wrestlers to the "big dance." While Oklahoma State isn't considered to be a title threat, the Cowboys always have some affect on the championships; they are led by returning Champ, Alex Dieringer, and Heavyweight Austin Marsden. All of the coverage will be televised on ESPN 3 and ESPNU starting at 10:00 a.m. Central Time on Thursday, March, 19! The Semi-Finals and Finals will be on ESPN at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21. There were approximately 8.6 million people who watched the coverage on ESPN in 2014. Here is a tournament preview by each of the 10 weights!

State Qualifiers
Pennsylvania 48
Ohio 36
New Jersey 30
Illinois 26
California 19
Iowa 16
Michigan 14

States with the most NCAA Qualifiers by High School

J Robinson has won 3 NCAA Team Titles in 29 seasons for the Gophers and is amongst the Greatest NCAA Wrestling Coaches.

125 lbs.

Senior Alan Waters of Missouri enters the event as the #1 seed, and is undefeated, 30-0, after redshirting last season. He is expected to meet Junior Nashon Garrett of Cornell who has lost three times this season to Waters, 3-1, Gilman, 3-1 and Zach Synon of Missouri, 6-2; he was runner-up to Delgado at last year's event. In the top half of the bracket, Waters must defeat Michigan's Sophomore Conor Youtsey, Senior Jesse Delgado, the 2013 and 2014 NCAA Champion, in the quarterfinals, and the winner of the Sean Boyle-Nathan Tomasello bout in the semi-finals. Waters beat Delgado, 6-2, last month. 6th year Senior Boyle transferred to Tennessee-Chattanooga from Michigan, and was voted Wrestler of the Year in the Southern Conference with a 30-5 record. Boyle defeated #12 seed Senior Corey Mines of Edinboro earlier this season, 5-2. Youtsey has been defeated by Tomasello three times this season, but has defeated Tim Lambert of Nebraska in two of three bouts; Youtsey also lost to Waters, 4-2, and two close bouts to Conaway, 3-2, and 2-1, in tiebreaker overtime.

In the bottom half of the bracket, Joey Dance must defeat the winner of the Thomas Gilman-Jordan Conaway bout in the quarterfinals for a shot to meet Garrett in the Semis. The winner of Gilman-Conaway should be a hint as to whether Iowa contends in the team race or not; Gilman lost to Waters on tiebreaker, 5-4, Boyle in overtime, 3-1, and Tomasello at the Big Ten Championship, 3-2. Dance lost to Garrett, 6-4, earlier this season, beat Thomas Gilman in overtime, 3-1, and pinned both Boyle and Peters while losing to Conaway, 7-5. Garrett should have a tough quarterfinal bout with Eddie Klimara of Oklahoma State. Klimara was suspended after last year's event after at first being dismissed from the team in March and reinstated in October; he lost to Waters twice, 5-4 and 9-8, earlier this season. Klimara also lost to Boyle, 11-9, and Gilman, 9-3. Pac-12 Champ Freshman Ronnie Bresser (Rios) lost to Tomasello, 4-3; his only other losses have been to Dylan Peters, 8-5, Evan Silver, 8-5, and Tyler Cox, 9-3. There are some really tough first round bouts here with Delgado pitted against #8 Tyler Cox of Wyoming, and tough Hawaiian David Terao, 37-5, starting with #9 Dylan Peters of Northern Iowa. Peters is a returning All-American finishing 6th last season. Youtsey edged Terao at the Cliff Keen Invitational at Las Vegas, 3-2. As always, the Top 8 of 33 wrestlers over the three days will all be in competitive bouts each round.

Predicted Placewinners

Wrestler 125 lbs. Place Team Points
Waters, Alan 1st Missouri 16
Garrett, Nashon 2nd Cornell 12
Dance, Joey 3rd VPI 10
Klimara, Eddie 4th Ok.St. 9
Delgado, Jesse 5th Illinois 7
Boyle, Sean 6th Tenn.Chat. 6
Conaway, Jordan 7th Penn St. 4
Tomasello, Nathan 8th Ohio St. 3

Alan Waters, 2013 All-American, MAC and Big 12 Champion

133 lbs.

