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TheMat.com moving to USOC website platform with new look and functionality

This week, TheMat.com will move to the USOC platform, with a new look, new functionality, but with the same favorite features....

Terry Shockley named Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Shockley will succeed long-time chairman Jim Keen. Sr. as Chairman of the Board....

Iowa's Tony Ramos determined to finish career with NCAA title

The Hawkeye senior will battle Virginia Tech's Devin Carter in the NWCA All-Star Classic on Saturday....

NCAA announces finalist cities for its championships for 2014-18, including wrestling at all levels

Cleveland, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia & St. Louis are Div. I finalists. Div. II and III finalists also announced....



NCAA Division I brackets reveal pivitol pairings



With the brackets now available the NCAA Championships are sure to be exciting from the very beginning. Of course if the seeds play out there will be some very interesting second round matchups. Here is a look at a few matches that will pique the interest of the wrestling faithful descending on Iowa City. At 125 pounds, Stephen Abas of Fresno State garnered the top seed. Jody Strittmater of Iowa was handed the #2 seed, while Minnesota's LeRoy Vega was the #3 seed. Jason Powell, a freshman for the University of Nebraska took the #4 seed. In what could be an interesting second round match Justin Spates of Missouri may face LeRoy Vega of Minnesota--a matchup Vega should not overlook. The 133-pound weight class has been controlled by the returning national champion, Eric Juergens of Iowa. The Hawk gained the #1 seed, while Johnny Thompson, a freshman for Oklahoma State received the #2 seed. Todd Beckerman of Nebraska garnered the #3 seed and Pat McNamara of Michigan State was given the #4 seed. If the Sooners are too get on a roll early their hopes might lie with Witt Durden pulling a major upset. Durden could face Juergens in a second round matchup. Durden has bee a dangerous competitor to face all year long in the Big 12 conference. On the bottom side Minnesota and Iowa State will be looking to their competitors to provide their team a lift in what could shape to be a multiple team race to the title. The two teams are likely to face each other in the second round: Brett Lawrence the #10 seed from Minnesota will likely face Matt Azevedo another senior from ISU who holds the #7 seed. The Gophers will look to pull the upset to propel them in the team race. However, the Cyclones have a small margin for error an Azevedo loss could irreparably harm the Clones chances for the title. In the 141-pound weight division Doug Schwab of the Hawks gained the #1 seed. Schwab a champ from two years ago, was criticized for not putting in a dominant Hawkeye like performance at the Big Tens. The #2 seed belongs to Michael Lightner of Oklahoma, while the #3 seed goes to Eric Larkin of Arizona State. The #4 seed goes to Sean Gray to Virginia. Another possible second round matchup with national title implications could pit Charles Walker of Oklahoma State the #8 seed against Zach Roberson the #9 seed of Iowa State. Again an ISU victory might gather momentum for the Clones but a loss could be devastating. Of course, wrestlers don't like to look ahead but fans in the bleachers are allowed that luxury. The winner of this anticipated matchup will likely face Schwab of Iowa in the quarters----that could be a huge match for the march to the title. On the bottom side Minnesota will need a steady performance from Chad Erickson the #7 seed when he will likely face the #10 seed from Central Michigan, Jason Mester. The 149-pound matchup has Reggie Wright of Oklahoma State as the #1 seed. The #2 seed is Jared Lawrence of Minnesota, while Adam Tirapelle of Illinois holds the #3 seed. The #4 seed belongs to Dave Esposito of Lehigh. It doesn't take a lot of study of this bracket to see where the critical second round matchup will likely be. Right at the top, Wright will likely face Mike Zadick of Iowa in the second round. This matchup for obvious reasons is a critical bout in the title chase. Iowa has four strong weight classes, but is looking it's other four weights to kick in with big wins. Zadick is in the second tier of Hawk wrestlers and it remains to be seen whether the hometown crowd and the atmosphere of Carver-Hawkeye arena will give Zadick the surge he'll need to pull the upset. In