2019 NCAA Tournament Preview (unsolicited)

BHF23

Well-Known Member
Oct 28, 2005
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OK, I lied. After my dismal performance predicting last year’s results, I (sort of) vowed not to do it again. As I’ve told you before…I’m no wrestling expert. Oh, I know a cow-catcher from an ankle pick all right. (Do cows even have ankles?) I know why “illegal fist to the back,” “stallmate” and “go-around” are funny. And Aruba. But the difference between a slide-by and a shrug and a shuck and an arm drag? ‘Fraid not. Maybe they’re like caribou and reindeer, or mountain lion/cougar/puma…all the same thing? At any rate, there’s your disclaimer. You should consider this preview your “bible” for the 2019 NCAA Championships only if you worship as your god…say, a Norwegian scientist who measures the methane output of moose for a living. (On average, 2,100 kilos per moose per year, as it turns out.) As always, in true journalistic tradition, I’ll treat all injuries with reckless speculation. There. You have been warned.


INDIVIDUAL PREVIEW

125

As a Penn State grad/fan, am I allowed to root for at least one IOWA Hawkeye individual championship? What?? NO??? Wait…I can explain! I promise! But let me get back to that. Rivera (NW) gets the 1 seed here, having gone undefeated at 125, losing only at 133 to #1 (at the time) Micic (MICH). Rivera knocked off defending champ Lee (IOWA) twice, most recently in the Big Ten finals. The undefeated Piccininni (OKST) is #2, also bested Lee, locking him up in a dual meet cradle. #3 Lee’s health/possible lack thereof has been a constant source of discussion throughout the season (reckless speculation: mono, stereo, polio, the old “okey doke”, flat feet, gas, out of gas, halitosis, scoliosis, a vague sense of unease, myopia, dystopia, cornucopia, and chigger bites), but still beats Rivera at Big Tens in regulation without a late (legitimate) hands-to-the-face call (and possibly a Minnesota-Iowa basketball game obscuring his vision). And there’s value in being a champion. #4 Bresser (OREST) lost once, to Rivera in SV, and #5 Mueller (UVA) lost to….well, nobody, though facing only one wrestler seeded higher than 23 (Fausz (NCST) at #15) in the regular season. Tough top 5 here. Next level is pretty respectable too, with #6 Russell (MINN) and #7 Glory (PRIN) both coming in at 26-4, and #8 Arujau (COR) at 26-2, but I’ll say the winner comes from the top three. Now…here’s why I’ll be rooting for at least one Hawkeye to win an individual championship: If I could be granted two wishes for this tournament, my second wish (see 133 for my first) would be for that champion…let’s say Spencer Lee for now…to eschew the traditional Hawkeye post-victory “Hamster Toss” and calmly shake the hands of his coaches. Brief “man-hugs” all around would be fine. Wave to the fans…maybe stop and sign an autograph or two. Then, when he’s lassoed for an interview on the way to the locker room, Spencer should smile broadly, pause to reflect upon the first question posed to him…and launch Quint Kessenich directly into the stands. Better yet…a moat. Because crocodiles have to eat, too. Can I get an “amen”?

PREDICTIONS:

1. Lee (IOWA); 2. Rivera (NW); 3. Piccininni (OKST); 4. Bresser (OREST); 5. Glory (PRIN); 6. Arujau (COR); 7. Russell (MINN); 8. Fleetwood (NDSU)

BONUS PREDICTION:

9. Even crocodiles would probably spit him out.

BURNING QUESTION: How did that Norwegian scientist get the moose to fart in kilos?

