NC State has qualified nine wrestlers for the NCAA Championships in St. Louis - we already knew about the eight auto-qualifiers following ACCs, but Nick Reenan was selected for an at-large bid on Tuesday to round out the group. That leaves 149 as the only weight we will be without a representative. It looks like Ed Scott was just below the cut-off line and could possibly get an alternate spot, so he may make an appearance if someone in the 149 field tests positive or misses weight.
With this amount of qualifiers, the Pack has a good opportunity to push for a team title. It will take a top-to-bottom effort from the guys, but also a good draw through their brackets. Speaking of brackets, the NCAA released them Wednesday night, and you can view them here.
Of our nine qualifiers, six guys got top-10 seeds, led by the Hidlay Bros. who each got the 2-seed in their brackets.
- 125 - Camacho #6
- 133 - Trombley #12
- 141 - T. Wilson #4
- 157 - H. Hidlay #2
- 165 - T. Bullard #17
- 174 - D. Bullard #8
- 184 - T. Hidlay #2
- 197 - Reenan - #28
- 285 - D. Wilson #10
At first glance, I really like Camacho, Tariq, and Trent’s draws. Jakob will have a tough second round match against Ragusin of Michigan, but the winner will likely get in my opinion the weakest of the top-4 seeds in Courtney from Arizona State. A win there would earn him All-America honors and a third shot at Latona with a trip to the finals on the line.
Tariq draws in at the 4-seed. His quarterfinal match will likely come against Dom Demas of Oklahoma, who I think Tariq has an advantage over with his length and scrambles. If he can avoid Demas’ explosive upper-body techniques he could make it to the semifinals against 1-seed Jaydin Eierman of Iowa.
I really like the paths above, but neither Camacho nor Tariq made out like Trent did. In my opinion, the biggest obstacles to a run to the finals for Hoagie Boy were Aaron Brooks of Penn State and Hunter Bolen. They both ended up on the opposite side of the bracket and would only meet up with Hidlay in the finals, should they make it there. This means a likely semifinal match-up against DePrez of Binghamton, who Trent was 1-1 against last season. But I feel much better about that path than I would if Bolen or Brooks were on the same side as Trent.
Overall, NC State is seeded to take 3rd as a team, which is exciting. We just need to go out and make it happen now. Stay tuned next week for a more in-depth analysis and predictions!