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Big Ten Wrestling: 7 Rutgers wrestlers get pre-seeds; Ashnault No. 1 at 141

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Ashnault looks to defend his 141-pound Big Ten title

Roy DeBoer with permission

Yesterday, we looked at the overall rankings of the top wrestlers in the Big Ten, weight-class-by-weight-class. And we took a stab at where we thought RU would finish.

The Big Ten released the pre-seeds for the conference Wrestling Championships that will be held this weekend at Indiana University. The pre-seeds will be finalized by the conference’s wrestling coaches on Friday when full brackets will be released.

The pre-seeds were for seeds 1 through 8 unless the weight class had more than nine automatic qualifiers; those weights were fully seeded 1 through 14. Those weights with 14 seeded wrestlers are 133, 141, 157, 174 and 184 pounds.

Rutgers has seven wrestlers seeded. Defending Big Ten Champion Anthony Ashnault was awarded the top seed at 141 pounds. Ashnault is the only top seed for the Knights.

Six schools have at least one top-seeded wrestler, with Ohio State and Penn State leading the way with three apiece. Penn State and Wisconsin will field a seeded wrestler in each of the 10 weight classes, while Minnesota, Nebraska and Ohio State each have a seeded grappler in nine classes.

NCAA Championships Allocations Per Weight

125 Pre-seeds

2015 Champion: Nathan Tomasello, OSU (now at 133)

1. Thomas Gilman, IOWA

2. Nick Suriano, PSU

3. Tim Lambert, NEB

4. Ethan Lizak, MINN

5. Conor Youtsey, MICH

6. Johnny Jimenez, WIS

7. Elijah Oliver, IND

8. Jose Rodriguez, OSU

Not being seeded puts RU’s Brandon Paetzell (14-8, 5-4 B1G) at a distinct disadavantage. The weight class is packed at the top and he could draw almost anyone in the opening round. Things could change as FloWrestling is reporting that Nick Suriano is a "game-time decision" as he recovers from an ankle injury he sustained in the Oklahoma State match.

133 Pre-seeds

2015 Champion: Cory Clark, Iowa

1. Nathan Tomasello, OSU

2. Eric Montoya, NEB

3. Cory Clark, IOWA

4. Zane Richards, ILL

5. Stevan Micic, MICH

6. Billy Rappo, MD

7. Mitch McKee, MINN

8. Luke Welch, PUR

9. Scott Delvecchio, RU

10. Eli Stickley, WIS

11. Jason Ipsarides, NU

12. Austin Eicher, MSU

13. Garrett Pepple, IND

14. Triston Law, PSU

Scott DelVecchio (17-11, 4-5 B1G) will face Purdue’s Luke Welch in the opening round. In the dual match, Welch took a 5-4 decision that went to TB-1 back on January 21. The match was controversial in that an apparent DelVecchio takedown was overturned on video review. It could be interesting in the rematch.

141 Pre-seeds

2015 Champion: Anthony Ashnault, RU

1. Anthony Ashnault, RU

2. Jimmy Gulibon, PSU

3. Tommy Thorn, MINN

4. Colton McCrystal, NEB

5. Luke Pletcher, OSU

6. Topher Carton, IOWA

7. Javier Gasca III, MSU

8. Cole Martin, WIS

9. Salvator Profaci, MICH

10. Alec McKenna, NU

11. Cole Weaver, IND

12. Kyle Ayersman, PUR

13. Ryan Diehl, MD

14. Mousa Jodeh, ILL

As anticipated, Ashnault (24-3, 9-0 B1G) earned the top seed in the tourney and will have a bye in the first round. He would then have the winner of the 8/9 match, Wisconsin’s Cole Martin or Michigan’s Sal Profaci. Ashnault topped Profaci in the dual at Michigan, 7-3.

149 Pre-seeds

2015 Champion: Zain Retherford, PSU

1. Zain Retherford, PSU

2. Brandon Sorensen, IOWA

3. Micah, Jordan, OSU

4. Alfred Bannister, MD

5. Kenny Theobold, RU

6. Andrew Crone, WIS

7. Eric Barone, ILL

8. Chris Perez, IND

Retherford went 34-0 last year enroute to an NCAA title and he’s undefeated this season. Theobold is 18-7 (5-3 B1G) and at the 5-seed will wrestle in the out-bracket against the No. 12 seed. Should he win, he would face Bannister next. In December, Bannister topped Theobold, 3-2. The 4/5 pairing is in the top bracket which means it shares the bracket with Zain Retherford.

157 Pre-seeds

2015 Champion: Isaiah Martinez (now at 165)

1. Jason Nolf, PSU

2. Michael Kemerer, IOWA

3. Tyler Berger, NEB

4. Jake Short, MINN

5. Kyle Langenderfer, ILL

6. Brian Murphy, MICH

7. John Van Brill, RU

8. Jake Danishek, IND

9. TJ Ruschell, WIS

10. Alex Griffin, PUR

11. Jake Ryan, OSU

12. Austin Thompson, MSU

13. Justin Alexander, MD

14. Ben Sullivan, NU

John Van Brill (20-9, 5-3 B1G) should face off against Purdue’s Griffin (7-4, 2-3 B1G) in the opening round. In the dual match, Griffin, a 2016 NCAA qualifier, injured his right knee and defaulted. The winner of that match will see No. 2 seed Michael Kemerer in the next round.

