As we know tomorrow CKLV (Cliff Keen Las Vegas) will be starting. Pre-seeds are out which are always subject to change as usual with things happening such as injuries, sickness, and guys missing weight. According to these pre-seeds we have put together a list of some of the interesting matchups that we could be seeing at the tournament.
Devin Schroder (Purdue) vs Malik Heinselman (Ohio State)
We all know how good Schroder is a 2x Big Ten finalist losing to none other than Spencer Lee both times. It seems like this match should fall in favor of Schroder by a huge margin. I would not look past that so quickly as Heinselman has been very impressive this season with a big win over All American Sam Latona of Virginia Tech. Essentially the match that got Ohio State this victory as well. Projected winner Schroder by decision.
Patrick Glory (Princeton) vs winner of Schroder vs Heinselman
Pat Glory is the top man at 125 for now with Spencer Lee and Nick Suriano having not wrestled a match yet. We all know Glory is coming for Lee and Suriano and he wants those matches but that being said, Schroder and Heinselman are coming for him. This match will go down in the finals 100% should nobody get upset. Projected winner Glory by major decision.
Chris Cannon (Northwestern) vs Dylan Ragusin (Michigan)
Ragusin does have the 3 seed for the time being but we feel like he is an overwhelming favorite to beat Chance Rich of CSU Bakersfield at the time being. However anything could happen should this match go down. Ragusin moved up from 125 and now that he has had some time to settle in it should be a fun tournament for him.
Grant Willits (Oregon State) vs Chad Red Jr. (Nebraska)
If this match goes down anywhere it will be the finals. Red in as the 3 seed and Willits in as the 4 seed. Willits will need to take out what should be Clay Carlson and Red will need to take out what should be Andrew Alirez which should be a very fun match to win but we had to pick the multiple time All American in that match. Projection Red by decision.
Easily the most stacked weight at the moment in our opinion. Yianni Diakomihalis, Sammy Sasso, Yahya Thomas, Jaden Abas, and Ridge Lovett. Those are the top 5 seeds at the moment in that order. We couldn’t even make predictions on what we think will happen for that entire reason. We have already agreed that we do think Yianni Diakomihalis will make the finals due to his previous win over 4 seed Abas who he will have to get through most likely. Now, Sasso has not looked like anything insane this season, but he has won matches and that is all that matters. Let’s be honest Yianni did not look too great against Abas and who knows how he will perform here. Our predicted winner will be the 2x National Champion and World Team Member. We do not think it will be as big of a margin as you think however.
Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) vs winner of Peyton Robb (Nebraska) vs Quincy Monday (Princeton)
157 pounds is one of the more filled weights at the CKLV. Peyton Robb and Quincy Monday are projected to meet in the semifinals where that match could go either way. Both have looked fantastic this season so far. Quincy Monday took out All American Kaleb Young 9-5 in the dual meet and Peyton Robb took out NCAA Champion Austin O’Connor and took David Carr to sudden victory. Robb will be the projected winner of that semifinal bout for the time being but he will have his work cut out for him against Ryan Deakin. Deakin has been one of the more impressive wrestlers this offseason as the defending Big Ten champion made the finals of the World Team Trials falling to only James Green and both times on criteria. He has wins over David Carr, Jacori Teemer, Kendall Coleman and more. Deakin will be the projected winner of the CKLV bracket.
Carson Kharchla (Ohio State) vs Julian Ramirez (Cornell)
This insane matchup is projected to go down in the quarterfinals which is insane. Julian Ramirez just recently knocked off defending NCAA Champion Shane Griffith and Carson Kharchla has a win over 2019 NCAA Champion Mekhi Lewis. This matchup is as even as I have seen. Kharchla will be the predicted winner of this match and we have picked that due to his consistency this season.
Shane Griffith (Stanford vs winner of Carson Kharchla (Ohio State) vs Julian Ramirez (Cornell)
This will be another big matchup no matter who wins the previous quarterfinal. Shane Griffith has a lot to prove in this match and will be looking for redemption here. Shane Griffith will be the projected winner of this matchup.
Evan Wick (Cal Poly) vs winner of bottom half of bracket
Evan Wick has looked great this season following his transfer to Cal Poly. He has been beyond impressive on the freestyle scene and will be looking for his first big win of the season. We have him projected to be wrestling Shane Griffith in this match. Evan Wick will be our predicted champion of the 165 pound bracket.
Mikey Labriola (Nebraska) vs Chris Foca (Cornell)
This matchup requires 3 seed Chris Foca to pull the minor upset over Ethan Smith of Ohio State. Now looking at first glance Labriola looks like a big favorite to dominate his way through this entire bracket. However Foca has looked very dominant in all we have seen of his having many wins over John Poznanski and also went toe to toe with NCAA Champion Mark Hall. The projected winner will be Mikey Labriola but we have labeled this as a swing match.
Bernie Traux (Cal Poly) vs Taylor Venz (Nebraska)
Taylor Venz is by far the most decorated wrestler in this weight class and Bernie Traux has had more recent success. Traux was Cal Poly’s only All American last season and this should be a fun match should it go down in the finals. Venz will be the projected winner of this match due to him being the more accomplished wrestler and also being the wrestler who has looked more dominant this season.
Jake Woodley (Oklahoma) vs Pat Brucki (Michigan)
This would be a rematch of the MSU Open finals. Woodley won that match in overtime and has looked great since picking up a win over ASU’s Kordell Norfleet. This should be a fun match and Brucki will be looking to get back on track for the season and try to pick up a good win. The projected winner will be Jake Wodley due to prior head to head matchup.
Tate Orndorff (Ohio State) vs Christian Lance (Nebraska)
A matchup between these guys seems to be the way this bracket is heading. I would not overlook anyone making the finals with how deep this bracket is. Gary Traub, Brian Andrews, AJ Nevills, Josh Heindselman, Lucas Davison, and Yaraslau Slavikouski being in this bracket as well. We will not be making a projected winner for this matchup for the sole fact that there is a good chance this bracket will have an upset in it. Other news is Mason Parris is not on the pre-seeds and we have not seen him wrestle thus far so who knows where this is headed.