Undefeated #1 seed Chris Dardanes of Minnesota is a returning All-American fronm 2013 and 2012 who has patiently ground out his bouts through four seasons in an effort to be at the top of the podium on March 21. He went up to 141 lbs. at last year's event, and was eliminated by Mitchell Port after losing to Joey Lazar of Northern Iowa in the quarterfinals, 10-8; Port placed 3rd and Lazor 6th. This season, Dardanes has defeated #3 Cory Clark of Iowa twice, 5-3 and 6-2 in sudden victory tiebreaker, #2 Ryan Taylor of Wisconsin, 7-2, for the Big Ten title, #5 Zane Richards of Illinois, 12-10, in sudden victory overtime, #7 Jimmy Guilbon of Penn State, 3-2, #14 Rossi Bruno of Michigan three times, 7-3, 4-2, and 8-3, and qualifier Mark Grey of Cornell, 7-4. Clark is a returning All-American placing 5th last season at 125 lbs. Three-Time Eastern Wrestling League Champ, #9 A.J. Schopp, of Edinboro, comes off an upset, 5-4, losing to Ronnie Perry of Lock Haven in his attempt for a 4th EWL Championship. Schopp pinned Taylor at 3:59, defeated #10 Mason Beckman, 3-1, but lost to Richards, 1-0. Beckman split bouts with Guilbon, 8-3 and 3-1 sudden victory overtime, defeated Mark Grey twice, 6-2 and 3-2 on overtime tiebreaker, #4 Johnni DiJulius of Ohio State, 1-0, and tough Rob Deutsch of Rider, 3-2. Deutsch beat Taylor, 6-3. Clark beat Richards in two of three, 4-2, 6-5, and 8-2, split with DiJulius, 7-5 and 2-0, beat Zach Synon of Missouri, 7-2, and majored #12 George DiCamillo of Virginia, 12-3. #6 Earl Hall of Iowa State placed 8th at 125 lbs. last season; Hall lost to Taylor, 4-3, Clark, 8-3, and was majored by DiJulius, 9-0, split bouts with DiCamillo, 9-2 and by pin, split bouts with Cody Brewer, 10-5 and by pin, and defeated Zach Synon, 6-4.

I'm picking Dardanes to defeat Gary Wayne Harding, A.J. Schopp, and Zane Richards into his final bout with Cory Clark.

Predicted Placewinners

Wrestler 133 lbs. Place Team Points
Dardanes, Chris 1st Minnesota 16
Clark, Cory 2nd Iowa 12
Schopp, A.J. 3rd Edinboro 10
Taylor, Brad 4th Wisconsin 9
Beckman, Mason 5th Lehigh 7
Richards, Zane 6th Illinois 6
Guilbon, Jimmy 7th Penn St. 4
Synon, Zach 8th Missouri 3

Chris Dardanes, Two-Time All-American and undefeated in 2015

141 lbs.

Logan Stieber has sailed through this season en route to destiny as a Four-Time NCAA Champion; this would put him with Pat Smith, Cael Sanderson, and Kyle Dake. #6 Nick Dardanes placed 3rd in 2014 at 149 lbs., and gave Stieber a 10-9 tussle while #2 Mitchell Port of Edinboro lost to Stieber, 6-3. #3 Devin Carter of Virginia Tech beat Dardanes, 12-7, and #5 Josh Dziewa beat Dardanes, 5-1, in the Big Ten Semi-Final after losing to Dardanes, 7-3, in a dual meet. Stieber handled Carter, 12-3 and Carter's only other loss was to Sal Mastriani of Virgina Tech who is #7 seed at 149 lbs. #10 MAC Champion Zach Horan of Central Michigan lost to Port, 2-0, but had defeated #3 Lavion Mayes of Missouri, 9-5, in sudden victory overtime, #11 Chris Mecate of Old Dominion twice, 5-3 and 3-1 in sudden victory overtime. #9 Anthony Abidin of Nebraska lost to Dardanes, 8-6, but has defeated #7 Anthony Arshnault of Rutgers twice, 5-2 and 5-2. Dziewa defeated Abidin, 3-1, but lost to Mayes, 13-6. Dardanes was the #2 seed at 149 lbs. in 2014, but was upset by Michigander Matt Frisch of The Citadel, 8-5, in the opening round, and eliminated, 9-3, by David Habat of Edinboro. #13 Randy Cruz of Lehigh is a returning All-American last season at 125 lbs.

