B1G Tournament Wrestling Preview

Submitted by TheTeamTheTeam… on March 4th, 2019 at 11:09 PM

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


Team Race:

1. Penn State

2. Ohio State

3. Michigan




March 5th, 2019 at 8:12 AM ^

Michigan beating Ohio St. in the dual means very little in a tournament setting. Tournament scoring favors those that routinely produce bonus at several weights. For Michigan: Malik Amine, Jackson Striggow, Jelani Emberee, and Kanen Storr do not usually produce bonus on top of that Mattin and Parris will have stacked fields and will be in survive and advance mode after the first round. With 40% of the team not consistently producing bonus, in my opinion (which is just like my opinion, bro) the edge goes to Ohio State in a tournament setting. It is certainly possible that we finish above OSU, given some of my above predictions

M Ascending

March 5th, 2019 at 8:22 AM ^

Sean Bormet has performed exceptionally well in his first season as head coach, but the tournaments are where teams make their bones.  Joe MacFarlane was always a good dual meet coach, but his teams almost always underperformed in the year-end tournaments.  The one exception was last year.  Team tournament competition is a different mindset, as you have to stay focused through match after match, extending yourself enough to win, while preserving enough energy for the next match.  Let's hope Bormet has the team ready for what's coming in the next month.


March 7th, 2019 at 12:39 AM ^

Good writeup. However, OSU is the defending B1G champ, not PSU. Also, for as dominant as Nickal has been in folkstyle, he's nothing special in freestyle. Last I saw him wrestle in freestyle he was getting thrown around by Nick Heflin and should have been called for the fall if the female ref knew what she was doing. There is no way Nickal will be representing the US in 2020. He would either have to drop down and challenge Dake/Burroughs/Taylor or bump up to challenge Snyder/Cox. I can't see him beating any of those wrestlers in freestyle.

It is weird that for how dominant PSU has been, their wrestlers dominance has not extended into freestyle. Taylor finally won a world title this past year, and that's about it.


March 7th, 2019 at 4:32 PM ^

I should clarify: Penn State will be favored to repeat as NCAA champions, not B1G, though had Nolf wrestled all the way through, Penn St would be returning B1G champs as well. 

As for Nickal, I’d bet a nickle (see what I did there) that if he were to concentrate full time on freestyle he will edge out an aging and oft injured Jden Cox.

as for PSU wrestlers at world levels, Zain Retherford is still up and coming but made the 2017 world team  and Frank Mollinaro has been an Olympian as well as 3rd at the Yarygin and the PanAms.


March 9th, 2019 at 4:34 PM ^

Team race after the first session:

1. Penn State (77), 8 semifinalists
2. Minnesota (54), 5 semifinalists
3. Ohio State (53.5), 5 semifinalists
4t. Michigan (45), 5 semifinalists
4t. Nebraska (45), 4 semifinalists
6. Iowa (41), 4 semifinalists

It looks like Penn State is running away with the title so far.  Your comments about Michigan not getting enough bonus points certainly held up that session:  each semifinalist is worth 8 points.  Michigan only had 5 bonus points beyond that.  Nebraska had 13 bonus points, and is tied with Michigan as a result.

Michigan went 5-2 in the first round, with 3 byes.  Embree (184) and Striggow (197) both lost to lower seeds.  Michigan's wrestlers went 5-3 in the quarterfinals, with Kanen Storr (141) and Logan Massa (165) both picking up upset wins in their #5 v #4 matchups.  Unfortunately, Mason Parris (285) lost to Northwestern's Jennings again in his quarterfinal.


March 9th, 2019 at 8:27 PM ^

Pumped to see Massa take on Cenzo tonight. Don't expect a W but will be thrilled if he pulls it out. 

Micic vs. Plecher is a bit stale. Hoping DeSanto beats Suriano so Micic can kick his ass in the finals. DeSanto is a punk. 


March 10th, 2019 at 11:10 AM ^

A very disappointing session #2 as Mattin drops a not as close as it seems dec to Oliver from Indiana, Micic medical defaulted in the semis, Storr loses to Red (I expect him to be 4th now that he isn’t in the finals). Amine (149) wrestled better than expected with close bouts against Ashnault and Martin, Pantaleo, Massa, Myles went all as expected so far. Jelani Emberee and Jackson Striggow were major let downs as Emberee continues to look like he doesn’t care to score points and Striggow goes 0-2. Parris is a freshmen and it showed, he needs to learn some serious match management as it cost him a victory over the still frustrating Jennings, and then again in his wrestle-back. Overall this is a major disappointment of a showing, all the way from top to bottom. With this showing the team is no where near a top 3 finish. I am really hoping that major changes are on the horizon (lineup wise not coaching, Bormet is fantastic). This years recruiting class leaves a lot to be desired with a few bright spots. Incoming we have Cole Mattin (won a state championship last year in OH D3, but failed to repeat) who does not fit an immediate need anywhere and is a bit of a head scratcher in general other than family ties, Cameron Amine (won his 3rd title this year and will be a contributor but slots in as a 165/174...pretty solid in that area right now. Nevertheless he is a solid get) Noah Comar (won his 2nd title in Michigan this year but slots in as a 125/133 along with Kurt McHenry, I don’t expect Comar will ever be varsity though I’m hoping he makes me eat my words because that would mean he made major jumps) Kurt McHenry (fantastic grab but did not show well at who’s number 1, and may have slid back a little in the development category, is still a 2 time cadet world champion. Slots in as a 125/133 and doubtful but not impossible he beats Mattin in year one, after that it’s likely he is our 125) Patrick Nolan (adds to the Never won a title, back-up logjam at 149 more than likely, or he’s a career back-up at 141, no clue why he is a scholarship wrestler at Michigan).

with Ncaas on the horizon I expect we will get All-American honors from Micic, Pantaleo, Massa, and Amine with Storr the only other likely candidate. Going into next season I’d like to see a line up look something like this

125: Mattin/McHenry

133: Micic

141: Silva

149: Storr

157: Lewan

165: Cam Amine

174: Massa

184: Myles Amine

197: Emberee I guess

HVY: Parris

A LOT of weight changes I know but if no weight changes:

125: Mattin/McHenry

133: Micic

141: Storr

149: ??? Malik’s back-up (Ouch)

157: Lewan

165: Massa

174: Myles

184: Emberee

197: Striggow again?

HVY: Parris