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NCAA Tournament starts today at Noon

By MI Grappler, 03/16/23, 9:30AM EDT


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What to know

The NCAA tournament will kick off today at Noon Michigan time (11am CST).  16 Michigan natives will be starting their run for the podium, in addition to 6 Wolverines and a pair of Spartans who are not Michigan natives.

Full brackets can be accessed below and the entire tournament is streamed via ESPN networks (see schedule below).  We will be posting updates throughout the tournament on here and also via twitter (@michgrappler), instagram (@migrappler), and Facebook.

Michigan's Best Bets

Mason Parris of Univ of Michigan is the top seeded 285, coming off undefeated season and Big Ten Title two weeks ago.  He is the only guy with Michigan ties to be the top seed.  Parris should have a relative easy first day based on past results but big time matchup looms in the semis with Schultz of Arizona State, who he lost to in Detroit last year, or another match with Iowa's Cassiopi.

Max Dean of Penn State (Lowell High School) is a returning NCAA Champ making his last tournament appearance and looking for his 3rd finals run, however, a couple early season losses really made the seeding here funky and ended with Dean the #9 seed.  He is coming off a big upset loss in the Big Ten Finals to Silas Alred and is on a course to meet Alred again tonight in the Round of 16!  From there Dean's path is all bumpy and should be exciting to watch as he attempts to navigate back to the finals from the #9 spot.

Cameron Amine of Michigan and Detroit Catholic Central 3x state champ is looking to be a 3x All-American, but will have as hard a road as ever.  Amine is the #11 seed in one of the toughest weights I can remember in NCAA tournament history.  After missing the last part of the regular season with injury, he returned for the Big Ten Tournament and finished 4th competing well, but we have to hope his health is good going into this weekend.  He is slated for a big time matchup with Iowa's Pat Kennedy Friday night.

Will Lewan of Michigan is also a returning All-American after a wild run last year.  Lewan starting looking like his post-season self at Big Tens as he rattled off 3 straight backside wins to finish 3rd.  He has proved able of pulling out big wins so he is dangerous and someone to watch from the 9 seed.


Univ of Michigan in the team race

The Wolverines are coming off a Runner Up finish last year in Detroit.  They don't have the hype coming in this year, however, with 8 qualifiers and a handful with major NCAA tournament experience, the Maize and Blue are a team to keep an eye on in the team race.  They will need a strong Day 1 showing.  

Outside of Parris, Lewan (#9 at 157) and Finesilver (#8 at 184) are the only other top 10 seeded guys for Michigan.  

Therefore, they will need some on paper upsets today to position themselves for a high finish.  In addition to Parris UM needs guys like Ragusin, Lewan, Amine, and Finesilver to navigate from their spots in the bracket to the quarterfinals, which is very do-able but will require some big wins.

First timers

In addition to veterans like Dean, Amine, Hillger, etc.  Keep an eye on the first timers like freshmen Alex Facundo (Penn State-Davison) and Casey Swiderski (Iowa State-Dundee).

Facundo is the 13 seed at 165 and could be a dangerous threat to make the quarterfinals.  He is also a big component for Penn States race to the team title.

Swiderski has been battling injuries all year but had a good Big 12 performance and is the 24 seed at 141.  Interesting to watch he has all familiar faces in his path to the semis.  He has Schwartz from Oklahoma round 1 who he lost to 3-2 this year, then likely Allan Hart of Missouri who he lost to 7-1 in a dual a month ago, then if he survives that could have top seed Real Woods of Iowa who lost a very chippy 4-2 match back in December to.

Derek Gilcher (Indiana/DCC  - 157), Brendan Ferretti (Navy-Dakota - 133), and Jack Medley (Michigan-Anchor Bay, 125) are others making their first NCAA appearance.


Note that times are in Central Standard Time.