Returning 2016 All-Americans: #1 Alex Dieringer, Oklahoma State (1st), #3 Bo Jordan, Ohio State (3rd), #2 Issac Jordan, Wisconsin (7th), #13 Jim Wilson, Stanford (8th)

Iowa Schools’ outlook:

#9 Tanner Weatherman, senior, Iowa Statetanner weatherman cyclones

Weatherman gets a favorable draw first round against Dakota Juarez (Eastern Michigan) but then will more than likely have Chad Welch from Purdue. Welch pinned Weatherman in the finals of the 2015 Ken Kraft Midlands Championships. Weatherman though has been a new wrestler since that tournament started. He looks a lot stronger at this weight class but again he will have to wrestle smarter against Welch. Losing here will make the run to All-American status much tougher. He has to beat Welch in my opinion to be an All-American.

US Cooper Moore, junior, Northern Iowa

We may be biased here at IAwrestle but Cooper Moore should of been seeded in this tournament. Similar to Bryce Steiert at 157 pounds I think he can get past his pigtail and first round foes setting up a tough match with #3 seed Bo Jordan of Ohio State in the second round. Jordan is a returning All-American and will likely send Moore to the consolation side of the bracket.

US Patrick Rhoads, senior, Iowa

Rhoads had an amazing Big Ten Championships as far as I am concerned and even though he didn’t get a seed he received a very favorable draw against Stanford’s Jim Wilson. Wilson is a returning All-American but Rhoads very easily could have been drawn in with a top eight seeded wrestlers so Iowa fans have to be happy. If he gets past Wilson first round he will more than likely face Missouri’s Daniel Lewis who has four losses on the season. An upset here would be out of no where but Rhoads showed a lot of confidence at Big Tens. Realistically Iowa fans need to be thinking round of 12 for Rhoads and anything above that would be a great way to send the senior off.

National outlook: 

Alex Dieringer leads the way here at 165 pounds as the #1 seed and heavy favorite. Dieringer was able to win his fourth consecutive Big 12 conference championship two weeks ago and will be seeking this third national championship Saturday night. Someone to look out for on the top side of the bracket is Max Rohskopf from NC State. He’s 15-2 on the season and comes in as the #5 seed after a great season in the ACC. His only loss on the season is to #4 seed Daniel Lewis of Missouri 6-3. The bottom side of the bracket has two cousins battling it out for a shot at a national championship. #2 Isaac Jordan and #3 Bo Jordan should have no issues getting to the semifinals and based off history we will see the two top seeded wrestlers in the finals Saturday night.

Finals prediction: Alex Dieringer over Isaac Jordan

2016 Projected All-Americans

1st: Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State)
2nd: Isaac Jordan (Wisconsin)
3rd: Bo Jordan (Ohio State)
4th: Max Rohskopf (North Carolina State)
5th: Daniel Lewis (Missouri)
6th: Steven Rodrigues (Illinois)
7th: Chad Welch (Purdue)
8th: Austin Wilson (Nebraska)

TAKEDOWN MEDIAhttp://www.elitetakedownclub.com/etc-camps.html


Returning 2016 All-Americans: #8 Zach Epperly, Virginia Tech (7th), #4 Ethan Ramos, North Carolina (6th at 165), #2 Brian Realbuto, Cornell (2nd at 157)

Iowa Schools’ outlook:

Alex Meyer Hawkeyes
Alex Meyer in his come from behind victory over Nate Jackson, earlier this season

#13 Alex Meyer, junior, Iowa

Some are a fan of Alex Meyer’s draw, I happen to be someone who falls into the other camp. Meyer starts out with a 13-10 Gordon Wolf after earning the #13 seed for this weekend. Meyer was far from a bonus machine this year, but this could be an opportunity to get some extra points early. A win there advances him to face him to most likely face the #4 seed Ethan Ramos of North Carolina. Ramos was an All-American at 165 pound last season.

