Wrestling: Tourney Time!

ACC Tourney starts this Sunday, and takes place in Reynolds Coliseum. If you are slightly intrigued in wrestling, you should really plan to spend your Sunday at the tourney. First matches begin at 11AM and finals will begin at 7. Tickets are $10 and there will be plenty available. That's like, a dollar per hour, so you can't afford not to go, truly. If 10 hours of wrestling feels like a bit much, get a ticket and just show up for the finals. It will be some great wrestling.

This will likely be the tightest team race we've seen in a while. Our Wolfpack shared the dual team championship with Pitt and Virginia Tech, all finishing 4-1 and no tie breaker rules for the dual championship. Trophy budget really getting taxed this year in Greensboro. Lots of glass tubes getting cut up and whatnot. (Note- The pack has won the last 4 tourneys, so they come in trying to go for a fifth, but are still a ways from catching up with the team that has the most championships in ACC history who we do not discuss *hint- it ain't UNC and you might not guess it unless you've been following ACC wrestling for a long time)

Finally, worth noting that NCAA assigns auto bids to each weight class. So if 125 has 2 auto-bids, the top 2 placers in the tourney earn those bids. However, there are at-large bids also given later, so if you are a 2-seed but you have a rough tourney, you can still get seeded for NCAAs.

GoPack article on seedings for each wrestler

Printable brackets by weight

Quick summary-

125- After a tough start to the season, Trombley earns the 1-seed at 125. Only 2 auto-qualifiers here, so he needs to make finals, but for team race, we really need Trombley to hold serve and win his first ACC Championship.

133- Orine had a huge win over Phillipi from Pitt, but due to other folks beating other folks, he gets the 3-seed (spoiler, no one is seeded less than third). He should have an easy warm up against Duke in opening round, but a really tough match against Latona from VT awaits. Orine improves and gains confidence as the year goes one, so I wouldn't count him out, though Latona did win handily in their first meeting. 3 auto-qualifiers here, so need Orine to at least wrestle to seed.

141- Ryan Jack is ranked 5th in the nation. However, he has Cole Matthews whose defense is nothing short of elite in his class, so winning a championship will be surprisingly tough. Four auto-qualifiers in this weight, so it would take a surprising disappointment for Jack to not get one of these. Jack is young and so scrappy, really fun to watch.

149- True Freshman Arrington gets the 2-seed. 3 autos here. I hope Arrington makes finals, as he should. A likely rematch with Henson from VT will tell us about his development over the last 6 weeks of ACCs. It was tight in January, would love to think Arrington has closed the gap from the 6-1 defeat he suffered. Henson is also a true freshman, so interesting to see what his time in Blacksburg has done for his development.

157- Not many wrestler more fun to watch than Ed Scott. But...a loaded weight class landed this defending ACC champ a 3-seed. Scott likely gets Andonian again in second round. In their last meeting about 433 points were scored between the two, but Ed also was fighting just to prevent a tech fall. Anything can happen with wild wrestling styles, so who knows. The class is top-heavy, so only 3 auto qualifiers. If Ed can't upset Andonian, you hope to see him get us some bonus points on his way to a third-place finish.

165- True Freshman Singleton gets 3-seed. Likely faces McCoy from Uva in second round (assuming Singleton gets pas his 6-seed opponent). Singleton was no in the line-up during match against Uva, so this would be first meeting. Three autos here.

174- Faison gets the 2-seed (ones and twos get a bye in first round). He likely faces Augustine from Pitt in his second round match, which is a match that will be significant in the team standings. I think this is a toss-up. Hopefully Ausustines opening round match is an exhausting slugfest that gives Faison the advantage. 3 autos here.

184- Our other 1-seed, Trent Hidlay goes here. I don't see this bracket going any way other than Trent and Bolen meeting yet again in the finals. But while anything can happen, I trust Trent to do big things, especially in big spots. Five autos in this super-loaded class.

197- Trumble gets 3-seed here, mostly due to losing to the young VT wrestler. Assuming he gets through his opening match unscathed, he gets Smith in the second round. This is another to watch for team race. Major significance here. Four autos in this class.

285- Here is where Trephan should be the 1-seed. But, Duke has a terrible, horrible team, primarily due to structural factors, so I guess the committee felt so bad for doling out 6-seeds to Duke all day and wanted to throw them a bone. I am a big Trephan fan and hope we get to see him win a title.

Team race notes-

1. Want to understand tournament scoring? Well, join the crowd. You need an advanced degree to make any sense of it, so just follow Ryan Tice on Twitter for some periodic updates.

2. Pitt and VT are the competition for the team title. So we want them to lose as much as possible. This is very difficult because it means that we are often left to want Carolina to win, as they are typically more likely to have the random folks who can take someone out. But alas, it is what it is.

3. Pitt has the most 1-seeds, with 4, but also several 4-seeds and a 5. So who knows how this works out. I suspect the team that works for bonus-points will end up winning as a result of those bonuses. Should be close.