165 Pre-seeds

2015 Champion: Isaac Jordan, WIS

1. Isaiah Martinez, ILL

2. Logan Massa, MICH

3. Isaac Jordan, WIS

4. Vincenzo Joseph, PSU

5. Joey Gunther, IOWA

6. Nick Wanzek, MINN

7. Dustin Williams, NEB

8. Drew Hughes, MSU

Martinez won his second national title last season at 157. He’s likely to be looking at three come later in March. Dylan Painton (9-8, 0-2 B1G) is going into the tournament as an unseeded wrestler.

174 Pre-seeds

2015 Champion: Bo Nickal, PSU (now at 184)

1. Bo Jordan, OSU

2. Mark Hall, PSU

3. Zach Brunson, ILL

4. Myles Amine, MICH

5. Alex Meyer, IOWA

6. Jordan Pagano, RU

7. Jacob Morrissey, PUR

8. Devin Skatzka, IND

9. Micah Barnes, NEB

10. Chris Pfarr, MINN

11. Ryan Christensen, WIS

12. Drew Barnes, MSU

13. Josh Ugalde, MD

14. Braxton Cody, NU

The nine allocations for the Big Ten at 174 is a big plus for Jordan Pagano (24-7, 6-1 dual, 3-1 B1G). At No. 15 nationally, Pagano is in good position to place. Pagano should face Wisconsin’s Christensen (16-14, 1-7 B1G) in the first round. The winner of that match should then face the No. 2 seed, Penn State’s Mark Hall (24-2, 5-1 B1G). Pagano dropped an 11-3 major decision to Hall in the dual match.

184 Pre-seeds

2015 Champion: Sammy Brooks, Iowa

1. Bo Nickal, PSU

2. Sammy Brooks, IOWA

3. Nate Jackson, IND

4. Myles Martin, OSU

5. TJ Dudley, NEB

6. Emery Parker, ILL

7. Nicholas Gravina, RU

8. Hunter Ritter, WIS

9. Mitch Sliga, NU

10. Bobby Steveson, MINN

11. Tanner Lynde, PUR

12. Ernest Battaglia, MICH

13. Shwan Shadaia, MSU

14. Idris White, MD

Gravina (18-7, 5-4 B1G) will face Minnesota’s Stevenson (10-14, 3-5 B1G) in the first round. The winner will move on to face the defending Big Ten champion Sammy Brooks.

197 Pre-seeds

2015 Champion: Morgan McIntosh, PSU

1. Brett Pfarr, MINN

2. Kollin Moore, OSU

3. Aaron Studebaker, NEB

4. Matt McCutcheon, PSU

5. Ricky Robertson, WIS

6. Jacob Berkowitz, NU

7. Cash Wilcke, IOWA

8. Christian Brunner, PUR

Freshman Matt Correnti (13-10, 4-5 B1G) goes into the tournament as one of three unseeded Knights. How well he fares may very well come down to where he falls in the draw against the pre-seeds. He lost to the 4-seed, McCutcheon, by a 4-3 score. He’s beaten the 8-seed Brunner, 5-2 and lost to Berkowitz by just two points.

Hwt || Big Ten awarded 5 Allocations for NCAA

2015 Champion: Kyle Snyder, OSU

1. Kyle Snyder, OSU

2. Connor Medbery, WIS

3. Nick Nevills, PSU

4. Michael Kroells, MINN

5. Collin Jensen, NEB

6. Brooks Black, ILL

7. Youssif Hemida, MD

8. Razohnn Gross, RU

Razhonn Gross (11-9, 6-1 B1G) has been a great story this season, he’s been getting stronger, and is now seeded in the Big Ten Tournament. But the B1G only has five automatic qualifiers at heavyweight. He’ll have to wrestle in the opening round and then, should he win, he’d have to face Snyder. Snyder beat him in the dual (24-9 Tech).

National Collegiate Open Results

Three Rutgers wrestlers posted top-five finishes over the weekend at the 2017 National Collegiate Open. Freshman Kevin Mulligan led the Scarlet Knights with a third-place tournament, while senior Sean McCabe finished fourth at 133 pounds and rookie Brett Donner finished fifth at 165 pounds.

Sean McCabe | Redshirt Senior | 133 Pounds | 4-2 | Fourth Place

Josh Patrick | Senior | 133 Pounds | 2-2

Anthony Giraldo | Redshirt Sophomore | 149 Pounds | 1-1

Big Ten Predictions

Team champion: Penn State (surprise!)

Rutgers finish: 6th place

Rutgers champions: Anthony Ashnault repeats

Rutgers place winners (1st - 8th): Scott DelVecchio, Anthony Ashnault, Ken Theobold, John Van Brill, Jordan Pagano, Nick Gravina, Matt Correnti

NCAA Qualifiers: Six - DelVecchio, Ashnault, Theobold, VanBrill, Pagano, Gravina

For a complete look at the brackets for the Big Ten Tournament, click here.