NCAA releases wrestling National Championship brackets

BY SAM LOUWAGIE | MARCH 15, 2013 5:00 AM

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The NCAA released brackets on Wednesday for the national wrestling tournament, which will begin in Des Moines on March 21.

The Daily Iowan takes a look at each Hawkeyes’ place in the brackets and how his path through it might go.

125: No. 3 Matt McDonough

McDonough has lost to two wrestlers this season. He’ll likely have to beat both in order to win his third NCAA title.

The senior would likely face No. 2 Jesse Delgado in the semifinals, and he needs to find a way to keep the ultra-quick Illini sophomore away from his legs. If he can do that, he could slow the match down and try to grind out one takedown for a win.

133: No. 2 Tony Ramos

Barring a big upset, Ramos’ path will look a lot like it did at Big Tens: Wisconsin’s Tyler Graff in the semifinals and Ohio State’s Logan Stieber in the finals.

141: No. 7 Mark Ballweg

Ballweg’s run to the Big Ten finals earned him a top-8 seed, putting him in good position to earn All-American status. He would likely face No. 2 Kendrick Maple of Oklahoma in the quarterfinals.

157: No. 2 Derek St. John

St. John has an almost shockingly good draw. Despite losing to Nebraska’s James Green at the conference tournament and taking third, the Hawkeye junior gets the No. 2 seed at NCAAs. And he won’t even have to face No. 4 Green, who has long given him trouble, unless both reach the finals.

165: No. 10 Nick Moore

Moore takes a top-10 seed, but he has a difficult draw early in the tournament. If he reaches Round 2, he would likely face Illinois’ Conrad Polz, who beat him 7-3 earlier in the year and took second at the Big Ten Tournament.

174: No. 3 Mike Evans

Evans’ path to the finals got much tougher when Minnesota’s Logan Storley, ranked No. 1 all season, tumbled to seventh place at the Big Ten Tournament. That slid him down to the No. 6 seed at NCAAs, where Evans will likely have to face him in the quarterfinals.

184: No. 12 Ethen Lofthouse

A strong Big Ten Tournament performance earned Lofthouse a seed. But he’d face Minnesota’s No. 5 Kevin Steinhaus in the second round if he gets there, so he might have to do much of his work in the consolation rounds. But if he wrestles as well as he did in the conference tournament, he could pull off some surprises.

197: Nathan Burak

Burak wasn’t given a seed in the tournament, meaning he was randomly assigned a first-round opponent. As luck would have it, he will face undefeated No. 1 Dustin Kilgore of Kent State right off the bat.

Heavyweight: No. 6 Bobby Telford

Telford’s path through the championship bracket looks imposing. To win a championship, he’ll probably have to beat Oklahoma State’s Alan Gelogaev, Minnesota’s Tony Nelson, and Missouri’s Dom Bradley. He is 0-7 in his career against that trio.

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