a tough first round bout Billy Maldonado of ISU went unseeded and drew into the #4 seed from Lehigh, Dave Esposito. Maledonado is certainly capable of the win here, and it will likely be needed if the Clones will contend for the title. At 157 pounds, TJ Williams of Iowa grabbed the #1 and Brian Snyder of Nebraska gained the #2 seed. The #3 seed belongs to Yoshi Nakamura of Pennsylvania; the #4 seed goes to Eric Jorgenson of Oregon State. In an important possible second round match Shane Roller of Oklahoma State holds the #12 seed and could face Kirk White of Boise State. Look for the Cowboy to push hard for this victory. On the bottom side, Cole Sanderson of ISU, the #7 seed, will have to put in a solid and steady performance against the #10 seed, Rocky Smart of Arizona State. In the 165 pounds, Donny Pritzlaff of Wisconsin is the #1 seed whereas, Joe Heskett of Iowa State garnered the #2 spot. The #3 and #4 seed are Steve Blackford of Arizona State and Robbie Waller of Oklahoma. A great matchup to watch in the first round will put Chris Pendelton of Oklahoma State against Kevin Stanley of Indiana. Pendelton injury defaulted at the Big 12 Conference meet but received a wild-card slot. The Cowboys want 10 wrestlers to advance after the first round, and this will be a critical match. On the Hawkeye front, Ben Shirk, should he win, will likely face the #3 seed, Steve Blackford. Another important first round match will put an unseeded freshman, Johnny Clark of Ohio State against the #7 Chris Martin of Virginia. Although it is unlikely that the Buckeyes have the numbers to be a title team this year, they do have all 10 weights qualified for the tournament. Clark is a dangerous pinner, and will offer a glimpse of a young team that is sure to be a contender next year. The 174-pound weight class is considered to be a wide-open scramble. Josh Koschek of Edinboro received the #1 seed, while the #2 seed went to Otto Olson of Michigan. Maurice Worthy of Army received the #3 seed; whereas, Tyrone Lewis of Oklahoma State gained the #4 seed. In an interesting possible second round bout of the #9 and # 8 seed Iowa State will likely face Nathan Coy of Oregon State. Parks, the #9 seed, is needed in that all important team title race for the Cyclones. In another possible second round match the #12 seed Ati Conner will likely have a vocal cheering section from the Cowboys and Gophers fan base. Conner should he move to the second round will face Gabe McMahan of Iowa, #5 seed. Conner, hasn't pulled many upsets this season, but he has wrestled good wrestlers very tough, giving up several 1-point losses to highly ranked opponents in the Big 12 conference. Look for this bout to give an indication of Iowa's second tier of four competitors. If McMahan advances to the quarters, he may face the #4 seed from Oklahoma State, Tyrone Lewis. Of course, Lewis will likely have to wrestle his heart out against a tough John Kopinsky of Missouri in the second round. Another potential upset in the second round, might be in the making when Michael Barger of Oklahoma will face Mike Feeney of Eastern Michigan. If the Gophers of Minnesota need an upset look for a great effort from Jacob Volkman, the #10 seed, when he faces Eric Hall of Virginia, the #7 seed. At 184 pounds, to no surprise Cael Sanderson received the #1 seed. The #2 and #3 seeds went to Nate Patrick of Illinois and Daniel Cormier of Oklahoma State. The #4 seed goes to Victor Sveda of Indiana. A crucial second round match will likely have the #9 seeded, Cash Edwards of Boise State against the #8 seeded Jessman Smith of Iowa. This match, once again, will give the wrestling fans a good indication of how Iowa's second tier of athletes is faring. The 197-pound weight class is filled with top-seeded wrestlers from the Big 12. The tops three seeds are all from the Big 12. Last year's #1 seed repeats his seed this year, Mark Munoz for Oklahoma State gets the top line. The returning champion from Nebraska, Brad Vering, takes the #2 spot, while the runner-up from a year ago, Zach Thompson of Iowa State garners the #3 seed. The #4 seed belongs to Rusty Cook of Boise State. Probably the most important second round match will pit Nick Preston from Ohio State the #9 seed, and the fifth place finisher from a year ago, against the #8 seed Waymon May from Oklahoma. If Oklahoma wants to move into the top-tier of teams, the Sooners will need a win from May. The heav
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