US Lelund Weatherspoon, junior, Iowa State

After winning a Big 12 title, Iowa State fans were a little hopeful to see some good things out of Lelund Weatherspoon, but that will be tough to come by looking at his draw. He will start off with the #2 seed Brian Realbuto of Cornell, an NCAA runner-up at 157 pounds a season ago. Not to be down on Weatherspoon, but if he is going to make a run on the tournament, there is a good chance it comes on the backside. Even with a first round loss I think Weatherspoon has a decent draw if the real bracket plays out the same way mine did, and Weatherspoon is a dark horse candidate to reach the round of 12.

National outlook: So far the Bo Nickal hype train has matched the product on the mat, as we have been treated to a season of Nickal putting on dominant displays of scoring and high paced matches. Aside from his one slip up with Indiana’s Nate Jackson, Nickal has been perfect, and that is the reason he is the #1 seed and favorite to win the 174 pound title. Nickal has beaten both of the other top seeds on his side of the bracket. He defeated Ethan Ramos 11-7 in the Southern Scuffle finals, and defeated Illinois’ Zach Brunson by fall and 18-9. The other side could get interesting with Brian Realbuto, Blaise Butler, and even Cody Walters all having a shot to come out of the bottom side of the bracket.

Finals prediction: Bo Nickal over Brian Realbuto

2016 Projected All-Americans

1st: Bo Nickal (Penn State)
2nd: Brian Realbuto (Cornell)
3rd: Ethan Ramos (North Carolina)
4th: Blaise Butler (Missouri)
5th: Zach Epperly (Virginia Tech)
6th: Cody Walters (Ohio)
7th: Zach Brunson (Illinois)
8th: Myles Martin (Ohio State)


Returning 2015 All-Americans: #1 Gabe Dean, Cornell (1st), #10 Nate Brown, Lehigh (2nd), #3 Vic Avery, Edinboro (3rd), #6 Blake Stauffer, Arizona State (4th), US Kenny Courts, Ohio State, (5th), #12 Hayden Zilmer, North Dakota State (6th), #14 Willie Miklus, Missouri (7th), #7 TJ Dudley, Nebraska (8th)

Iowa Schools’ outlook:

Sammy Brooks Hawkeyes
Sammy Brooks celebrates a Big Ten title

#2 Sammy Brooks, junior, Iowa

I don’t think a single Hawkeye fan out there can complain with Sammy Brooks’s current predicament. Brooks earned the #2 seed at this year’s tournament, despite a late season loss to Pete Renda. The truth is that Brooks is in a tough quarterfinal bracket, but he also has an easier path being the #2 seed. He will face Chattanooga’s John Lampe to start his tournament off and if there is one thing Brooks has been able to do it’s bonus guys he should. That should setup a rematch with Nic Gravina of Rutgers, whom Brooks beat 11-5 in the dual meeting this season, despite Gravina racking up a lot of riding time by throwing in both the legs. That would mean (most likely) a TJ Dudley of Nebraska or Nate Brown of Lehigh for a chance to go to the semifinals. Brooks is coming off a win over Dudley in the Big Ten finals, and Nate Brown has fallen from NCAA runner-up to the #10 seed, I am picking Brooks to make the semifinals.

#14 Willie Miklus, sophomore, Missouri

After earning (surprise) All-American honors as a freshman, Miklus has experienced a bit of a sophomore slump. The top seed in the MAC conference tournament, Miklus was upset 3-1 by Jordan Ellingwood and failed to even reach the finals, which is one of the reasons his seed is so low. That may cost him as he has a chance to get by Corey Griego of Oregon State in round one, but then should face #3 seed Vic Avery of Edinboro. A win there gives him a potential match with Blake Stauffer of Arizona State or Lorenzo Thomas of Penn. Not an ideal draw. I have Miklus reaching the quarters, the falling to Stauffer. Miklus knows how to show up when the lights are on, and I think he reaches the podium again in 2016.