133

Now…if I could be granted only one wish for the 2019 NCAA tournament…for highly personal reasons…please….PLEASE….not another #3 Suriano (RUT)-#1 Fix (OKST) match. No time, nowhere, nohow. Not in the consolation rounds…not “in case of emergency”…not “out back afterward”…and (heaven forbid!) PLEASE…PRETTY PLEASENOT IN THE FINALS!!! I have never been a drinker. I should say “had” never been a drinker. Watching the regular season meeting between these two caused me to start. The longer I watched, the more I drank. Especially heavily during the interminable video reviews. My new vice became a problem that quickly spiraled out of control. Vomiting…shakes…randomly belting out show tunes while wandering aimlessly in the streets. For a long time, I was in denial. Thankfully, friends intervened and finally convinced me to enter rehab. It was a long, arduous, journey, but I completed my program (successfully, I hope), and began to share my story with others. All before the match ended. And I have remained sober ever since. So…no Suriano/Fix. Please. I don’t want no stinkin’ relapse. All that said…sadly, they both looked darned good in winning their conference tournaments, and presumptive favorite unbeaten #2 Micic (MICH) comes in with a big honkin’ question mark, having MFFed out of the Big Ten semifinals (reckless speculation: “the willies”). :::sigh::: #4 Phillippi (PITT), who bested Fix 3-1 in a dual meet? He could meet Fix in the semis. Steady #5 Pletcher (tOSU) faces a possible tough second-round challenge from #12 Bridges (WYO), with high school rival Phillipi on deck. Two-time AA #6 “Backpack” Lizak (MINN) maybe? #7 DeSanto (IOWA)? Admit it. If nothing else, you can’t look away, can you? Get well soon, Stevan Micic. Please? Guessing he’s far less than 100%, but gives it his best shot....

PREDICTIONS (ugh!):

1. Suriano (RUT); 2. Fix (OKST); 3. Phillipi (PITT); 4. DeSanto (IOWA); 5. Micic (MICH); 6. Pletcher (tOSU); 7. Lizak (MINN); 8. Wilson (NCST)

BONUS PREDICTION:

9. Please. You don’t want to hear me singing show tunes.

BURNING QUESTION: Aren’t you glad moose fart in kilos, and not in elevators?


141

How being a sports fan makes one a better person: After many months of practice, I have learned to spell “Antetokounmpo” and “Diakomihalis” without looking! Defending champion Diakomihalis (COR) fought off an injury (reckless speculation: “Nolf Knee”) well enough to cruise into the tournament as an undefeated #1 seed with a #2 McKenna (tOSU)-sized notch in his belt. McKenna has finished third at NCAAs twice: in 2016 at Stanford, and last year at tOSU. This season, he had quality wins over #4 Alber (UNI), #5 Eierman (MIZZ), #8 Storr (MICH), and #16 Red (NEB) twice, and split two matches with #3 Lee (PSU). MAC champion and returning AA Eierman (MIZZ) is a particularly dangerous #5, with wins over #6 Carr (ILL) twice, Storr and #15 Brock (OKST), and losses only to Yianni, McKenna and Alber. In 13 matches since his 12/29 loss to Yianni, he has registered 11 pins and a TF sandwiched around a 4-3 loss to Alber. Still, if I were going to put these guys in tiers, I’d have Yianni in one by himself. The guy looks like an all-timer. Maybe McKenna, Lee, Eierman, and Alber next. (McKenna-Lee semifinal? Front row, please.) Past that? I don’t know. Carr seems way high at 6. #7 McKee (MINN) maybe? Storr’s been up and down. #9 Demas (OKLA) won the Big 12s in impressive fashion. How about Red as a sleeper? Anyway, outside of the rest of the top 5, no one’s touching Yianni. Probably not even them, though McKenna did fight him to a 7-5 decision, and Eierman held him to 3-1. The good news is, because I’m a sports fan…whoever wins, I’ll be able to spell his name correctly! Betcha a nickal.

PREDICTIONS:

1. Diakomihalis (COR); 2. McKenna (tOSU); 3. Eierman (MIZZ); 4. Lee (PSU); 5. Demas (OKLA); 6. McKee (MINN); 7. Alber (UNI); 8. Red (NEB)

BONUS PREDICTION:

9. “K-R-Z-Y-Z-E-W-S-K-I”

BURNING QUESTIONS: Does that Norwegian scientist bring a big jar to work? Did he remember to pack a Tic Tac in his lunch? Even if he did, would you want to kiss him when he got home?


