InterMat Staff Predictions: Jim Beezer

To all my fans wondering where I have been the past few months, let's just say that I have been traveling the globe with intermittent trips to Vegas. Rest assured I'm back to re-assert myself as the premier tout for this tournament. Enjoy.

125: Nahshon Garret (Cornell) over Jesse Delgado (Illinois)
Garrett has been hot since his encounter with Delgado (a 6-2 loss on Dec. 21). He has shown he can beat Megaludis and will do so again in the semifinals before avenging his loss to Delgado in the finals.

133: Tony Ramos (Iowa) over Tyler Graff (Wisconsin)
I know what the naysayers will wonder: how can you bet against Joe Colon of Northern Iowa or A.J. Schopp of Edinboro after the seasons they've had? My logic is based upon two fundamental theories:

  • I put little stock in the regular season. Guys get hot at the right time, and winning the NCAA tournament becomes a matter of confidence, preparedness, and peaking at the right time.

  • Although Colon and Schopp have beaten my projected finalists, their strength of schedule pales in comparison to their Big 10 counterparts.

    Head coach Tom Brands will have Ramos ready, and Graff has been wrestling well as of late. Ramos tops Graff in a rematch of the Big Ten finals.

    141: Logan Stieber (Ohio State) over Mitchell Port (Edinboro)
    There is no doubt that Port has had a solid season, but Stieber is in a different class than anyone else at this weight class, if not the entire tournament. Stieber has shown he can compete on the big stage, and will do so again this year to earn his third national title.

    149: Kendric Maple (Oklahoma) over Chris Villalonga (Cornell)
    Anything can happen in this weight class, but I think Maple comes out on top after knocking off Drake Houdeshelt of Missouri in the semifinals and winning the rubber match against Villalonga in the finals. He's found his groove after moving up from 141 pounds where he won a national title last year. Maple wins his second title.

    157: James Green (Nebraska) over Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State)
    Green's explosiveness will be hard for anyone to handle. Expect fireworks in the quarterfinals if he happens to meet Dylan Ness of Minnesota again. Derek St. John of Iowa will try to defend the title he won last year at this weight class, but his performance this year has been streaky. Dieringer has been hot since losing to St. John in early January. I expect him to make the finals before falling to Green. My dark horse pick in this weight class is Isaac Jordan, the freshman from Wisconsin. He handed Green his only defeat of the season a month ago and given the chance in the semifinals on Friday night may have a chance to repeat that effort.

    165: David Taylor (Penn State) over Tyler Caldwell (Oklahoma State)
    Perhaps the biggest sweepstakes in the tournament this year will be who the runner-up is at 165 pounds. David Taylor's numbers have been gaudy all year. There's nothing creative or otherwise insightful in predicting him to continue his dominance throughout the tournament. He is as much of a lock as anyone I've seen since Cael Sanderson. The bookmakers will make this weight class unbettable, unless you are Tyler Caldwell's mother and hope he can slow down Taylor enough to steal the victory. I don't see it happening. Taylor wins comfortably for his second title.

    174: Andrew Howe (Oklahoma) over Chris Perry (Oklahoma State)
    This weight class is perhaps the deepest in the tournament, with a handful of talented wrestlers who have traded wins/losses throughout the year. However, I think Andrew Howe is the top dog. Expect him to complete his long comeback after taking a redshirt last season after transferring from Wisconsin. Perry's road to the finals will most likely go through either Matt Brown of Penn State of Mike Evans of Iowa -- either wrestler could beat Perry in a close match. Perry is the returning NCAA champion at this weight class so he knows how to win on the big stage. But so does Howe as a two-time NCAA finalist and one-time champion. I expect Howe to avenge his loss to Perry in the Big 12 finals and take home his second NCAA title as his swan song.

    184: Ed Ruth (Penn State) over Ethan Lofthouse (Iowa)
    Disregarding the fact that somehow Ruth is not the top seed, he is a close runner-up to David Taylor as the biggest lock of the tournament. In simple terms: the guy is absolutely dominant. His lone loss to Gabe Dean of Cornell at the Southern Scuffle is either an anomaly or Ruth stayed out too late celebrating the New Year. Lofthouse has as good a shot as anyone to make the finals, but stands little chance to win -- especially if Ruth feigns any interest in winning his third NCAA title.

    197: Kyven Gadson (Iowa State) over Morgan McIntosh (Penn State)
    Flip a coin when predicting this weight class. I did. See my chart. Any one of the top eight seeds could win the title.