I'm picking Stieber over George Fisher of Michigan, Anthony Abidin of Nebraska, Devin Carter of Virginia Tech, and Mitchell Port of Edinboro for his 4th title.

Predicted Placewinners

Wrestler 141 lbs. Place Team Points
Stieber, Logan 1st Ohio St. 16
Port, Mitchell 2nd Edinboro 12
Carter, Devin 3rd VPI 10
Dardanes, Nick 4th Minnesota 9
Abidin, Anthony 5th Nebraska 7
Horan, Zach 6th Central Mich. 6
Mayes, Lavion 7th Missouri 4
Ashnault, Anthony 8th Rutgers 3

Logan Stieber, going for his 4th NCAA Title, is the most dominant wrestler for 2015.

149 lbs.

#1 Drake Houdashelt of Missouri placed 5th at the 2014, and has wins over #4 Brandon Sorenson of Iowa, 2-1, and has wins over at least eight other qualifiers; however, his only loss is to unseeded Josh Kindig of Oklahoma State, 5-3. #3 David Habat of Edinboro has a date with Kindig in the opening round. Habat pinned #6 Alec Pantaleo of Michigan, won a major decision over #7 Sal Mastriani of Virginia Tech, and has wins over Sorenson, 3-2 and #5 Chris Villalonga of Cornell, 5-4; however, he split bouts with #15 B.J. Clagon of Rider, 9-6 and 6-5, while losing on tiebreaker, 2-1, to #2 Jason Tsirtsis of Northwestern, the defending NCAA Champion at this weight. Tsirtsis also beat Clagon, 2-1, in a tiebreaker. Kindig was runner-up to Tsirtsis in 2014, and has had injuries and illness issues this season as he lost to Sorenson, 6-1, and was pinned by #12 Zack Beitz of Penn State at 3:17. Sorenson defeated Villalonga, 4-1. Tsirtsis wins a lot of low scoring bouts with little action, but he may not win those every time.

I'm predicting Houdashelt helps Missouri to the team title with wins over Racciato, Moreno, Sorenson, and Tsirtsis.

Predicted Placewinners

Wrestler 149 lbs. Place Team Points
Houdashelt, Drake 1st Missouri 16
Tsirtsis, Jason 2nd Northwestern 12
Kindig, Josh 3rd Okla.St. 10
Sorenson, Brandon 4th Iowa 9
Habat, David 5th Edinboro 7
Villalonga, Chris 6th Cornell 6
Moreno, Gabe 7th Iowa St. 4
Pantaleo, Alec 8th Michigan 3

Drake Houdashelt, 5th last season, #1 Ranked Two Seasons in a Row. Can he edge Tsirtsis this time?

157 lbs.

This weight features three of the nation's top wrestlers with #1 seed Redshirt Freshman Isaiah Martinez of Illinois who is undefeated, 2014 NCAA Runner-Up and #2 Senior Dylan Ness of Minnnesota, and Three-Time All-American and 2014 Big Ten Champion with #4 Senior James Green of Nebraska. Ness defeated Green this season, 4-3 and 6-5, and Martinez handled Ness for the Big Ten Championship, 12-5. Martinez also beat Green in a dual meet, 2-0. #2 Brian Realbuto of Cornell started the season with a defeat to a freshman redshirting at Penn State, Jason Nolf, 7-4, then pinned by another Nittany Lion, Dylan Alton, but rebounded to shake up the amateur wrestling world when he pounded Dylan Ness, 9-3. Realbuto also defeated #12 All-American Mitch Minotti of Lehigh twice, 11-8 and 5-3, and #9 Joey LaVallee of Missouri, 7-1. Minotti placed 4th last season, and also won the Midlands. Last year, Realbuto was seeded #7 and made his way to the Semi-Finals, but injured himself after the Dieringer bout, so he took two medical forfeits to place sixth. #5 Cody Pack of South Dakota State has only lost to Ness and Martinez, 6-3, LaVallee, 4-2 in sudden victory overtime, and #7 Ian Miller of Kent State, 7-3, who placed 4th at last year's event. Miller was pinned by Martinez, but defeated LaVallee twice, 4-2 and 3-1 in sudden victory overtime, and got the best of Pack, 7-3. #10 Justin Deangelis of Oklahoma lost two of three bouts to unseeded Anthony Collica of Oklahoma State, 5-2, 10-9 and 3-2. #11 Brian Murphy split bouts with #6 Josh Demas of Ohio State, 2-1 and 5-2, lost to Anthony Collica, 4-1, and went down twice to both Green and Ness.

