The IAwrestle team has broken down 125-157 pound weight classes. We will be posting 165-285 tomorrow at noon.
Returning 2014 All-Americans:#2 Nahshon Garrett, Cornell (2nd), #3 Joey Dance, Virginia Tech (4th), #9 Dylan Peters, UNI (6th), Jesse Delgado, Illinois (1st)
Iowa Schools Outlook:
#6 Thomas Gilman, Sophomore, Iowa
Iowa’s Thomas Gilman earned the sixth seed after dropping his final match before the NCAA Tournament, a 3-2 decision to Ohio State’s Nathan Tomasello, who ended up getting the fourth seed. Gilman will face Stanford’s Evan Silver in the first round, who went 16-10 on the year and no wins inside the top 10. If Gilman gets by Silver a third match with #11 Jordan Conaway from Penn State looms to make the quarterfinals. Gilman won the first two matches with Conaway by one point each, 6-5 and 5-4. He’ll not only have to keep attacking, but attack smart to beat Conaway the third time. If he makes it to the quarterfinals he’ll most likely take on Joey Dance from Virginia Tech. Dance beat Gilman earlier this year at The Midlands, 3-1 in the second sudden victory, and was Gilman’s first loss of the year. Dance is on an 18 match win streak, with his last loss coming to Conaway back in December.
#9 Dylan Peters, Sophomore, UNI
UNI’s Dylan Peters got the ninth seed after falling to Waters for the second time this year, this time in the MAC Championship final. Peters closed the gap a little bit, dropping the second decision 11-4 to the number one seed. Peters has American University’s David Terao in the first round. Terao is 37-5 on the year and is a tough wrestler, and Peters will have to be on his game to move to the next round, where he’ll either get the number eight seed in Tyler Cox, from Wyoming, or the defending National Champion at 125 pounds, Illinois’ Jesse Delgado. Delgado has only wrestled 12 matches on the year, going 9-3, so he was an unseeded pick going to the national tournament. I think Cox matches up better for Peters, but I think Delgado will be Peters’ opponent. Can Peters take advantage of the injured shoulder of Delgado and earn his 13th pinfall of the year? Or will Delgado put on his moves and take down the Panther? If Peters can finish his shots and ride Delgado I think he moves on to face #1 Alan Waters for a third time this year. I can’t see Peters beating Waters though, but I think he’ll wrestle back and get at least 6th place.
National Outlook: The top half of this bracket is loaded. Peters fell to the nine seed after only four total losses, only to the top three seeded men. Waters, Cox, Nathan Tomasello, Delgado, and Peters are all very good, and it will be a tough road for whoever comes out of the top half of the bracket, and unless Peters has learned a lot from his last time with Waters, I think the Tiger gets to the finals. Gilman has a tough road too, but I think it’s tougher only because he’ll have to face Conaway for a third time this year. I like Dance and Gilman to meet in the quarterfinals, with Klimara and Garrett in the other; it’s tough to see those four getting upset by the rest of the field before the that round. I don’t know if Gilman can get by Dance though, but I do like Dance to get the upset win over Garrett to earn a trip to the finals.
Finals Prediction: Alan Waters over Joey Dance.
2015 Projected All Americans
1st: Alan Waters (Missouri)
2nd: Joey Dance (Virginia Tech)
3rd: Nahshon Garrett (Cornell)
4th: Thomas Gilman (Iowa)
5th: Nathan Tomasello (Ohio State)
6th: Dylan Peters (UNI)
7th: Eddie Klimara (Oklahoma State)
8th: Tyler Cox (Wyoming)
Returning All-Americans: #3 Cory Clark, Iowa (5th at 125), #6 Earl Hall, Iowa State (8th at 125), #9 A.J. Schopp, Edinburg (4th), #10 Mason Beckman, Lehigh (6th), #13 Cody Brewer, Oklahoma (8th)
Iowa Schools Outlook:
#3 Cory Clark, Iowa
Clark picked up with three seed and is sitting very well in this bracket. His first round match will be against Ronald Perry from Lehigh whom is 30-9 on the season. Their only common opponents is Vincent Pizzuto. Clark majored Pizzuto and Perry lost in overtime 4-2. On paper this looks like bonus points for the Hawkeyes. Looking ahead towards to quarters he could meet up with Earl Hall from Iowa State. These two met earlier in the season with Clark coming out on 8-3. I think that all the heavy hitters are on the top side of the bracket which gives Cory Clark very good opportunity to wrestle on Saturday night. Clark needs to get bonus in his first match to get the ball rolling.
#6 Earl Hall, Iowa State
Last year Hall was a dark horse in many wrestling fans fantasy drafts but this year he was going in the middle rounds. Hall has shown quickness throughout the year and has proven he can handle the 133 pounders. Eric Montoya from Nebraska will be Hall’s first round opponent and they have wrestled some common opponents. The results that I am looking at are against Jimmy Gulibon from Penn State. Hall won by decision 5-2 and Montoya was majored by Gulibon 13-1. Hall’s biggest match will come against Cory Clark in the quarters. Whoever wins that match in my eyes in headed to the finals.