    285: Tony Nelson (Minnesota) over Adam Chalfant (Indiana)
    Another tossup weight class that could see any one of the top five seeds emerging as the champion. Nelson carries the Minnesota heavyweight pedigree and seems to be peaking at the right time. In any case, there is no doubt that the championship will be decided with no less than seven minutes of hugging and pushing. Can't wait!

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

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    Krtzota (1) about 4 years ago
    Ruth is the second biggest lock of the tournament??? Not only does Cale have a zero alcohol tolerance policy which makes your "he was out too late celebrating" comment absurd... But even your own intermat rankings has Ruth ranked second.... Let's hope Ruth doesn't start "celebrating"too soon. I look for Dean to beat Ruth again showing everyone that his beat down of Ruth was no fluke. Rubber matches are where wrestlers separate themselves from the pack. By the way, the winner of this bracket comes out of the top half , either Sheptock or Lofthouse. Also if Lofthouse makes the finals.... That should put Iowa on top after it's all over by my bracket
    greff (1) about 4 years ago
    You are crazy Dean was pinned by Ruth when he was health in about a minute and Colon will destroy Ramos again if they meet in the finals Tony is not on his level and Iowa will finish 3rd again!
    dbabbitts (2) about 4 years ago
    Not sure how you can pick Iowa on top after all the "beat downs" they have taken this year. I for one don't support a zero tolerance mentality when it comes to young people. I commend Cael. And I am sure Colon is happy for his second chance, just was Marion was, and the list goes on.
    eaglestravis (1) about 4 years ago
    Ruth was suspended for a few weeks of the season.....any guesses why he was suspended? That explains the author's comment.
    footestomper (1) about 4 years ago
    Dean to beat Ruth. Wrong.
    Sheptock or Lofthouse to make the finals and win. 3/4 wrong. Sheptock made the finals but did not win. Lofthouse was bumped out.
    Iowa on top. Wrong again, finished 39 points out in 4th.

    "Ridiculous . . . trolls . . . beat downs . . . y'all don't think before you write sometimes" Please listen to your own advice!!!
    footestomper (1) about 4 years ago
    Correction. Iowa was 41 points out.
    Krtzota (1) about 4 years ago
    PSU fans... you're so ridiculous it's laughable. I said Cale has zero alcohol policy. It's the way he runs his squad. Ask the Alton bros... they can tell you. So the idea that Ruth was not ready for Dean is absurd. Dean trains with Dake, and will beat Ruth again. By my actual "calculations" I have Iowa who was only 5 pts off of 1st place at Big Ten's winning. Why don't you trolls actually fill out all 10 brackets the way you think it will shake out... add up all the points and then start talkin'. BTW... Colon is tough, as is Schopp. I think 33 is gonna be one of the most exciting to watch, but destroying... only Taylor has that prowess this year. Beat downs... ya'll don't think before you write sometimes.
    dbabbitts (1) about 4 years ago
    In 2011 Penn St beat Iowa by 1 in the Big 10's, then by 21 at 2012 it was 23 at Big 10's and 36 at Nationals, last year 17.5 at Big 10's and 50 at my calculations the 5 point Big spread doesn't mean squat. Penn State's strengths are magnified in the NCAA tourney.
    footestomper (1) about 4 years ago
    OK, so let's complete the calculation. The 5 point spread in 2014 at the Big 10's turned into a 39 point spread at Nationals. Pretty consistent with the previous years!
    footestomper (1) about 4 years ago
    Correction. Iowa was 41 points out.
    greff (1) about 4 years ago
    big difference between the two tourny's Iowa will not put as many in the finals (probably none) and will struggle to place at most weights! Iowa a distant third again
    Krtzota (1) about 4 years ago
    Much better... I like the stats gents. One thing though... New year, and all slates are whipped clean. I see PSU having very difficult draws... Retherford with Ugi... what a mistake by the comity. At the very least that should be a quarterfinal draw. Probably the most punishing is Guilbon vs. Morrison. English is unseeded, although got a decent draw first round, but will run into Tsirtsis if he gets through 1. Alton will have his hands full, but should make it to Jordan, but then will most likely fall into consolations. Again, I think the draws for PSU have been unfortunate. If Rut h is in the top half of the bracket, I see him as a lock for the finals for sure, but going through Dean again will test him. Also, PSU got exceptionally lucky at Big Tens to get as many 1st round draws as they did. I think they still would have won, but maybe only by a half a point had they had byes instead. I still like Iowa to win this... Minny might show up and take it all too however. Best time of the year. Enjoy the tournament all.
    footestomper (1) about 4 years ago
    Minny did more than "show up" . . . they made this a very exciting race. But, in the end, PSU was "exceptionally lucky" (again).