Predicted Placewinners

Wrestler 157 lbs. Place Team Points
Martinez, Isaiah 1st Illinois 16
Realbuto, Brian 2nd Cornell 12
Ness, Dylan 3rd Minnesota 10
Green, James 4th Nebraska 9
Miller, Ian 5th Kent St. 7
Minotti, Mitch 6th Lehigh 6
Murphy, Brian 7th Michigan 4
LaVallee, Joey 8th Missouri 3

Isaiah Martinez, undefeated as a Redshirt Freshman and 2015 Big Ten Champion

165 lbs.

At this weight, #1 Alex Dieringer of Oklahoma State is undefeated and seeking his second title after winning at 157 lbs. in 2014. While his record is unblemished, he hasn't wrestled many of the top contenders at this weight. Dieringer has major decision over #2 Michael Moreno of Iowa State, 14-4 and 13-3. Moreno pinned #3 Isaac Jordan in a dual with Jordan up in the bout at the time. #6 Taylor Walsh of Indiana pinned Moreno at 1:22. #4 Nick Sulzer of Virginia lost to Dieringer, 8-2, beat Taylor Walsh, 4-2, and split bouts with #15 Ethan Ramos of North Carolina, 5-2 and 6-4 in sudden victory overtime. #3 Isaac Jordan defeated his cousin, #5 Bo Jordan of Ohio State, for the Big Ten Championship, 3-2. Isaac also holds two wins over Walsh, 6-5 and 3-1, and a pin over #7 Pierce Harger of Northwestern. Bo also beat Walsh in sudden victory overtime, 6-4, and Harger, 8-1. Harger defeated #9 Michigander Jackson Morse of Illinois twice, 10-5, and 3-1, and took one of three bouts with Taylor Walsh with a technical fall, 15-0, after getting pinned at 4:06 and losing 6-2. Sulzer placed 4th, Moreno placed 5th and Harger earned 8th last year. #12 Dylan Palacio of Cornell split bouts with Cole Gracey of Army, 13-5 and 5-3, and his only other loss was to a freshman redshirting at Oklahoma State, Chance Marsteller, 11-10. Unseeded Jesse Stafford of Air Force defeated Isaac Jordan, 2-0; Stafford opens up with #8 Peyton Walsh of Navy who has pinned him twice this season. PAC-12 Champion #10 Jim Wilson lost to Harger, 8-4, and Taylor Walsh, 5-1.

Predicted Placewinners

Wrestler 165 lbs. Place Team Points
Dieringer, Alex 1st Okla.St. 16
Jordan, Isaac 2nd Wisconsin 12
Jordan, Bo 3rd Ohio St. 10
Sulzer, Nick 4th Virginia 9
Walsh, Taylor 5th Indiana 7
Moreno, Michael 6th Iowa St. 6
Harger, Pierce 7th Northwestern 4
Morse, Jackson 8th Illinois 3

Alex Dieringer goes for his 2nd NCAA Championship

174 lbs.

#1 Robert Kokesh of Nebraska is undeafeated his his final season. This season, Kokesh has defeated #2 Matt Brown of Penn State twice, 7-3 and 2-1, #6 Logan Storley of Minnesota, 2-1, #4 John Eblen of Missouri, 5-2, #5 Blaise Butler of Virginia, 6-2, #13 Tanner Weatherman of Iowa State, 7-2. At the 2014 NCAA Wrestling Championships, Storley placed 3rd, Kokesh, 4th, Brown 5th, Evans 6th, and #8 Tyler Wilps of Pittsburgh placed 7th. Kokesh beat Evans, 10-4, at that event. Brown's only other loss this season has been to #7 Zach Epperly of Virginia Tech in sudden victory overtime, 8-6. Brown defeated Evans twice, 2-0, and got the best of Storley, 4-1, and Wilps, 6-5. Storley has only lost in sudden victory overtime to Evans twice, 2-1 and 3-1, Butler, 9-7, besides his losses to Brown and Kokesh. Epperly lost to Weatherman twice, 3-2 and 4-3, Storley, 5-1, Butler three times, 3-2 and 8-4, but defeated Wilps, 3-2. Eblen lost to Evans, 4-1, but defeated Weatherman, 7-3, and Wilps, 7-3. #9 Cody Walters only loss this season was to Redshirt Freshman Davonte Mahomes of Michigan, 5-3; Walters beat Eblen for the MAC Championship, 6-4.