149

Two-horse race? #1 Ashnault (RUT) is undefeated against everybody (27-0). #2 Jordan (tOSU) is undefeated against everybody…else. So far Ashnault has been Affirmed to Jordan’s Alydar, by counts of 14-10 (Cliff Keen Invitational) and 8-6 (Big Ten finals) in a pair of entertaining matches. If both make the finals, the NCAA could do a lot worse than to make this the feature match Saturday night. Ashnault’s signature win was a 10-2 pasting of then top-ranked Kolodzik (PRIN), who has fallen to a 5 seed following puzzling losses to #30 Kropman (DREX) and #18 Prince (NAVY) in the final weeks. Not quite sure what to think about all that, other than he’ll be tested from the second round (#12 Berge (PSU)) forward. The finest of the bottomless barrel of DUKE Finesilvers (Mitch) checks in at #3 at 28-3, with losses to Ashnault, #7 Gfeller (OKST), and one of four matches to #6 O’Connor (UNC). #4 Mauller (MIZZ), a robust 29-2, is 1-2 vs. #8 Degen (IAST) and 28-0 otherwise. Best win: 10-4 over Gfeller. Not that I’m any good at this in the first place, but I always have trouble trying to figure out how the Mizzou guys slot in with the rest of the field. Sure wish they’d start going to the Southern Scuffle again. Lotta guesswork here, but I’ll speculate that: 1. Mauller is legit and places high; 2. For some reason (reckless speculation: I have no idea what), Kolodzik might have lost a step; and 3. Micah finds a way to take one home for the Jordan clan. (Full disclosure: An acquaintance/friend who knows Bo and Isaac well assures me that the whole Jordan family is all class, just as we’ve seen on the mat for the last how many years…so I’m kind of rooting for it.)

PREDICTIONS: 1. Jordan (tOSU); 2. Ashnault (RUT); 3. Gfeller (OKST); 4. Finesilver (DUKE); 5. Mauller (MIZZ); 6. Lugo (IOWA); 7. O’Connor (UNC); 8. Heil (CAMP)

(NOT EXACTLY A) BONUS PREDICTION:

9. If Alydar talked smack to Affirmed, would you call that a horse’s sass?

BURNING QUESTIONS: Did you know there are twice as many moose in Canada as there are in Norway? Are Canadian scientists behind the curve? Wouldn’t you rather be behind the curve than behind a moose?

157

Jim Gibbons will be pleased to know that not only does #1 Jason Nolf (PSU) plan to bring his hips to the party, he’ll have both legs with him this time, too. Last year, Ol’ Peg Leg won his second national consecutive national championship; hard to imagine he won’t get #3 in Pittsburgh now that he’s back to full speed. Nolf scored bonus points in all but three matches this year: twice to #4 Pantaleo (MICH) (who had to have his extended hand surgically removed from Nolf’s forehead after the second) and once to #2 Berger (NEB), who just can’t stop poking the bear. More than a few years back, I had to play a sitting Hall of Famer (Ruben Gonzalez, ranked #14 in the world at the time) in a big racquetball tournament in Houston. He was the #1 seed. I was the 8. You know what that means for “quarterfinal Friday.” A friend gave me a sound game plan: “When you get to the gym, buy some of his merchandise…and hope he likes you.” So…I did NOT tweet that “I’m coming to get you, Ruben.” I did NOT announce, in advance, that I would avoid social media…train extra hard… in effect, become a monk for three months…just to beat him. No…when I got to the tournament, I stopped at his merchandise table and introduced myself politely. Told him that if I won a couple matches, I’d get a chance to play him, and that it would be worth the whole trip from Georgia if I could make that happen. Then I bought two t-shirts from him. And some artwork. I won the matches I had to win to get the match with Ruben. And of course, I lost. But respectably. Honorably, even. When the match was over, I shook his hand and said, not “One more,” but “Nice match” and quietly went about my business. And I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I think there’s a lesson for Tyler Berger in there somewhere. (Maybe me too? After all...I did lose.) Back to wrestling… it should be an interesting battle among the field for the other 7 A-A spots. #5 Hidlay (NCST) is a returning finalist. Deakin (NW) held a #3 seed (much to the serial-tweeting Pantaleo’s dismay), even after falling to the Wolverine 10-4 at the Big Ten tourney. He comes in a 29-4. (Deakin had rallied in the third period to beat Pantaleo 11-9 in a late-season dual meet.) Young (IOWA) at 20-5 is a sneaky #6, followed by the 22-5 Early (ODU) at 7, and 19-6 Humphreys (LEH) at 8. Strong Big Ten representation here. It would be no surprise if the conference produced six of the eight quarterfinalists, and all four semifinalists. I’m betting that Berger makes the finals, Nolf makes him feel like a Picasso portrait looks...and that he will not enjoy the experience.