Dane Pestano, sophomore, Iowa State

A rough draw for Iowa State fans to see a fan favorite, Dane Pestano, draw returning All-American Hayden Zilmer round one. Zilmer defeated Pestano 11-7 in their recent meeting at the Big 12 championships which means we could see the Cyclone on the backside early. I like what I have seen to think he will not be 0-2, but his second round consolation match will most likely be with either Lorenzo Thomas of Penn or Blake Stuaffer of Arizona State. A tough draw for the Cyclone.

National outlook: Talk about anything being able to happen at this weight, not only do all eight All-Americans from the 2015 season return, but half of them are seeded 10 or lower. Depending on who you root for, there are two quarterfinals on each side of the bracket that appear to be really strong. The toughest is most likely the very bottom quarterfinal, which will have returning NCAA runner-up Nate Brown, #2 seed Sammy Brooks, returning AA TJ Dudley, and Nic Gravina all the favorites to battle out of that part of the bracket. The other tough quarterfinal contains freshman phenom Zach Zavatasky, former Big Ten champion Domenic Abounader, All-American Hayden Zilmer, and Pete Renda who is known to wrestle a tough match or two. Overall I see few who can truly test #1 seed Gabe Dean at this weight, but after him every spot is up for grabs.

Finals prediction: Gabe Dean over Blake Stauffer

2016 Projected All-Americans

1st: Gabe Dean (Cornell)
2nd: Blake Stauffer (Arizona State)
3rd: Sammy Brooks (Iowa)
4th: Zach Zavatasky (Virginia Tech)
5th: Domenic Abounader (Michigan)
6th: Hayden Zilmer (North Dakota State)
7th: Willie Miklus (Missouri)
8th: Vic Avery (Edinboro)


Returning 2015 All-Americans: #1 Morgan McIntosh, Penn State (3rd), #2 J’den Cox, Missouri (5th), #5 Conner Hartmann, Duke (6th), #4 Nathan Burak, Iowa (7th), #10 Max Huntley, Michigan (8th)

Iowa Schools’ outlook:

Nathan Burak Hawkeyes
Iowa senior Nathan Burak in the Big Ten semifinals

#4 Nathan Burak, senior, Iowa

If you are an Iowa fan you are most likely in the camp that Burak got hosed in the seeding process getting the #4 seed behind Brett Pfarr, who Burak defeated in the Big Ten semifinals the other weekend. Most are upset for good reason, as Burak will be on the same side of the bracket as both #1 seed Morgan McIntosh (Burak is 0-5 in his career against) from Penn State and it also has Duke All-American Conner Hartmann. Burak’s first round match is against Northern Colorado’s Trent Noon, and from there he should see Jake Smith of West Virginia. Burak has been a model of consistency and should be a safe pick to reach the quarterfinals where he could see the already mentioned Hartmann. Burak has his work cut out for him this weekend, but he is able to hang with every wrestler at this weight.

US Patrick Downey, sophomore, Iowa State

It’s difficult to peg Pat (may be listed as James) Downey and his chances this weekend at the NCAA tournament. He will start off with a tough test in the #11 seed Phil Wellington of Ohio, and a win there will advance him to a potential match with Virginia Tech’s Jared Haught, the six seed. During the season Downey got walloped by Brett Pfarr, but that was before Downey truly committed to the 197 class (he was expected to be at 184 this season). Downey is coming off a solid Big 12 tournament and has a lot of talent that could allow him to play spoiler in New York.

National outlook: This weight may not return it’s two top finishers from the previous season, but it does feature an undefeated Morgan McIntosh and the 2014 NCAA champion J’den Cox of Missouri. Burak and Hartmann have shown to be consistent wrestlers who beat every opponent outside the top five, with Pfarr really emerging onto the scene since moving up from 184. This weight appears to be McIntosh’s, but Cox will look to get back on top coming from the other side of the bracket.

