#6 Thomas Gilman, Iowa (27-4) vs Evan Silver, Stanford (16-10)
Silver was a pretty solid recruit for Stanford but has not really lived up to the hype and struggled at times throughout his young career. Look for Gilman to control this match and move on to round 2.
#9 Dylan Peters, UNI (23-5) vs David Terao, American (37-5)
This is a very tough 1st round draw for Peters and should be an exciting match to watch. Terao is athletic and very talented and Peters will need to be ready to go right away.
#3 Cory Clark, Iowa (26-5) vs Ronald Perry, Lehigh (30-9)
Clark is wrestling very well late in the season and I look for him to keep rolling here. Perry is a solid wrestler and did beat Schopp at the EWL tournament but I think that Clark matches up well here and will move on.
#6 Earl Hall, Iowa St (25-6) vs Eric Montoya, Nebraska (18-13)
Hall has put together a very good year after moving up a weight since last season. He is very athletic and dangerous from all positions. He shouldn’t have much trouble with Montoya, who is coming off of an 8th place finish at Big 10’s.
Jack Hathaway, Oregon State (28-10) vs #5 Zane Richards, Illinois (23-6)
Former Iowa City West standout and PAC-12 champion Hathaway will have a tough first round match against Zane Richards of Illinois to start off his first NCAA championships. Lately Richards hasn’t looked to the same form that earned him a Midlands runner-up performance so if Richards is unable to shake off his rust from a two week layoff between Big Tens and NCAAs, Hathaway could capitalize and move on to the second round.
#5 Josh Dziewa, Iowa (27-7) vs Kevin Jack, NCST (27-8)
Dziewa is coming off maybe the best tournament of his college career at Big 10’s where he made a run into the finals and positioned himself well with a 5 seed for nationals. Jack had a pretty solid year but is coming off a bit of a disappointing 4th place finish at the ACC tournament.
Dante Rodriguez, Iowa St (18-6) vs 13 Randy Cruz, Lehigh (19-7)
Rodriguez has proven to be tough and dangerous since being pulled out of redshirt earlier in the season. He will have his hands full with #13 seed Cruz of Lehigh.
#4 Brandon Sorenson, Iowa (34-4) vs Kyle Langenderfer, Illinois (21-13)
Sorenson has had a fantastic freshman season with some very big wins. However, he is coming off of a loss in the Big 10 finals to defending national champ Jason Tsirtsis who he had beaten earlier in the year. Langenderfer came into the Big 10 tournament unseeded and lost to Tsirtsis first round before rattling off 5 straight wins to come all the way back for 3rd.
#9 Gabe Moreno, Iowa St (26-6) vs Colin Heffernan, Cent Mich (22-12)
Moreno is putting together a solid campaign and looks to continue his winning ways. Heffernan has had some struggles this year and I look for Moreno to move on decisively.
Mike Kelly, Iowa (23-10) vs #6 Josh Demas, Ohio St (16-7)
Kelly comes into the NCAA tournament as a wildcard after placing 9th at Big 10’s. He lost to the athletic Demas 5-2 in the dual meet earlier in the year and will have his hands full here again. This match could prove very big towards the team race.
Nick Moore, Iowa (22-9) vs #7 Pierce Harger, Northwestern (28-6)
Moore’s struggles this year have been well documented but he is still good enough to make the stand if he wrestles well. He does enter as a wildcard while Harger placed 4th at Big 10’s. However, they have split there 2 meetings this year with Harger winning at Midlands before Moore won the rematch in the dual. Moore will need to be at his best to beat him again but he is more than capable.
#2 Michael Moreno, Iowa St ( 22-3) vs Austin Wilson, Nebraska (16-14)
2 time All American Moreno is having his best year yet and comes in as the #2 seed. Wilson has struggled throughout the year and comes in after a 7th place finish at Big 10’s. Moreno should have little trouble in beating Wilson.
#13 Cooper Moore, UNI (22-5) vs Patrick Robinson, Purdue (14-17)
Cooper Moore has had another solid season and is coming in as the MAC conference champion. Robinson has struggled through the year and enters the tournament with a losing record. I look for Moore to win the match and move on to the 2nd round.