I'm predicting that Kokesh defeats Taylor Massa of Michigan, Chad Welch of Purdue, Wilps and Eblen on his way to another showdown with Matt Brown. Kokesh finally wins the title.

Predicted Placewinners

Wrestler 174 lbs. Place Team Points
Kokesh, Robert 1st Nebraska 16
Brown, Matt 2nd Penn St. 12
Storley, Logan 3rd Minnesota 10
Evans, Michael 4th Iowa 9
Eblen, John 5th Missouri 7
Wilps, Tyler 6th Pittsburgh 6
Butler, Blaise 7th Virginia 4
Weatherman, Tanner 8th Iowa St. 3

Robert Kokesh, Two Time Big Ten Champion and Three-Time All-American, is undefeated in 2015 and hoping to end his career at the Top of the Podium

184 lbs.

Gabe Dean lost to #4 Taylor Meeks of Oregon State, 4-3 early in the season; he defeated #7 Nate Brown three times, 7-2, 8-2 and 3-1 in sudden victory overtime. Dean also bested #2 Max Thomusseit by a fall at 3:55, Big Ten foes #11 Brett Pfarr, 10-4, #9 Sam Brooks, 6-2, #8 Domenic Abounader, 13-5. Dean handled tough #10 Lorenzo Thomas of Penn, 10-7 and 3-1 in sudden victory overtime, and dispensed Willie Miklus of Missouri twice, 4-2 and 6-3. Thomas placed 6th in 2014, and Meeks placed 4th in 2013. #4 Jack Dechow of Old Dominion split bouts with Miklus, and defeated Thomas, 13-5, and Brooks, 6-5. Abounader lost to Meeks, 4-3, and Brown, 4-1, but defeated Brooks, 3-1, and Pfarr twice to win the Big Ten title. Thomusseit beat Brown twice, 6-4 and 3-1, and Thomas, 5-3. #3 Blake Stauffer of Arizona State defeated #6 Hayden Zillmer twice in overtime, 4-2, and Meeks three times, 6-3, 5-2 and 3-1. Zillmer upset Dean, 8-3, defeated Pfarr twice, 6-4 in sudden victory overtime and 2-1, lost to Thomas, 7-5, and Brooks, 3-1, but handled two other Big Ten qualifiers in Ricky Robertson of Wisconsin and Lazarus "Nikko" Reyes of Illinois. Meeks handled Pfarr, 4-3, but was defeated by #12 Nolan Boyd of Oklahoma State, 9-3. Boyd was defeated by Abounader, 5-3, was defeated twice by Miklus, 18-10 and 8-5, split bouts with Michigander Leland Weatherspoon of Iowa State, 5-1 and 2-1, lost to Thomusseit, 14-13, but edged Brooks, 9-6. In last year's event, Stauffer beat Abounader, 4-1, Dean edged Dechow, 5-4, for 3rd place, and Dechow upset Thomusseit, 3-1 in sudden victory overtime. The only wrestler to defeat Dean at last year's tournament was Ed "The Truth" Ruth, 5-3, in the Semis.

I'm predicting that Gabe Dean defeats Dudley, Abounader and Dechow on his way to the finals with Max Thomusseit.

Predicted Placewinners

Wrestler 184 lbs. Place Team Points
Dean, Gabe 1st Cornell 16
Thomusseit, Max 2nd Pittsburgh 12
Dechow, Jack 3rd Old Dominion 10
Abounader, Domenic 4th Michigan 9
Thomas, Lorenzo 5th Penn 7
Stauffer, Blake 6th Arizona St. 6
Brown, Matt 7th Lehigh 4
Miklus, Willie 8th Missouri 3

Sophomore Gabe Dean, a Lowell, Michigan Native is a Two-Time EIWA Champion and returning All-American

197 lbs.

