USA Wrestling NCAA Tournament predictions

Ranked On: 3/17/2002
Ranked By: John Henning

COMMENTARY: Individuals
Why projections instead of rankings? The Top 20 in each weight has been ranked by this service five times this season, while others rank every week. Readers are reasonably familiar with those wrestlers by now. However, in wrestlingíss version of “March Matness,” there are always upsets with unheralded wrestlers either placing or making the Round of 12.

This year, I will project who the eight All-Americans in each weight will be plus the next four, rounding out the Top 12. It’s “down and dirty” as fellow editor Allen Brown calls it. In projecting the Top 120 wrestlers, these don’t necessarily represent the top 120 rated men, only who is most likely to break through in the opinion of your editor. Unless you believe the top 12 seeds in each weight class will all end up in the Round of 12! If not, grab a bracket sheet and try it yourself--before the tourney begins! R12s are listed alphabetically.

1-Stephen Abas, Fresno State
2-LeRoy Vega, Minnesota
3-Chris Fleeger, Purdue
4-Ben Vombaur, Boise State
5-A.J. Grant, Michigan
6-Skylar Holman, Oklahoma State
7-Matt Ridings, Oklahoma
8-Shaun Williams, Oregon
R12: Luke Eustice-Iowa, Travis Lee-Cornell, Mason Lenhard-Penn, Jason Powell-Nebraska

1-Johnny Thompson, Oklahoma State
2-Ryan Lewis, Minnesota
3-Cliff Moore, Iowa
4-David Douglas, Arizona State
5-Witt Durden, Oklahoma
6-Jeff Ratliff, Ohio State
7-Kevin Black, Wisconsin
8-Foley Dowd, Michigan
R12: Cory Ace-Edinboro, Travis Drake-Appalachian State, Rad Martinez-Clarion, Jordan Webster-Central Michigan

1-Mark Conley, U.S. Naval Academy
2-Eric Larkin, Arizona State
3-Dylan Long, Northern Iowa
4-Aaron Holker, Iowa State
5-Cedric Haymon, Cal Poly
6-Sean Gray, Virginia Tech
7-Chad Erickson, Minnesota
8-Phillip Simpson, U.S. Military Academy (Army)
R12: Luke Moffitt-Iowa, Scott Moore-Penn State, Brian Watson-Oregon, Brandon York-Maryland

1-Jesse Jantzen, Harvard
2-JaMarr Billman, Lock Haven
3-Mike Zadick, Iowa
4-Jared Lawrence, Minnesota
5-Jake Percival, Ohio U.
6-Joe Henson, Penn
7-Mike Kulczycki, Michigan
8-Collin Robertson, Boise State
R12: Keaton Anderson-Ohio State, Scott Frohardt-Air Force, Billy Maldanado-Iowa State, Jerrod Sanders-Oklahoma State

1-Yoshi Nakamura, Penn
2-Bryan Snyder, Nebraska
3-Shane Roller, Oklahoma State
4- Scott Owen, Northern Iowa
5-Luke Becker, Minnesota
6-Ryan Bertin, Michigan
7-Matt Anderson, Iowa
8-Gray Maynard, Michigan State
R12: Doug Cieleski-Oklahoma, Tony Overstake-Oregon, Rocky Smart-Arizona State, Warren Stout-Lehigh

1-Joe Heskett, Iowa State
2-Tyrone Lewis, Oklahoma State
3-Tom Mc Math, West Virginia
4-Matt Lackey, Illinois
5-Josh Henson, Penn
6-Chris Vitale, Lehigh
7-Eugene Harris, Oregon State
8-Johnny Clark, Ohio State
R12: Matt King-Edinboro, Nick Nemeth-Kent State, Doc Vecchio-Penn State, Robbie Waller-Oklahoma

1-Greg Parker, Princeton
2-Greg Jones, West Virginia
3-Otto Olson, Michigan
4-Josh Koscheck, Edinboro
5-Rick Springman, Penn
6-Tyler Nixt, Iowa
7-Ty Wilcox, Oklahoma State
8-Nathan Coy, Oregon State
R12: John Kopnisky-Missouri, Jeff Rusak-Old Dominion, Jim Stanec-Cornell, Jacob Volkmann-Minnesota

1-Damion Hahn, Minnesota
2-Viktor Sveda, Indiana
3-Andy Hrovat, Michigan
4-Clint Wattenberg, Cornell
5-Jessman Smith, Iowa
6-Scott Justus, VA Tech
7-Rob Rohn, Lehigh
8-Josh Lambrecht, Oklahoma
R12: Mark Becks-Penn State, Kyle Hansen-Northern Iowa, Ben Heizer-Northern Illinois, Isaac Webber-Oregon State

1-Cael Sanderson, Iowa State
2-Jon Trenge, Lehigh
3-Nick Preston, Ohio State
4-Owen Elzen, Minnesota
5-Kyle Smith, Michigan
6-Scott Barker, Missouri
7-Eric mausser, Clarion
8-Chris Stretkowicz, Hofstra
R12: Eric Gladish-Arizona State, Tom Grossman-Oklahoma, Jason Payne-Northern Iowa, Dave Shunamon-Edinboro

1-Tommy Rowlands, Ohio State
2-Steve Mocco, Iowa
3-Garrett Lowney, Minnesotra
4-Leonce Crump, Oklahoma
5-Bronson Lingamfelter, Brown
6-John Lockhart, Illinois
7-Kevin Hoy, Air Force
8-Dawid Rechul, Harvard
R12: Matt Brink-Michigan, Kellan Fluckiger-Arizona State, John Testa-Clarion, Jake Vercelli-Purdue

COMMENTARY: Teams has Minnesota winning easily, but with “only” 8 place winners this year. It’s possible they will not have a champion again, but not likely. Iowa will out-wrestle their seeds--for the most part - but come up short. The Cowboys of Oklahoma State will finally have a big tourney, where they will not under-achieve. The EIWA is projected to have five finalists and four champs - we’ll have to see how that unfolds.

2-Oklahoma State
5-Iowa State
6-Ohio State
9-West Virginia
11-Arizona State
12-Boise State
14-Northern Iowa
17-Fresno State
19-Oregon State