Virginia Tech wrestling is sending eight wrestlers (out of ten weight classes) to the NCAA Wrestling Championships, which will get underway Thursday, March 18 at 11 AM.
This is the seventh time in the last eight NCAA’s that the Hokies have sent eight wrestlers. The qualifying Hokie wrestlers (and their overall seeds, among 33 wrestlers in each weight class) are:
- 125 pounds: r-Fr. Sam Latona (2 seed)
- 133: GS Korbin Myers (3)
- 149: So. Bryce Andonian (6)
- 157: r-Fr. Connor Brady (28)
- 165: r-So. Mekhi Lewis (4)
- 174: r-So. Dakota Howard (27)
- 184: r-Jr. Hunter Bolen (5)
- 285: Fr. Hunter Catka (18)
The full NCAA brackets, showing all 330 wrestlers in all weight classes, can be found here.
NCAA Wrestling Championships Projection
Scenarios have been run showing team scores if all wrestlers wrestled to seed, with no bonus points involved. Clearly this scenario won’t occur, but if it did, the top ten places, according to a fan compilation on BlueWhiteIllustrated.com, would be:
- Iowa 126.5
- Penn State 72
- NC State 63.5
- Virginia Tech 61.5
- Missouri 60
- Nebraska 54.5
- Michigan 53.5
- Oklahoma State 50
- Arizona State 46.5
- Ohio State 36
The key for Virginia Tech, as it is for all programs, is to (1) wrestle according to seed or better; (2) compile bonus points when possible, especially in early mismatches; and (3) avoid giving up bonus points. If Virginia Tech can do those things better than the other schools around them, the Hokies have a chance to match or beat their program-best fourth-place finish in 2016.
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With Iowa being the heavy favorite, all other programs appear to be wrestling for second place, and the Hokies have a legitimate shot of reaching that level, if things break their way. In a large event such as this, however, things tend to level out across so many wrestlers and so many weight classes.
How to Watch
With 330 wrestlers competing in ten weight classes across three days of competition, the NCAA Wrestling Championships are a logistical challenge, and for the fans, following the event can be challenging as well. Here’s the broadcast schedule for the ESPN family of channels:
However, that broadcast schedule doesn’t nearly represent all the action. Only the National Championships on Saturday night will be broadcast in their entirety. Eight mats will be used throughout the tournament before cutting down to four mats for the medal round and one mat for the finals, so in order to see all the action on all the mats, earlier rounds will be streamed.
Fortunately, each mat is streamed individually throughout the event, so no matter where Virginia Tech wrestlers are wrestling, you can watch them.
Tip: Follow @HokiesWrestling on Twitter, and they will let you know what Virginia Tech wrestlers are coming up, when, and on what mats.
In this article on NavySports.com, the Naval Academy compiled a full set of links for all the action that will be streamed. Each link goes to a WatchESPN page for each mat.
Session 7 – 7:00 pm
Television Only, ESPN
- For the hokiesports.com preview, click here.
- For all other information relating to the NCAA Wrestling Championships, see this link on NCAA.com.