PREDICTIONS:

1. Nolf (PSU); 2. Berger (NEB); 3. Hidlay (NCST); 4. Pantaleo (MICH); 5. Deakin (NW); 6. Young (IOWA); 7. Bleise (MINN); 8. Hayes (tOSU)

BONUS PREDICTION:

9. If you YouTube “peg leg goats”, you will immediately buy a bugle and head for the nearest peg leg goat farm.

BURNING QUESTION: How many moose farts are in a kilo anyway?

165

I preface discussion of the meat grinder that is the 165-pound weight class with this: Not all #5-8 seeds are built alike. #5 Dean (COR). Outstanding wrestler. Ain’t winning 184. #7 Jay Aiello (UVA) at 197? Against Nickal? Might as well be Danny Aiello (who, reportedly, did good work in “Do the Right Thing”, however). And go ahead. I dare you: Pick any guy outside your top 4 at 285 you think might be wrestling for the championship on Saturday night. I could go on and on. (I won’t. You’re welcome.) But 165? No, I can’t see #7 White (NEB) running the table and winning the whole thing, but would it really be a shock if he got by, say, #2 Joseph (PSU) in a 2-1 match and made the semis? Or if #4 Wick (WIS) wore out #1 Marinelli (IOWA) from the top position and advanced to the finals? Shoot…what #1 seed wants to see a guy like #8 Lewis (VT) as early as the quarterfinals? And then there are #5 Marsteller (LH), the OW in the EWL tournament, and #6 Massa (MICH), who have legitimate shots to win it all. Oh, and #3 Shields (ASU) comes in at 27-3 on a 17-match winning streak, having lost only to Wick, Joseph and Marinelli. The undefeated Marinelli manhandled two-time defending national champion and hometown favorite Joseph in the finals of the Big Ten tournament. (2019 Joseph > 2018 Joseph; 2019 Marinelli >>> 2018 Marinelli) As a reward, he faces: 1. Possible R16 vs. #17 Viruet (BROWN), who took him to an 8-6 SV tie-breaker at the Midlands; 2. Possible QF vs. Lewis, coming in at 23-2 with a current 16-match winning streak; 3. Possible semifinal vs. Wick, whom he has beaten in three matches this year by a total of four points (4-3 for the Midlands championship, 6-4 SV in a dual meet, and 2-1 at the Big Tens), or Marsteller, who is 22-2 with a nine-match winning streak and losses only to Joseph (6-5 in the Southern Scuffle finals) and Shields (TB-2, 2-1) in a dual meet. And for good measure, Marinelli even has a possible first round match with a two-time AA #33 Smith (OKST) to kick it off. Brutal. I peruse IOWA’s wrestling message board almost daily (Never posted there. Know better.), and can appreciate their apoplectic (if that’s a real word) reaction to Marinelli’s assigned path to a possible title. But for real…where do you find relief in this weight class? Joseph potentially has to go through White, who gives him fits, then Shields or Massa and Marinelli to win it. (Cenzo is alleged to have pinned Massa in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals, though as a BTN Plus subscriber, I can neither confirm nor deny this rumor.) Anyone else has to beat three studs, most likely including Marinelli and/or Joseph, to grab the ring. Whoever survives 165 will have earned it.

PREDICTIONS:

1. Marinelli (IOWA); 2. Joseph (PSU); 3. Massa (MICH); 4. Marsteller (LH); 5. Wick (WIS); 6. White (NEB); 7. Shields (ASU); 8. Lewis (VT)

BONUS PREDICTION:

9. Winner is named OW.

BURNING QUESTIONS: What does the “J” stand for in Bullwinkle J. Moose? Why does a moose need a middle initial anyway?