J'Den Cox is undefeated, and the returning Champion at this weight; he defeated #2 Morgan McIntosh of Penn State, 2-1, earlier this season. Cox also took care of #6 Nathan Burak, 4-3, and eight other qualifiers at his weight. #3 Scott Schiller of Minnesota lost to McIntosh twice, 7-4 and 5-4, and Gadson, 5-3, but defeated Burak, 3-1 and 3-2. #4 Kyle Snyder of Ohio State split with McIntosh, 4-1 and 6-1, split with Burak, 2-1 and 3-2, and has defeated #8 Max Huntley twice, 10-5 and 5-2, plus Schiller, 3-1. Gadson defeated Schiller, 5-3, and Snyder, 3-2. Some unseeded and lower seeded wrestlers that I'm picking to win a few bouts are Michigander Kevin Beazley of Old Dominion and Jared Haught of Virginia Tech. #16 Elliot Riddick of Lehigh, #11 Alex Polizzi of Northwestern, and #10 Conner Hartmann are other threats at this weight; Hartmann is a returning All-American for Duke. All of these Light Heavyweights really move well.

Predicted Placewinners

Wrestler 197 lbs. Place Team Points
Cox, J'Den 1st Missouri 16
McIntosh, Morgan 2nd Penn St. 12
Schiller, Scott 3rd Minnesota 10
Snyder, Kyle 4th Ohio St. 9
Gadson, Kyven 5th Iowa St. 7
Burak, Nathan 6th Iowa 6
Huntley, Max 7th Michigan 4
Beazley, Kevin 8th Old Dominion 3

J'Den Cox, returning 2014 NCAA Champion, will he "Two-Peat"

285 lbs.

Junior Nick Gwiazdowski is the returning NCAA Champion; he is undefeated this season and the #1 seed. Senior Mike McMullan is a Two-Time Big Ten Champion, and the #2 seed; his only losses this season are to #3 Senior Bobby Telford, 4-2, and #5 Junior Conor Medbery, 7-6. #4 Austin Marsden has only lost to Gwiazdowski, 4-1, and Telford, 4-3, while defeating #6 Sophomore Adam Coon, 7-4. Coon has split bouts with Medbery, 7-3 and 5-2, while defeating Telford in a tiebreaker, 3-2, but losing to McMullan, 7-6, with some questionable scoring in the Big Ten Semi-Final. Coon split bouts with Telford last season, but defeated Gwiazdowski in their only meeting. #10 Ty Walz defeated Coon in his only other loss this season, 5-3, and #11 Devin Mellon was defeated by Coon, 10-3. #7 Blaise Cabell of Northern Iowa lost to Gwiazdowski, 4-1, but defeated Mellon in the best two of three, 6-4, 4-2, and 3-1 in sudden victory overtime; Cabell also defeated Walz, 5-3, and #9 Michael Kroells of Minnesota, 5-3. Coon beat Kroells twice, 3-2, and a 28 second pin.

I see Gwiazdowski cruising to the finals in the top half of the bracket with wins over Kroells and Marsden in the quarters and semis. In the bottom half of the bracket, I see Adam Coon coming out on top of Bobby Telford in the quarterfinals, and avenging his only Big Ten loss over Mike McMullan in the semis. Coon edges Gwiazdowski in the final! Previous Coon-Gwiazdowski bout

Predicted Placewinners

Wrestler 285 lbs. Place Team Points
Coon, Adam 1st Michigan 16
Gwiazdowski, Nick 2nd NC St. 12
Marsden, Austin 3rd Ok.St. 10
Medbery, Conor 4th Wisconsin 9
Telford, Bobby 5th Iowa 7
McMullan, Mike 6th Northwestern 6
Mellon, Devin 7th Missouri 4
Walz, Ty 8th VPI 3

Adam Coon aims to become the Wolverine's first Heavyweight NCAA Champion since Kirk Trost in 1986


