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NCAA Bracket Breakdown

By MI Grappler, 03/18/19, 12:30PM EDT

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125 lbs

#9 Rayvon Foley (MSU/Pioneer) vs #24 Carmen Ferrante (Penn)
Previous result: Foley maj. Ferrante, 16-7 (11/3/18)
#13 Drew Hildebrandt (CMU) vs #20 Alex Mackall (Iowa State)
#17 Drew Mattin (Michigan) vs #16 Elijah Oliver (Indiana)

Previous result: Oliver dec. Mattin, 6-3 (3/10/19)
#18 Devin Schroder (Purdue/GRCC) vs #15 Sean Fausz (NC State)
Previous result: Fausz dec. Schroder, 7-1 (12/29/18)

All four 125 pounders are in pretty good spots on the bracket.  It's possible that at least three of these guys are at least in AA contention on Friday.  Schroder has former All-American Sean Fausz first round, which is actually ideal, because he'll be getting him off the scale and he's a massive 125.  Mattin has a chance to reverse the result from Big Tens with Oliver first round.  Foley handled Ferrante the first time around and should set up a big second round matchup with Arujau, who suffered his first loss at the weight this season at EIWA's.   Hildebrandt is in a good spot in round one to pick up a win.  There's a possibility, looking way down the road and with some subjective thought, that he could have former Chippewa Brent Fleetwood in the blood round, which would make for an interesting storyline.

133 lbs

#2 Stevan Micic (Michigan) vs #31 Mason Pengilly (Stanford)
#22 Noah Gonser (Campbell/Grand Blanc)) vs #11 Tariq Wilson (NC State)

Micic is one of the favorites, as he has been all season, but will have a pretty tough road to get to a title.  Assuming seeds hold, he'll have to go through DeSanto, Suriano, and Fix.  Gonser has All-American Tariq Wilson in round one.  No matter how that one turns out, he'll have a fair shot to make a run at winning a couple matches in the tourney.

141 lbs

#8 Kanen Storr (Michigan/Leslie) vs #25 Josh Finesilver (Duke)
#17 Ian Parker (Iowa State/St. Johns) vs #16 Chad Red (Nebraska)
#30 Nate Limmex (Purdue/GRCC) vs #3 Nick Lee (Penn State)

Previous result: Lee maj. Limmex, 17-6 (1/25/19)

Of the three, Storr is most likely to make his way to the quarterfinals.  He'll have Finesilver in round one and if all goes well, he'll face Demas in round two, who he defeated 5-2 at Vegas.  Parker got a tough draw with Big 10 runner-up Red in the opening round.  It's not a terrible matchup for the Cyclone sophomore, but he'll have to win a handful of matches in the wrestlebacks to AA.  Tough draw for Limmex as well with Nick Lee, the three seed.  

149 lbs

#9 Jordan Oliver (NC State/Davison) vs #24 Cortlandt Schuyler (Lehigh)
#33 Malik Amine (Michigan/DCC) vs #32 Tanner Smith (UTC)

It's the third time in Oliver's career that he'll enter NCAA's as the 9 seed, so it's familiar territory for him.  It's also the spot he All-Americaned from in 2016.  He's capable of beating anyone in the bracket, so it'll come down to what kind of weekend he has.  Amine got into the tournament as a wild card and will have Tanner Smith of UTC, formerly of Eastern Michigan, in the pigtail match.

157 lbs

#4 Alec Pantaleo (Michigan/Canton) vs #29 Alex Smythe (Buffalo)
#10 Steve Bleise (Minnesota/Chelsea) vs #23 Chase Straw (Iowa State)
#18 Logan Parks (CMU/Southgate Anderson) vs #15 Eric Barone (Illinois)

Pantaleo got a rough draw being placed on the same side as both Hidlay and Nolf.  However it plays out, expect him to be on the podium for the third time.  Bleise is in a really good spot to make a run at placing.  Definitely like his odds at getting to the quarters at least.  Parks makes his first appearance and has a winnable match in round one with Barone of Illinois.

165 lbs

#6 Logan Massa (Michigan/St. Johns) vs #27 Troy Keller (Buffalo)
#32 Tyler Morland (Northwestern/DCC) vs #33 Joseph Smith (Oklahoma State)

Massa should roll through the first two rounds setting up a rematch of an early January bout, won by Shields 7-3.  Since that loss, Massa has lost only to Vincenzo Joseph.  Morland made the tournament in his first chance, with his reward being All-American Joe Smith in the pigtail, which his maybe the toughest draw in the whole tourney.  

174 lbs

#4 Myles Amine (Michigan/DCC) vs #29 Joe Grello (Rutgers)
#9 Devin Skatzka (Minnesota/Richmond) vs #24 Lorenzo DeLaRiva (NDSU)
#26 Drew Hughes (MSU) vs #7 Jacobe Smith (Oklahoma State)

All three make return trips to the tournament at 174.  Amine will be on a collision course with Hall in the semis, and will look to break through after four 1-point losses to him in the past two years.  Skatzka was on fire at Big 10's and will look to carry that over.  Look for him to compete for a podium spot on Friday.  Hughes was a Round of 12 guy in his last trip to NCAA's, at 165.  He'll have a tough opening match but may be able to rack up some wins in the wrestlebacks as he's a tough matchup for anyone.

184 lbs

#5 Max Dean (Cornell/Lowell) vs #28 Noah Stewart (Army)
#19 Cameron Caffey (MSU) vs #14 Dylan Wisman (Missouri)

Dean will look to get on the podium once again and is in a good spot to do so.  The quarters, assuming seeds hold, with Emery Parker will be a great match and matchup-wise it's solid for the Lowell grad.  Caffey could be a bracket buster and has had a tremendous freshman stint for the Spartans.  Hard to say where he'll finish but expect points out of him.

197 lbs

#29 Brandon Whitman (UNC/Dundee) vs #4 Patrick Brucki (Princeton)

The lone wrestler with ties to Michigan at 197 is true freshman Brandon Whitman.  Whitman was 4th at the ACC's earning an auto-bid and will have 29-1 Brucki in the opening round.  They have not met this year, but wrestled a few times in high school - Brucki got the better of him there.  

285 lbs

#5 Mason Parris (Michigan) vs #28 Cary Miller (Appalachian State)
#7 Trent Hillger (Wisconsin/Lake Fenton) vs #26 Gannon Gremmel (Iowa State
#9 Matt Stencel (CMU) vs #24 Jeramy Sweany (Cornell)
#30 Colton McKiernan (SIUE/Richmond) vs #3 Gable Steveson (Minnesota)

Four wrestlers qualified at heavyweight and the only one with experience at NCAA's is CMU sophomore Stencel.  He leads the country in falls and for that reason has to be considered a threat to get on the podium Saturday.  Parris earned the 5 seed, with a second round match with Jennings looming.  He is 0-3 against Jennings on the year.  Hillger has been outstanding in his freshman season for Wisconsin and could very well find himself wrestling Friday night at the least.  Another true freshman, Colton McKiernan of Richmond, matches up with Gable Steveson in round one, but if he can replicate his MAC tournament, will be a threat on the backside.