In a world where nothing is normal there are some normalcies. Pennsylvania leads all states with 48 NCAA qualifiers, per usual. It isn’t just quantity they also had 5 top two seeds and based on seeding would have nearly doubled Ohio in projected team points. There were so many possible great matches. Here’s a run-down of what would have been a great tournament:
- 125 Spencer Lee vs jack Mueller and Picc vs Glory in the semis and Lee vs Glory in the finals.
- 133 was stacked with diverse talent and maybe the most complex weight class: RBY’s gas tank, DeSanto specific tactics. Before DeSanto if someone told me that a wrestlers’ stance would look like a speed skater, arm tucked behind the back, I would have said no way. Gross’ counters and Seabas’ mental game and quick finishes. Wow. Just think if Fix and Suriano were here.
- 141 a likely Pletcher vs Lee rematch in the finals, with Real Woods joining the party. 149 was wide open and I could see any of the top 4 seeds winning but I think that a guy like Brock Mauller was going to make the run to the championship.
- 157 was packed and if Deakin showed weakness Young, Monday or Dellavechia could pick him off before the finals. On the bottom side Hidlay was the favorite but I could see Carr and Humphreys not going down easy.
- 165 had talent, Whittlake and Griffith could have a coming out party but a Marinelli vs Joseph finals showdown is what everyone wanted to see. A great rivalry that I’d give a slight edge to “The Bull”.
- 74 Hall vs Kemerer would be the likely finals and if the first two matches were any indication it would be another great finals match up.
- 84 was another wide open weight that I think would have been Aaron Brooks’ party. He got better all season and was going to put himself in a position to be a 4x Champ.
- 97 wasn’t filled with exciting wrestlers but I think that the top half of the bracket would have been interesting; Moore being the favorite but Darmstadt, Warner and if Brucki was healthy would be a mine field.
- Lastly the big guys, maybe a little anti-climactic with Steveson looking like the clear favorite but the bottom half of the bracket is filled with match up issues.
So, it would have been another great tournament filled with some incredible wrestlers. I’m not sure what will happen with eligibility but guys like Spencer Lee that would likely go down as all-time greats might be robbed of a season’s results.
Would Iowa gotten off the schneid? I think so.
Would a team like Princeton have gotten a trophy? That would have been historic.
60 million people were infected with the Swine Flu a decade ago and nothing was cancelled.
Below are the qualifiers by state and country.
- 40 states and 2 countries had at least one qualifier.
- Traditional powers like Ohio, NY, NJ Ill are maintaining.
- California has trended down from earlier in the decade and stabilized as has Iowa.
- Colorado has grown into a mid-level state. Some of this is due to UNC and coach Nickerson.
- Georgia is also maturing into a midlevel producer of talent.
- North Carolina has the 2nd most D1 programs and a huge influx of northerners but hasn’t turned into a big producer of college talent. When will this change?
- SEC states produced several qualifiers when will they reinstate or start a wrestling program?
- Belarus and Finland are the foreign countries on the list. You’d think that Canada would be more consistent. Next year I’d bet that Cuba makes the list for the first time.
I went with the home state that the wrestler credits as their home state. Only 7 more months till the next D1 season.