Jack Hathaway, Oregon State
Former Iowa City West Trojan Jack Hathaway won the 133 pound Pac-12 title two weeks ago. Hathaway has continued to progress throughout the season and might be peaking at the right time. I think he has a favorable matchup in the first round against #5 Zane Richards from Illinois. Based off what I see on paper these two have wrestled their common opponents very similar. This could be a big first round upset for the Iowa City West native. If Hathaway doesn’t get past Richards he will be in a big dog fight to become an All-American
National Outlook: If you’re on the top side of this bracket you can’t be happy with your draw. Dardanes, Schopp, Richards, Brewer and DiJulius all could very easily make the finals. Based off seedings Cody Brewer from Oklahoma would be my sleeper to make the finals. Brewer is a wrestler that thrives on momentum so if he can get rolling early and knock off the #4 seed Johnni DiJulis he will be a very high All-American. Chris Dardanes comes into the tournament undefeated and receives the number one seed. Dardanes has been wrestling solid all season long and time will tell if he has already peaked. This is the toughest top side of a bracket in the tournament in my eyes.
Finals Prediction: Cory Clark over Cody Brewer
2015 Projected All Americans
1st: Cory Clark (Iowa)
2nd: Cody Brewer (Oklahoma
3rd: Chris Dardanes (Minnesota
4th: A.J. Schopp (Edinboro)
5th: Earl Hall (Iowa State)
6th: Ryan Taylor (Wisconsin)
7th: Mason Beckman (Lehigh)
8th: Zane Richards (Illinois)
Returning All-Americans: #1 Logan Stieber, Ohio State (1st), #4 Devin Carter, Virginia Tech (2nd), #2 Mitchell Port, Edinboro (3rd), #6 Nick Dardanes, Minnesota (7th in 2013)
Iowa Schools Outlook:
#5 Josh Dziewa (Iowa) will face Kevin Jack (NC State) in the first round who has a 21-8 record on the year. Dziewa’s Big Ten finals performance was a big boost to his NCAA seed as he sits at #5 after being ranked in the 6 to 8 range all year. Dziewa has a very favorable draw to reach the quarterfinals where he will most likely face #4 seed Deving Carter (Virginia Tech). The quarterfinals is where Dziewa will be able to make a big statement as a win over Carter would give a huge boost to Iowa’s team chances. Then he would face Logan Stieber, but reaching the semifinals would lock up his first AA honor.
Dante Rodriguez (Iowa State) has put together a pretty solid season after getting his redshirt pulled early on, and he has been rewarded with his first trip to the NCAAs. His first round match will be against #13 Randy Cruz (Lehigh) who has a 19-7 record on the year. Rodriguez is considered one of the more dangerous wrestlers at the weight, and if he makes it through that match, it will set up a match with Devin Carter to try and reach the quarterfinals.
-National Outlook: This weight has only returned three All-Americans from a year ago, but it also returns Nick Dardanes (Minnesota) another All-American. Logan Stieber is the obvious favorite to win it all as he tries to go for this fourth NCAA title trying to join the all-time greats like Kyle Dake and Cael Sanderson. Mitchell Port is the favorite to win the bottom half of the bracket, though Missouri’s #3 Lavion Mayes will try and pull the upset to boost his team title chances.
-Finals Prediction: Logan Stieber over Mitchell Port
2015 Projected All Americans
1st: Logan Stieber (Ohio State)
2nd: Mitchell Port (Edinboro)
3rd: Devin Carter (Virginia Tech)
4th: Nick Dardanes (Minnesota)
5th: Lavion Mayes (Missouri)
6th: Geo Martinez (Boise State)
7th: Josh Dziewa (Iowa)
8th: Anthony Ashnault (Rutgers)
2014 Returning All Americans – #2 Jason Tsirtsis, Northwestern (1st), US – Josh Kindig, Oklahoma State (2nd), #4 – David Habat, Edinboro (4th), #1 – Drake Houdashelt, Missouri (5th).
Iowa schools Outlook:
#4 Brandon Sorensen (Iowa) Redshirt Freshmen (Denver-Tripoli)
Brandon comes into the tournament with a 34-4 record in his first season as part of the Hawkeye line-up, and will face Kyle Langenderfer (Illinios) in the first round. Langenderfer is coming off of a big win in consolation semi-finals over returning All American Hunter Stieber (Ohio State). Brandon needs to be prepared to create angles and to score early and often. When Brandon goes to his offense he can be tough to stop. Sorensen’s next opponent would be #13 seed Cobb (Penn), and the 5 seed Chris Villalonga (Cornell) will likely be his quarter-final opponent. Brandon beat Villalonga 4-1 at National Duals.