Mikey England, Missouri (27-14) vs Tyrel White, Colorado (24-14)
Centerville high school native England drew the only pigtail an Iowa wrestler will have all tournament at 165 and it will be against Tyrel White of Colorado. England has had a good, but not great season since being forced down to the 165 weight class and he should move on to face Tristan Warner, Old Dominion in the round of 32 matchup. From there Warner was the second best wrestler in the MAC so it will be an uphill battle for England.
Dakota Friesth, Wyoming (22-11) vs Taylor Walsh, Indiana (34-5)
Adel native Friesth drew a tough first round match with Indiana pinning machine Taylor Walsh. Friesth fared pretty well out west and is looking to make his final run at the NCAAs, but getting a pinning artist like Walsh to start the championships is less than ideal. A loss and Friesth could end up facing Iowa native England in the first round of consolation bouts.
#3 Mike Evans, Iowa (27-2) vs Ethan Smith, Utah Valley (14-12) OR Nathan Jackson,
Mike Evans has had a very good senior season coming in with only 2 losses on the season with both coming at the hands of Matt Brown. He should have little trouble with whatever guy comes out of the piggyback.
#13 Tanner Weatherman, ISU (23-8) vs Dominic Kastl, Cal Poly (16-6)
Weatherman comes in off of a runner up finish at the Big 12 tournament and should get a good test against Kastl who was the runner up at the Pac 12 championships. I look for Weatherman to move on but he better come ready to wrestle.
#9 Sam Brooks, Iowa (27-5) vs Jack McKeever, Binghamton (27-16) OR Ben Stroh,
Brooks had a disappointing loss in the quarterfinals at Big 10’s before coming back to place 3rd. He has had a good year but has had a few head scratching moments along the way. If he is wrestling well I don’t expect him to have any trouble with whoever wins the piggyback.
Lelund Weatherspoon, Iowa St (17-5) vs #12 Nolan Boyd, Oklahoma St (26-7)
Boyd won a close 2-1 match in the Big 12 finals over Weatherspoon and they will meet again in there very next match. I expect this one to be close again and if someone can come up with a takedown it could be enough to win.
Willie Miklus, Missouri (29-7) vs #10 Lorenzo Thomas, Penn (26-5)
Miklus addition to the lineup has been a surprise considering he has dropped to a weight that he hasn’t seen since before his senior year of high school at Southeast Polk. Miklus has had a pretty good season defeating the #4 seed Jack Dechow during the regular season, then losing a close rematch to Dechow in the MAC finals. It is plain to see that Miklus is able to hang with the best of them at this weight class, so despite that Thomas is both seeded and a returning All-American, this first round matchup isn’t as lopsided as it may appear on paper.
#6 Nathan Burak, Iowa (20-5) vs Vincent Pickett, Edinboro (17-16)
There was talk early in the year of a redshirt season for Burak but he has had another solid season since pulling the redshirt at the Midlands in December. I look for him to move past Pickett with relative ease and move on to the 2nd round.
#3 Kyven Gadson, Iowa St (25-1) vs Nathan Rotert, SDSU (22-10) OR
Basil Minto, UNI (20-14)
Gadson has had a great season and comes in with only 1 loss on the year and a Big 12 tournament title. He is a returning All American but is looking to finally make that run at the national finals that has eluded him to this point. Neither of these possible 1st round matches should give him much trouble. Hopefully Minto can earn a win in the piggyback match and set up and all Iowa matchup with Gadson.
#3 Bobby Telford, Iowa (27-3) vs Spencer Myers, Maryland (7-5)
Telford enters the national tournament after losing a heartbreaker in the Big 10 tournament finals. Myers placed 7th at the Big 10’s and has had a mediocre season to this point. Telford should move on with relative ease and will be looking for bonus points to help in what promises to be a tight team race.
#7 Blaize Cabell, UNI (26-5) vs Brooks Black, Illinois (17-14)
Since moving up a weight last year Cabell has proven to be a very solid heavyweight. He has stepped up even more this year and comes into nationals as the #7 seed. Black was very highly touted coming out of high school but has had mixed results to this point. Even though he will be giving up considerable size I look for Cabell to win and move on to the next round.
#15 Ross Larson, Iowa (25-7) vs Jacob Henders on (ODU) (23-11)
Larson has been able to take a step forward from a year ago, but suffered a minor set back at the Big 12 tournament when he was upset in the first round. Larson should have the advantage considering he was seeded so he should move on to the second round.