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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    2022 NCAA Brackets (Based on InterMat's 1/18 rankings)

    2x NCAA champion Yianni Diakomihalis (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)

    It's Wednesday, hump day; you're only a few days away from Friday and the beginning to an awesome weekend of college wrestling action. To help you get over the midweek blues, we've got some fun today. Remember, "fun" is the operative word!

    Yesterday, InterMat released a new set of college rankings. After perusing the rankings, we thought, "What would NCAA brackets look like if they went by these exact rankings?" So, we drew up the brackets and had some fun. As the rankings are currently constructed, there are some fun weight classes and potential matchups.

    Note: Seeds are only listed on the bracket up to #16. Wrestlers ranked 17-33 have been inserted at the usual spot that their seed/ranking would typically get placed (i.e., #17 meets 16 in round one, followed by #9 and #24, and so on..)

    Without anything further, enjoy and remember that based on more information, results, upsets, the actual brackets will look slightly different than these!

    125 lbs

    As expected, this bracket is deep! Team race implications could be felt by the potential second-round matchup between #7 Drew Hildebrandt (Penn State) and #10 Drake Ayala (Iowa). Not too much else to say; this bracket is pretty balanced and fair.

    133 lbs

    This bracket is full of potentially dangerous first-round matches. #21 Josh Koderhandt (Navy) and #20 Joey Olivieri (Rutgers) are no cakewalks for #12 Rayvon Foley (Michigan State) and #13 Devan Turner (Oregon State), respectively. The same can be said for #14 Tony Madrigal's (Oklahoma) opening bout with #19 Michael Colaiocco (Penn). The 8/9 bout could be a potential rematch of the Cliff Keen Las Vegas finals, won by Dylan Ragusin (Michigan)

    141 lbs

    As luck would have it, both of the long-time veterans of this weight class could run into thorns in their side, in the second round. #4 Stevan Micic (Michigan) would have the man responsible for his only loss so far this season in Cole Matthews (Pittsburgh). #2 Jaydin Eierman (Iowa) could see #15 Ryan Jack (NC State), who had him on the ropes (at least) at the Collegiate Duals.

    149 lbs

    Gotta love the potential Iowa/Iowa State matchup in the opening round with Max Murin (Iowa) and Jarrett Degen (Iowa State). The two have yet to meet in collegiate competition. If seeds hold, ex-teammates Beau Bartlett (Penn State) and Jarod Verkleeren (Virginia) could meet in the first round of consolations. Projecting a few rounds ahead, if Yianni Diakomihalis (Cornell) and Ridge Lovett (Nebraska) in the semis…Wow! Lovett pushed Yianni to the brink in Vegas.

    157 lbs

    What can we say about 157 lbs? It's just a solid bracket. Every potential second-round match is fire! I like the opening round bout between Garrett Model (Wisconsin), who recently knocked off Brayton Lee (Minnesota) and 2021 NCAA champion Austin O'Connor (North Carolina).

    165 lbs

    This is the bracket we've all been waiting for! Or at least me! For the third time, the brackets do no favors to #1 Alex Marinelli (Iowa). After a second-round match with Brady Berge (Penn State), undefeated freshman Dean Hamiti (Wisconsin) could be lurking in the quarters. After Hamiti, how about 2021 NCAA champion Shane Griffith (Stanford), the opponent who knocked Marinelli off in the quarters in 2021.

    Oh yeah, Griffith could have an NCAA finals rematch with Jake Wentzel in round two! The bottom half of the bracket isn't quite as absurd, but has plenty of fun potential matches.

    174 lbs

    The second round has a couple of potential bumps in the road for #3 Mekhi Lewis (Virginia Tech) and #5 Mikey Labriola (Nebraska). Lewis got all could handle from Chris Foca (Cornell) at the Collegiate Duals, while Labriola needed some last-second heroics to survive his dual against Bailee O'Reilly (Minnesota). Top-seeded Carter Starocci (Penn State) has a potentially tricky test with unbeaten Dustin Plott (Oklahoma State) in the quarters.

    184 lbs

    The top half of the bracket has a potential first-round bout between a pair of returning AA's in Hunter Bolen (Virginia Tech) and Brit Wilson (Northern Illinois). The two did not meet last year, but Wilson was sixth and Bolen seventh. The 16/17 match, near the top of the bracket, features two of the tallest 184 lbers in the country, Tate Samuelson (Wyoming) and Jonathan Loew (Cornell). Not sure what that means, but it could be interesting to watch.

    197 lbs

    We could be looking at an NCAA finals rematch in the quarters between AJ Ferrari (Oklahoma State) and Nino Bonaccorsi (Pittsburgh). In the first round, a pair of age-group world medalists will clash with Jay Aiello (Virginia) and Braxton Amos (Wisconsin). Should Amos survive, he'd meet an opponent responsible for two of his three losses in Greg Bulsak (Rutgers). If #23 Owen Pentz (North Dakota State), pulls a first-round upset (like he did last year), he'd be in line to meet #7 Stephen Buchanan (Wyoming), whom he pinned last weekend.

    285 lbs

    I realized the only two guys in the entire 330-man field named Owen are both the #23 seeds at 197 and 285. Not sure what that means, but Owen Trephan (NC State) is the #23 seed here. There isn't much else to say here. 285 lbs is kind of what we expect. Lots of big names and a pretty balanced bracket (aside from Gable at #1).

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