#9 Gabe Moreno (Iowa State) Redshirt Sophomore (Urbandale)
Gabe (26-6) will enter the tournament on a little bit of a down note, losing 7-6 (after an injury) in the first round of the Big 12’s. Despite the quick turnaround, Gabe is hopefully rested up and ready to go for NCAA’s. His first round opponent will be unseeded Colin Heffernan (Central Michigan). These two wrestlers have split matches this year; Richardson winning the most recent match at Southern Scuffle. The #8 seed Alexander Richardson (Old Dominion) will likely be awaiting the winner of the Moreno/Heffernan match in the second round. I believe that Moreno’s performance will depend heavily on the state of his injury. He is a very tough wrestler, however, and it would not surprise me to see him in the quarters against #1 seed Drake Houdashelt (Missouri).
#1 seed Houdashelt comes into the tournament fresh off a MAC championship victory over Richardson who could potentially be his quarter-final opponent. I am anxious and hoping to watch a rematch between the National Dual’s final participants in the semis here between Houdashelt and Sorensen. Drake called upon his tough riding skills to secure the riding time point which led to a win in the first match. Defending champion and number 2 seed Alex Tsirtsis (Northwestern) looks to have a pretty solid path to the semis in the bottom quarter of the bracket; which brings us to #3 David Habat (Edinboro). Habat has won 32 of 34 matches this year, but is coming off a loss in his conference tournament final. The NCAA committee rewarded him (I know it’s a blind draw after the seeds, but still) with a first round match-up against returning national finalist and unseeded Josh Kindig (Oklahoma State).
Sleeper – Hunter Stieber, an AA in 2013 prior to a redshirt last year, has not wrestled much this year but has had some great matches against some tough competition. He wrestled in the consolation semis at the B1G after defaulting out of the semis and was subsequently pinned by Langenderfer. He looked pretty tough in that match before getting thrown to his back with a headlock. If he can compete through the pain in his elbow, he has the potential to be a tough opponent. The draw he received may be the biggest factor working against him.
Finals Prediction: Brandon Sorensen over Jason Tsirtsis
2015 Projected All Americans
1st: Brandon Sorensen (Iowa)
2nd: Jason Tsirtsis (Northwestern)
3rd: Drake Houdashelt (Missouri)
4th: David Habat (Edinboro)
5th: Chris Villalonga (Cornell)
6th: Zach Beitz (Penn State)
7th: Alec Pantaleo (Michigan)
8th: Tywan Claxton (Ohio)
Returning All-Americans: #12 Mitchell Minotti, Lehigh (8th @ 149), #3 Dylan Ness, Minnesota (2nd), #4 James Green, Nebraska (3rd), #7 Ian Miller, Kent State (4th), #2 Brian Realbuto, Cornell (6th), #13 Anthony Perrotti, Rutgers (8th), Nick Brascetta, Virginia Tech (8th @149 in 2013)
Iowa Schools Outlook:
Michael Kelly of Iowa is the lone wrestler from the state in this bracket. He will face #6 Josh Demas of Ohio State in the first round. Demas comes in with a 16-7 record and hes fresh off a 4th place finish at the Big Tens. Kelly and Demas didnt meet up at Big Tens, but they did wrestle in early January where Demas came out on top 5-2. For Iowa to have a good shot at winning this tournament they will need some points out of Kelly. The Buckeye will be favored in this match over the Hawkeye, but it’s at least a winable match. Assuming there isnt an upset first round, Kelly will more than likely find himself in the consolation against Alex Elder of Oregon State with a 31-10 record. Elder doesn’t have any signature wins, but he has beaten most of the guys he was supposed to. Hopefully Kelly can survive here and move on to the next round. It wont be any though as Kelly will likely face the loser of #5 Cody Pack (SDSU) and #12 Mitchell Minotti (Lehigh) who is a returning all american. On paper Kelly is only favored in 1 match and anything more would be a bonus.
This weight figures to be a 4 horse race and it looks like the seeding committee got it right separating them until the semis. The 4 wrestlers are Redshirt Freshman #1 Isaiah Martinez of Illinois (29-0), #2 Brian Realbuto of Cornell (19-2), #3 Dylan Ness of Minnesota (28-2), and #4 James Green of Nebraska (30-4). Outside of the top 4 a few wrestlers could make a run at the top spot if they get hot at the right time. Leading that pack is Ian Miller of Kent State, although Miller hasnt had a great season that includes 6 loses, Miller still has proven that he is tough to beat at nationals. If you havent watched the offensive juggernaut, Martinez, in action this year you have been missing out. Look for him to get past Green and find his way into the finals. The other Semi will feature a rematch from national duals where Brian Realbuto picked up a convincing 9-3 victory over the ever dangerous Dylan Ness. The Cornell wrestler should be the favorite to repeat but we have learned time and time again not to bet against Ness out at the NCAA Tournament.
Finals Prediction: IMart over Ness (The score might not be close similar to their match at Big Tens, but you can bet it will be exciting)
2015 Projected All Americans:
1st: Isaiah Martinez Illinois
2nd: Dylan Ness Minnesota
3rd: Ian Miller Kent State
4th: Brian Realbuto Cornell
5th: James Green Nebraska
6th: Mitchell Minotti Lehigh
7th: Brian Murphy Michigan
8th: Joseph Lavallee Missouri