Missouri has the "home field" advantage with the tournament being held at St. Louis. The Mizzou has three predicted champions, Waters, Houdashelt, and Cox, and seven seeded wrestlers led by Lavion Mayes, John Eblen, Joey LaVallee, and Devin Mellon; Zach Synon, Willie Miklus and Mike England may also earn team points for the Tigers. I'm predicting that they place nine of ten wrestlers on the podium with three at the top. Iowa has to peak, and wrestle better than at any time this season if they are to give Missouri a battle. The Hawkeyes have some crucial first, second and quarterfinal bouts with Penn State, Northwestern and Michigan to see if they have a shot at Mizzou. I don't see Iowa earning one finalist in 2015, and only putting five wrestlers on the podium. The Buckeyes have to place all their seeded wrestlers, and hope that Bo Jordan can make the finals; Ohio State may go head to head with Missouri at 125 and 197 in the semifinals with possible Tomasello-Waters and Snyder-Cox matchups looming. I don't see the Buckeyes with more than one finalist, and not placing as many wrestlers as the Mizzou on the podium Cornell's best chance to compete for a team title rests with Dean, Garrett and Realbuto winning their finals, but also in the consolations where Mark Grey, Chris Villalonga, Dylan Palacio, and Jace Bennett will be fighting to stand on the podium for the Big Red. I see Rob Koll's crew with three finalist, but only one champion with four overall All-Americsn. The Gophers chances rest with the Dardanes' brothers, Scott Schiller, Dylan Ness, and Logan Storley who are all seniors with their final chance for both individual and team glory. Minnesota also has Brett Pfarr and Michael Kroells who could also place and add team points. The Gophers should have their best effort of the season to finish runner-up to the Tigers with five All-Americans. Oklahoma State's "dark horse" chances to get into the title picture rest in Dieringer, Marsden and Klimara having great tournaments, but also in first and second round upset possibilities Gary Wayne Harding, Dean Heil, Josh Kindig, Kyle Crutchmer, and Nolan Boyd. John Smith has this group ready for the finals, and I see the Cowpokes wrestling into the Top 5 with one champion and four overall All-Americans. I'm also predicting that Michigan will have a good tournament after coming off a surprising 4th place finish at the Big Ten's; I see them placing five guys on the podium for the first time since 2007 when they hosted the event at The Palace of Auburn Hills.

Will Missouri win their first NCAA Team Championship???

Team Rankings for NCAA Championships (Pre-Seeds)

Team Points
Missouri 67
Iowa 58
Ohio State 56
Cornell 47
Minnesota 45
Northwestern 32
Penn State 31
Oklahoma State/Wisconsin 29
Virginia Tech 27
Nebraska/Illinois 25
Iowa State 28



Pittsburgh 15


Old Dominion

Arizona State




Predicted Team Standings on March 21 (not including advancement points, pins and major decisions)

Team 125 133 141 149 157 165 174 184 197 285 Points(Prediction)
Missouri 16 3 4 16 3 0 7 3 16 4 72
Minnesota 0 16 9 0 10 0 10 0 10 0 55
Cornell 12 0 0 6 12 0 0 16 0 0 46
Oklahoma St. 9 0 0 10 0 16 0 0 0 10 45
Iowa 0 12 0 9 0 0 9 0 6 7 43
Ohio State 3 0 16 0 0 10 0 0 9 0 38
Michigan 0 0 0 3 4 0 0 9 4 16 36
Illinois 7 6 0 0 16 3 0 0 0 0 32
Nebraska 0 0 7 0 9 0 16 0 0 0 32
Penn St. 4 4 0 0 0 0 12 0 12 0 32
Wisconsin 0 9 0 0 0 12 0 0 0 9 30
Edinboro 0 10 12 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 29
Virginia Tech 10 0 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 23
Northwestern 0 0 0 12 0 4 0 0 0 6 22
Iowa St. 0 0 0 4 0 6 3 0 7 0 20
Pittsburgh 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 12 0 0 18
Lehigh 0 7 0 0 6 0 0 4 0 0 17
Old Dominion 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 3 0 13
Virginia 0 0 0 0 0 9 4 0 0 0 13
NC St. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 12
Indiana 0 0 0 0 0 7 0 0 0 0 7
Penn 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 0 0 7
Kent St. 0 0 0 0 0 7 0 0 0 0 7
Ariz. St. 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0 0 6
Tenn.-Chat. 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6
Central Michigan 0 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6
Rutgers 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3

By Dave Taylor, Big Ten and Michigan Wrestling Historian

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