174

As confusing as 165 is, 174 seems to be just the ticket for restoring order. Stevie Wonder could have seeded this one. #1 Hall (PSU), a previous NCAA champion, is undefeated. #2 Lewis (MIZZ) has lost once, to #4 Amine (MICH), but beaten defending champion #3 Valencia (ASU). Valencia has lost twice, to Hall and Lewis. #4 Amine (MICH) has three losses, two by one point to Hall, and one by two points to Valencia. And #5 Kutler (LEH) boasts an unusual grand slam: four losses; one each to the four gentlemen seeded above him. #6 Jacobe Smith (OKST) landed on “174” in OKST’s game of “Weight Class Roulette”, and enters the tournament with three losses, all at 184 before the Cowboys’ wheel stopped spinning. #7 McFadden (VT) lost only to Joe Smith (OKST) and Kutler, and #8 Lujan (UNI) dropped five decisions: to Lewis twice, Valencia, Jacobe Smith and, in pretty much the only outlier in this paragraph, to #14 Bastian (UVU), a loss he avenged in the BIG 12 tournament. So…maybe the cleanest seeding ever. As always, actual results may vary, so how/where/why do I get off the chalk here? Well…did I mention that Valencia is the defending champion? (I knew I did; I just asked as a literary device.) Let’s start with that. I saw the Hall/Valencia match early this season. “Dominated” is too strong a word, I think. But Mark certainly controlled it from start to finish. Still…Valencia is a beast, and with a full day Saturday to refuel, would be a handful…maybe even a favorite…if he can make it to the final. Lewis has registered bonus points in 10 of his last 11 matches, with seven pins in that stretch. He’s got a pinner’s chance against anybody; he decked Valencia in their dual. I’d give those three an edge over the rest of the field, with Amine and Kutler a tick or two behind. I don’t know…not sure I even see a sleeper to pick to break through the top 8…maybe #9 Skatzka (MINN), #10 Labriola (NEB) or Bastian? Hall…Valencia… Valencia…Hall. Lewis… Arrrgghh… Flip a coin….

PREDICTIONS: 1. Valencia (ASU); 2. Hall (PSU); 3. Lewis (MIZZ); 4. Amine (MICH); 5. Kutler (LEH); 6. McFadden (VT); 7. Smith (OKST); 8. Lujan (UNI)

BONUS PREDICTION:

9. Mark Hall and his recorder are invited to perform Tchaikovsky and Brahms with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra at Heinz Hall April 5 at 8:00 p.m. (Good tickets still available) Hall misunderstands, and politely declines, replying that he thought he had already dispatched Tchaikovsky with a cement mixer at 74 kg at some world event or another back in 2014.

BURNING QUESTIONS:

If a moose farts in the woods, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Would it help if moose farted in decibels instead of kilos?


