Two weeks is a long time without wrestling. Well, get ready because the Scarlet Knights return to action on Friday and Saturday in Las Vegas for the Cliff Keen Invitational.
Here is what you need to know about the two day tournament featuring some loaded brackets:
Anthony Ashnault and Nick Suriano will be favorites
You can find the pre-seeds here, which Flo Wrestling put up. Ashnault is No. 1 at 149 lbs. while Suriano is No. 2 at 133 lbs. However, late news came out about Michigan’s Steven Micic, who is a National Title contender at 133. He apparently did not make the trip and will sit out the tournament. A potential national finals preview between Suriano and Micic will have to wait until the two meet at the RAC.
For Ashnault, should he make the finals, would likely be paired with Ohio State’s Micah Jordan or Missouri’s Grant Leeth, both whom are national title contenders.
Michigan coach Sean Bormet talks about the decision to hold Stevan Micic and Alec Pantaleo out of CKLV. pic.twitter.com/VgPGHirlxv— FloWrestling (@FloWrestling) November 29, 2018
With that, Suriano is likely to bump up to the No. 1 seed, giving Rutgers two top dogs in the tournament. John Van Brill was pre-seeded No. 6 at 157 lbs.
The 2018 Cliff Keen Invite Pre-Seeds have been released!— Rutgers Wrestling (@RUWrestling) November 28, 2018
Anthony Ashnault: No. 1 seed (149)
Nick Suriano: No. 2 seed (133)
John Van Brill: No. 6 seed (157)#RelentlessPursuit | #GoRU pic.twitter.com/hdqAwerqTT
Peter Lipari will go at 141 lbs.
Head coach Scott Goodale made the decision earlier in the week to give Lipari the nod this weekend. This is not indicative of who will be the starter moving forward, but a top-notch performance for Lipari could give him the spot in Rutgers’ next match vs. Rider on December 16th.
Vegas will be a B1G Early Season Test
According to the Flo Wrestling tournament rankings, there will be 11 ranked squads coming to Nevada. Eight of those...you guessed it, are Big Ten teams. No. 2 Ohio State, No. 6 Michigan, No. 8 Minnesota, No. 9 Nebraska, No. 14 Rutgers, No. 15 Northwestern, No. 18 Illinois and Purdue. Talk about a gauntlet and that is not including teams like Missouri and Arizona State, who will also be competing.
125 - Shane Metzler
133 - Nick Suriano
141 - Peter Lipari
149 - Anthony Ashnault
157 - John Van Brill
165 - Stephan Glasgow
174 - Joe Grello
184 - Jordan Pagano
197 - Matt Correnti
HWT - Christian Colucci