InterMat Staff Predictions: Josh Lowe

125: Jesse Delgado (Illinois) over Nahshon Garrett (Cornell)
Three-headed monster at the top of 125, with Garrett and Nico Megaludis (Penn State) likely to meet in the semifinal. With that the case, Delgado has the highest probability of winning, so that's the pick. However, very few outside of the Delgado/Illinois camp would be disappointed if he was upset in an early round -- as it would assure a more "open" and fan-friendly finals bout.

133: Tony Ramos (Iowa) over Tyler Graff (Wisconsin)
The Achilles heel for Ramos from the last two years, Logan Stieber (Ohio State), is up in the next weight class. I think in this last shot that Ramos can glare out to the audience with a smile from the top of the podium on Saturday night. Let's go against the grain and place Graff into the final, avenging a pair of losses from earlier in the season to Joe Colon (Northern Iowa) in the semifinal round.

141: Logan Stieber (Ohio State) over Mitchell Port (Edinboro)
Stieber exacted revenge for his early season loss to Zain Retherford (Penn State) in the Big Ten final over a week ago. Now he'll get the chance to do similar for the fact Port upended younger brother Hunter in the national semifinal last year. It'll be a third national title for Stieber in as many seasons, with Port finishing as runner-up for the second straight year.

149: Kendric Maple (Oklahoma) over Nick Dardanes (Minnesota)
Despite not having the best of regular seasons after moving up a weight, Maple finds a way to repeat as national champion, and does so after clearing the much tougher side of the draw. Likely path involves Big Ten champ Jason Tsirtsis (Northwestern) in the quarter and then No. 1 seed Drake Houdashelt (Missouri) in the semifinal.

157: Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State) over Isaac Jordan (Wisconsin)
I picked Dieringer to win the title last year, but he suffered defeat on the hands of Derek St. John (Iowa), 3-2, in the tiebreaker in the semis. This year, let's stick with that pick, and see Dieringer avenge that semifinal loss in front of a relatively friendly crowd in OKC. For the top half, the Ohio native in me slots Isaac Jordan as the finalist.

165: David Taylor (Penn State) over Tyler Caldwell (Oklahoma State)
The Magic Man goes out in majestic fashion with a second national title. Might not be as dominating as the first, but the style and talent shines just as clearly. Four times a high school state champion, four times a Walsh Jesuit Ironman champion, four times a Big Ten champion -- Taylor will cement his place in history with a second title and Hodge Trophy from four NCAA finals appearances.

174: Andrew Howe (Oklahoma) over Chris Perry (Oklahoma State)
For as much talent as these two wrestlers do have, both have shown tendency to not "open up" under pressure -- instead trusting their strength, defense, and guile. I think these are the two clear best wrestlers in the country, and we'll get to see a rubber match on the raised mat on Saturday night. This time Howe comes through with the win.

184: Ed Ruth (Penn State) over Jimmy Sheptock (Maryland)
Ruth seeks a third national title, which would put him in rarified air within collegiate wrestling circles. Even though he lost to Gabe Dean (Cornell) at the Southern Scuffle, I think that Ruth finds the necessary gear to overcome Dean in the national semifinal. Then, look for another decisive finals victory over a formidable opponent, which is what has happened when he majored Amuchastegui and Hamlin on the raised mat.

197: Scott Schiller (Minnesota) over J'den Cox (Missouri)
Use of a random number generator might be more effective than analysis of the bracket, and that's pretty much what I did here. Schiller placed fifth in this weight last year after not being a starter the year before, while Cox was winning his fourth state title in Missouri up at 285 pounds. Just shows you the divergence of paths possible for collegiate success.

285: Tony Nelson (Minnesota) over Nick Gwiazdowski (North Carolina State)
Even though Nelson suffered losses on four consecutive weekends from mid-January into early February, I think the two-time defending national champion has righted the ship. He showed why he is the nation's best heavyweight with his performance in the Big Ten tournament, and a title here will get him a third national title -- which is something that not even Tommy Rowlands, Steve Mocco, nor Cole Konrad could accomplish.

1. Penn State
2. Iowa
3. Minnesota
4. Oklahoma State
5. Oklahoma


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greff (1) about 4 years ago
your pick at 133 is crazy neither Graff or Ramos have the stuff to beat colon when he really wants to win