184

I had the pleasure of meeting former PSU 184/197-pounder Matt McCutcheon at a wrestling tournament at Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, GA earlier this year. Matt is loving Life…literally…as a grad assistant coach at Life Chiropractic near Atlanta. We had a very pleasant 5-10 minute conversation. Well, except for one brief moment. I asked Matt if the wrestlers ever read the wrestling message boards. His face went cold. “No.” I stammered out a response…”Yeah, I didn’t think Cael would really go for that”…and quickly changed the subject. Yet, this was still a valuable piece of information. I write this thing for fun…but I’m also somewhat relieved, because now I know that I can be totally objective, can “let it fly” without fear of repercussion…and that if I were to write something negative about a Penn State wrestler, even potentially offensive, I need not fear, because it would just vanish into the ether anyway. With that in mind, I’ll address the 184-pound weight class. Clearly, the story at 184 is the absence of PSU recruit Aaron Brooks. Not surprising, I suppose, in that he isn’t eligible for NCAA competition yet. But the tournament will surely miss the son of two fine, upstanding, bright, witty, engaging, industrious, kind, generous, thoughtful, thrifty, reverent, perspicacious (if that’s good), well-dressed, well-groomed, and good looking (I’m guessing here) parents. And if all that offends Aaron….SO WHAT!!?? I’ll rest easy knowing he doesn’t read this stuff anyway!!! Beyond that, #1 Myles Martin (tOSU) is really good. Historically good. Potential 1-5-2-1 career. For me, Yianni, Nolf, Bo, and Myles stand out as the heaviest favorites in the tournament. A #2 Rasheed (PSU) cradle seems the most dangerous obstacle, but is Shak at or near 100% (reckless speculation: soap scum buildup, which, based on his facial expression, he might have ingested immediately prior to the Big Ten championship team photo)? Can he get past, say, Zavatsky (VT) and make it to the finals, and if so, can he best Martin in a tough seven-minute match? I’ll say yes (nearly), yes and no to those questions. Hard for me to envision anyone else outside of those three there on Saturday night, as #4 Parker (ILL) (the main perpetrator in the “5” in Martin’s “1-5-2-1” career tournament record), #5 Dean (COR), #8 Preisch (LEH), #9 Venz (NEB), and #13 Bonaccorsi (PITT) are all in the top half with Martin, and #7 Reenan has not looked like himself (reckless speculation: which makes it hard to get his checks cashed) for most of the year. Big 12 champ #6 Foster (UNI) as the sleeper maybe? Possible Sunday headline in Columbus: “Myles Ahead of the Field.”

PREDICTIONS:

1. Martin (tOSU); 2. Rasheed (PSU); 3. Dean (COR); 4. Zavatsky (VT); 5. Preisch (LEH); 6. Foster (UNI); 7. Parker (ILL); 8. Bonaccorsi (PITT)

BONUS PREDICTION:

9. Punctual. Yeah, they’re probably punctual, too. Take THAT, Aaron!

BURNING QUESTION: Are U. S. moose farts still worth about 1.33 Canadian?


197

For me, 197 is the most unpredictable weight class of the entire tournament. #2 Moore (tOSU) lost only to two-time NCAA champion and undefeated #1 Nickal (PSU), twice, with Bo dominating both matches with a first period pin and a 10-3 decision. The 10-3 decision was one of two non-bonus point outings for Nickal all year (8-6 over #14 Schultz (NEB) was the other). Yeah, in the battle for the top of the podium, it’s Bo…and it’s everybody else. #5 Warner (IOWA) lost to Moore, #12 Caywood (ARMY), Sloan (SDST), and 5-3 to undefeated #3 Weigel (OKST), but was stout at season’s end, and will be a tough out. His loss to Weigel was noteworthy because Warner outscored all of Weigel’s other opponents combined (total-2) in the rest of his 11-0 season. The Cowboy pitched a four-match shutout at the Big 12 championships. Let THAT sink in for a second. #4 Brucki (PRIN) fell only to Honis (COR), 7-6, a loss he avenged 8-6 in the EIWA championship match, and three-time AA #6 Miklus (IAST) comes in at 22-3. All impressive. No one’s beating Bo. If Weigel can make the finals, OK…I’m paying attention, but any drama ends with Bo’s first takedown. So what’s so unpredictable? Bo Nickal’s hair color, that’s what. Will it be green? Red? White? Puce? (whatever the heck that is) Maybe some Ed Ruthian, down-the-middle combination? I’m tempted to go with blue. Because “That’s what we do!” But in the upset of the tournament, I’m saying….Puce! Because, as it turns out, puce is a dark mix of purple and brown. And “puce” is derived from the French word for “flea,” so-called because of the color left behind when a flea is crushed. A trail of crushed fleas left in one’s wake? Yeah…sounds about right.

PREDICTIONS:

1. Nickal (PSU); 2. Weigel (OKST); 3. Moore (tOSU); 4. Warner (IOWA); 5. Brucki (PRIN); 6. Miklus (IAST); 7. Sleigh (LEH); 8. Schultz (NEB)

BONUS PREDICTION:

9. Already told you. Puce.

BURNING QUESTION: How hard would it be to give your partner a “Dutch oven” if he/she had antlers?