Finals prediction: Morgan McIntosh over J’den Cox

2016 Projected All-Americans

1st: Morgan McIntosh (Penn State)
2nd: J’den Cox (Missouri)
3rd: Brett Pfarr (Minnesota)
4th: Nathan Burak (Iowa)
5th: Jared Haught (Virginia Tech)
6th: Reuben Franklin (Cal State-Bakersfield)
7th: Conner Hartmann (Duke)
8th:  Michael Boykin (North Carolina State)



Returning 2015 All-Americans: #1 Nick Gwiazdowski, North Carolina State (1st), #5 Adam Coon, Michigan (2nd), #3 Ty Walz, Virginia Tech (7th), #9 Michael Kroells, Minnesota (8th), #2 Kyle Snyder, Ohio State (2nd at 197)

Iowa Schools’ outlook:

#11 Sam Stoll, freshman, Iowa
Sam Stoll’s knee injury obviously makes his NCAA tournament a lot tougher than it seems to be. He got a fairly favorable draw, taking on Boyce Cornwell in the first round, then either Brooks Black or Denzel Dejournette (I think Dejournette) in the second. Healthy, I think Stoll takes down both those wrestlers, but in the state he’s currently in I don’t think he can get through to the quarterfinals. Stoll would then have a really tough road on the backside, as I have him dropping his first consolation match to Billy Smith of Rutgers, who dropped two close matches with the Hawkeye earlier this season. If not for Stoll’s knee, I think he’s an All-American this season.

Cabell vs Gunning-003
UNI’s Blaize Cabell works for a takedown against Buffalo’s Jake Gunning in the 285 pound MAC Championship match

#14 Blaize Cabell, senior, Northern Iowa
The senior heavyweight for the Panthers had been having a solid season, going 22-6 on the year and really only having one bad loss. He has a win over the #12 seed Billy Smith (Rutgers), and qualifiers Mike Hughes (Hofstra) and Gage Hutchison (Eastern Michigan). With that he also has losses to some of the top seeds, most notably Ty Walz from Virginia Tech. Cabell does own two wins over Walz though, both coming last season and the second coming in the NCAA tournament. As it sits this season I think the MAC Champion will open up with a win over Drexel’s Joseph Goodhart before running into Walz again (although Walz does have a tough first round match against Tanner Hall). If Cabell can connect and finish his shots against Walz, something he was unable to do in their last match at Virginia Tech, then I think he comes away the winner. Having said that I would pick Walz to win the match, and seeing Cabell fall to the backside. I think he wrestles through the bloodround into the seventh place match where I have him wrestling Hall, and winning 7th place for the Panthers. If Cabell can get by Walz though, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the semifinals opposite Snyder on Friday night.

US Ross Larson, junior, Oklahoma
Former Ankeny prep Ross Larson comes into the national tournament unseeded and has a pretty tough opening draw. First he’ll have a rubber match with Rutger’s #12 Billy Smith. Larson went 1-1 against Smith this year, winning the most recent match 10-2. That gives Larson, most likely, Adam Coon and that’s where I think we’ll see him fall to the consolation bracket. Unfortunately I have him matching up with Arizona State’s Tanner hall, who I think gets the better of the Sooner to end his NCAA run.

National outlook:
I’m not sure that there isn’t a more clear-cut path to the finals for the #1 and 2 seeds at any other weight this year. Yes, Nick Gwiazdowski will have to go through Coon or Marsden (I personally think Coon, although Marsden did defeat him last season), and Snyder will probably have to go through Ty Walz (if Walz can survive Cabell and Appalachian State’s Denzel Dejournette, who I think both push him more than he would like), but I think they get the job done and have the showdown in the finals most everybody wants to see. I think Gwiazdowski’s experience at the NCAA’s and his style leave Snyder 0-2 in NCAA Championship matches.

Finals prediction: Nick Gwiazdowski over Kyle Snyder

2016 Projected All-Americans

1st: Nick Gwiazdowski (North Carolina State)
2nd: Kyle Snyder (Ohio State)
3rd: Adam Coon (Michigan)
4th: Austin Marsden (Oklahoma State)
5th: Ty Walz (Virginia Tech)
6th: Denzel Dejournette (Appalachian State)
7th: Blaize Cabell (Northern Iowa)
8th: Tanner Hall (Arizona State)


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