All 10 wrestlers are seeded entering the B1G tournament this weekend. Seeds are as follows:
125: Mattin #6
133: Micic #1
141: Storr #5
149: Malik Amine: #8
157: Pantaleo #4
165: Massa #5
174: Myles Amine: #2
184: Emberee #7
197: Striggow #6
Heavy: Parris # 3
With the B1G basically being the NCAA tourney lite version, this will be a good indicator going into the actual NCAA tournament. Penn State will again be heavily favored to repeat as champs, but a 2nd or even 3rd place finish may be a good indicator for another NCAA team trophy.
Weight by weight breakdown:
125: Mattin has definite All-American potential, and a top 4 placement at B1Gs would set him up nicely. He will share a side with returning NCAA champ Spencer Lee, but will only see Lee if he upsets #3 Sean Russel (Minnesota).
Projected finish: 5th
TheTeam Picks: 1. Lee 2. Rivera 3. Foley 4. Russel
133: Micic is the top seed and rightfully so, he is undefeated, has victories over Rivera (#1 at 125), Pletcher, Suriano. Micic will be on the same half as Pletcher (OSU) and RBY (PSU). Heres hoping he wrestles Desanto(Iowa) in the finals and shuts him up....hard...again. A title will seal the top seed at NCAAs.
Projected finish: 1st
TheTeam Picks: 1. Micic 2. Suriano 3. Desanto 4. Pletcher
141:Storr has an annoying knack for being in and for the most part winning close matches, and honestly he lacks an ability to produce bonus points however he is consistently good. Being the #5 seed he will share a bracket half with top seeded Carr (Illinois), whom he wrestled a close bout with in the dual. Should Storr wrestle Carr again, I would not be surprised to see him in the finals.
Projected finish: 2nd (Upset of the tournament Storr over Carr via dec)
TheTeam Picks: 1.McKenna 2. Storr 3. Lee 4. Carr
149: Malik Amine continues to be a glaring weakness and one of the reasons Michigan may not bring home a team trophy. Amine has submitted time to fellow teammates down the stretch but he seems to be the entry for the Wolverines. Top 8 placement is without a doubt his ceiling. I sense he will have a "10th place NCAA qualification bout"
Projected finish: 9th (at-large bid)
TheTeam Picks 1. Ashnault 2. Jordan 3. Thorn 4. Lugo
157: Pantaleo the returning B1G champion will look to defend his title...as the 4th seed. Pantaleo has battled a bout with mono, and has struggled to find himself down the stretch. His match with Deakin (Northwestern) left a lot to be desired. His ability to produce bonus (Major Decisions in his case) will be a key to the team race.
Projected finish: 4th
TheTeam Picks 1. Nolf 2. Deakin 3. Young 4. Pantaleo
165: The curious case of Logan Massa will enter another chapter, after failing to place at last years NCAA tournament (Seriously, a team trophy was brought home with Massa a returning All-American not producing any placement points), Massa seems to be back on track, albeit slightly more predictable than in years past. He shares a bracket half with Isaiah White (Nebraska) and returning 2x NCAA champ Vincenzo Joseph. In one of the most brutal weights in the B1G, how Massa finishes will be key to NCAA seeding as well as climbing the ladder in the team race.
Projected finish: 3rd (finally exercising the Wick demons)
TheTeam Picks 1. Joseph 2. Marinelli 3. Massa 4. Wick
174: Myles Amine had missed quite a few matches to close the season, however his dominant return (albeit against Clarion) should put worries to rest. He is a dynamic, bonus point machine and this tournament should be no different. Amine should easily make the finals and his bout with Mark Hall in the finals will be a hotly anticipated match (as always).
Projected finish: 2nd
The Team Picks 1. Hall 2. Amine 3. Labriola 4. Lydy
184: Unfortunately for Michigan fans, this weight will be absolutely dominated by a buckeye. Myles Martin is far and away the best overall athlete and wrestler at 184 in the country. Jelani Emberee, our up and coming freshmen has had a nice year, wrestled a good bout against Shakur Rasheed (PSU) and has shown flashes of greatness. He is overmatched a bit in this weight and lacks a nose for bonus points as well as a good top game, but he should place and qualify for NCAAs. I would be interested in a match-up with Cash Wilcke (Iowa).
Projected finish: 6th
The Team Picks 1.Martin 2. Rasheed 3. Parker 4. Venz
197: Another weight class that is far and away over before it begins. Bo Nickal will win, it will be a fall in the finals and there is really nothing anyone can do about it. He is the Hodge front-runner (wrestling equivalent to the Heisman) and rightfully so. I honestly expect to see him in the 2020 Olympics on the freestyle team. Striggow is Michigan's 2nd biggest weakness (behind Malik Amine) and the highest I can see him climb would be 5th on his best day. This weight is devoid of talent due to the dominance of Nickal.
Projected finish: 6th
The Team Picks 1. Nickal 2. Moore 3. Warner 4.Brunner
Heavyweight: Parris has had quite a debut season, however the other stud freshmen Gable Stevenson (MInnesota) will be the main attraction here. Parris seeded 3rd at this weight will more than likely prevent him from seeing Stevenson, unless a major upset occurs on either end of the bracket. Parris will face Cassar in the semis should he make it that far (Parris must make it through Jennings of Northwestern who "upended" Parris as he stalled his way to a 6-3 victory(seriously, the most infuriating match I have watched all year, a literal 0 attacks by Jennings in all 7 minutes of the bout.)
Projected finish: 4th
The Team Picks 1.Stevenson 2. Cassar 3. Stoll 4. Parris
1. Penn State
2. Ohio State