285

Can the tournament itself be any more dramatic than the seeding decisions were at 285? Three elite guys with similar records. A circular firing squad, with each having lost only once, to one of the other two. Substantial perceived gap between these three and the rest of the field. When the music stopped, it #1 White (OKST) (28-1) got the comfiest chair (OKST), with Cassar (PSU) (25-1) at 2 and freshman phenom Steveson (MINN) (30-1) at 3. Steveson didn’t give up a single takedown until the last 30 seconds of his season (Big Ten finals to Cassar), but paid a heavy price for the momentary lapse. He went from a 1 to a 3 in that instant, drawing into a possible QF match with #6 Dhesi (OREST), a returning third place finisher, who laid waste to all before him after suffering his only loss (to #5 Parris (MICH)). The Parris match was his first match back after returning to the squad in the second quarter of the school year, as he had taken the first quarter off to train for the 2018 World Wrestling Championships in Budapest in October. If you like Dhesi better than #4 Wood (LEH), as many do, and/or Cassar over White, you might even like the draw of a guy like #29 Stoll (IOWA) (Wood/#12 Jennings (NW)/Parris/White) better than the tough row Steveson will have to hoe (#14 Nevills (FS)/Dhesi/Cassar). Stoll was clearly less than 100% this season (reckless speculation: uhh...let me rephrase that. leadpipe cinch: He got shot in the knee.), but the returning All-American is still big and dangerous. To make the finals, White is likely to have to get through Thomas (PITT), who gave him a 9-8 battle in their dual meet, and Wood/Parris/Stoll. Not easy, but not Dhesi. Nor Cassar. Nor Steveson, all three of whom reside in the bottom bracket. Top half-White to the finals, without incident. Bottom half-crap shoot. I’ll say Steveson, without a great degree of confidence.

PREDICTIONS:

1. Steveson (MINN); 2. White (OKST); 3. Cassar (PSU); 4. Dhesi (OREST); 5. Thomas (PITT); 6. Wood (LEH); 7. Hilger (WIS); 8. Hemida (MD)

BONUS PREDICTION:

9. There’s nothing like Budapest in October.

BURNING QUESTIONS: Isn’t Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan the coolest name ever for a city? Wouldn’t Moose Fart, Norway be the worst?


TEAM PREVIEW

PREDICTIONS:

  1. Penn State 142.5

  2. Ohio State 103.5

  3. Iowa 101.0

  4. Oklahoma State 100.5

  5. Michigan 57.0

  6. (tie) Cornell 55.5; Minnesota 55.5
8. Missouri 53.5



Good luck and good health to all competitors. Enjoy the tournament!



SR/BHF
 
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NoVa Lion

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May 29, 2001
10,227
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I keep having to make this correction. It's not a stallmate. It;s a stall, mate. The Nebby announcers thought they were Aussies. :D
 
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uncle jim 62

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Feb 26, 2019
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That was a great write up! I'll guess you picked about 70% correctly on all american and 70% on champs. I think you don't give yourself enough respect.
 
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jschrantz

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Jan 20, 2004
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Can’t see 4 teams each scoring over 100...When is the last time that happened? Especially when top team over 140. Love the preview though
 
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jschrantz

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Jan 20, 2004
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Wow... I read 125 and loved it so much I decided I cannot waste it on my Sunday. Verrrry much looking forward to reading this tomorrow when I am on company time and can really focus! Thanks in advance for the amusement!

That’s pretty funny , I’m not giving the standard lol
Because I actually really laughed
 
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Sportfan2017

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Jun 28, 2017
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During the Suriano-Fix final......during each break can you do only tunes from 'Oklahoma'? Based on the last match...…..I think you can get the entire production in.....before overtime :)
 
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NoVa Lion

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May 29, 2001
10,227
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Can’t see 4 teams each scoring over 100...When is the last time that happened? Especially when top team over 140. Love the preview though

2012 we won with 143 points and Cornell was 4th with 102.5 points. Tougher now without the extra advancement point for winning a first round match.
 
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jbolt1971

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Aug 25, 2017
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It is Bullwinkle Jay Moose. Both Bullwinkle and Rocky Jay Squirrel have same middle name. They were given the middle name Jay in honor of their creator Jay Ward.
 
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