Due to the effects of COVID-19, IAwrestle has simulated the 2020 NCAA wrestling tournament using the prediction engine built by WrestleStat. The algorithm predicts match scores in addition to predicting the winner, which is how bonus calculations were made for each match. We will be publishing our updates around roughly the same schedule as the NCAA Sessions were previously set to run in Minneapolis.

Simulated NCAA Schedule
March 20th | Session IV – 7PM
March 21st | Session V – 10AM
March 21st | Session VI – 6PM

Nic Ryder Photo

The Hawkeyes remain in the pole position, and continue to push their lead over returning state champions of Penn State as they now have 74.5 compared to the Nittany Lion’s 54 points. In third is Ohio State followed by North Carolina State and Nebraska rounding out the top five. Doug Schwab has his squad on the move as his team now sits in the top ten at eight, and Iowa State drops a bit, but manages to stick around at number ten.

Hawkeyes still in prime position 

While the Hawkeyes may have experienced their first loss(es) on the weekend, they still sit in the driver’s seat after punching six through into tonight’s semifinal round. They also remain in contention to place all ten on the podium as the remaining four wrestlers will compete in the Bloodround.

Iowa’s six All-Americans are Spencer Lee, Austin DeSanto, Pat Lugo, Michael Kemerer, Jacob Warner, and Tony Cassioppi who all picked up quarterfinal wins assuring them of a top six finish at this weekend’s tournament.

Lee advances to face his 2019 finals opponent, #4 Jack Muller of Virginia and the Hakweye junior will continue to strengthen his case for the 2020 Dan Hodge trophy. Also favored in their semifinal bouts are upperclassmen Pat Lugo and Michael Kemerer who face #4 Brock Mauller (Missouri) and #3 Jordan Kutler (Lehigh) respectively.

Needing an upset was DeSanto, who beat Cornell’s undefeated Chas Tucker to move on at 133 pounds. Up next will be a rubber match with Wisconsin’s Seth Gross. DeSanto won the dual meeting in early December, but Gross took the Midlands finals meeting later that month.

Also moving through on an upset was Warner, who defeated #4 Ben Darmstadt of Cornell to advance to face Ohio State’s #1 ranked Kollin Moore next.

Earning All-America status for the first time was Cassioppi, who won his third straight meeting against Wisconsin’s Trent Hillger and will now look for redemption against Michigan’s Mason Parris tonight.

The four Hawkeyes losing bouts were Max Murin, Kaleb Young, Alex Marinelli, and Abe Assad. Murin was downed by #2 Nick Lee and will face Central Michigan’s Dresdon Simon for a shot at making the podium for the first time in his career.

Young was defeated by top-seeded Ryan Deakin, and will need to rebound quickly with Purdue freshman Kendall Coleman, the weight’s #6 seed waiting in the bloodround.

There was heartbreak for Marinelli as he was downed in the quarterfinals for the second straight year. Up next will be a match agiainst NDSU’s Andrew Fogarty for his shot at the podium.

Iowa freshman Assad was unable to keep his upset train rolling as he fell to Penn State’s Aaron Brooks. Up next he will face instate rival Marcus Coleman for a shot at the podium.

Panthers make their move

After sitting outside the top ten the first two sessions the Panthers made up ground in the Friday morning session, moving them into the eighth spot in the team standing. The Panthers moved two into the semifinals, which means for the first time Taylor Lujan has clinched All-American status. He will still have work to do as he looks to face #5 Trent Hidlay of NC State tonight for a shot at reaching the finals.

Joining Lujan in the semi’s is Bryce Steiert, who was able to reverse his previous meetings with Purdue’s Dylan Lydy to earn his second All-America honor. Up next will be top-seeded Mark Hall of Penn State.

The Panthers also have an additional wrestler battling in the consolation bracket, just one win away from the podium. After earning All-American status as a freshman Max Thomsen is once again knocking at the door. This time he will need to go through #7 Bryaton Lee of Minnesota to continue his battle back.

Unfortunatley this round also saw the close of two other Panthers as Michael Blockhus won his first match in the session, but was then downed by Illini Dylan Duncan to end his weekend. Senior Jay Schwarm saw his career come to an end after a loss to Fabian Gutierrez of Chattnooga.

Iowa State stumbles, still have five alive 

With the emergence of Northern Iowa comes the tumble of Iowa State. The Cyclones were threatening the top five coming into today’s round, but they leave the session hanging on to the final top ten spot.

The Cyclones lone semifinalst is freshman David Carr, who overcame Big 12 foe Wyatt Sheets to earn his first All-America status. He will be tasked with taking on 2019 NCAA runner-up Hayden Hidlay of NC State tonight.

The two Cyclones that dropped their quarterfinal bouts were Ian Parker and Jarrett Degen, who both fell to opponents they had previously beaten in their careers. Parker had his Big 12 finals result flipped to Dom Deman, while Degen saw Lugo take the second straight match. Both fall to the Bloodround and must win one more match to make the podium with Parker facing Virginia Tech’s Mitch Moore, and Degen taking on Northern Colorado’s Andrew Alirez.

The Cyclones had a positive run on the backside by upper-weights Sammy Colbray and Marcus Coleman, who each won two straight to reach the Bloordound. Colbray will face Minnesota’s Devin Skatzka, while Coleman will have Iowa’s Assad.

The team did see the end to three of their wrestlers’ tournaments as Alex Mackall, Gannon Gremmel, and Todd Small all were eliminated.

Team Standings
1 Iowa 74.5
2 Penn State 54
3 Ohio State 36.5
4 North Carolina State 35.5
5 Nebraska 33.5
6 Oklahoma State 33
7 Wisconsin 26.5
8 Northern Iowa 25
9 Northwestern 23.5
10 Iowa State 23

Session III Championship Brackets

Session III Consolation Brackets

By Ross Bartachek (@rossbchek)

Lead Editor of IA Wrestle