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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    2023 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational Preview and Predictions (Part One)

    Friday marks the start of one of the tentpole events of the collegiate regular season, the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. Typically, the CKLV has an argument for being the toughest in-season tournament in the country. This year there’s no argument. Seven of the top-ten tournament teams in the country will attend. Going further, the field includes 14 of the top-20 teams. 

    From an individual standpoint, five weights have a wrestler that ranked either number one or number two at their respective weights. It’s no exaggeration when someone says that this is like a mini-National Tournament. Last year’s tournament featured six wrestlers who went on to wrestle in the NCAA finals. With an even stronger field expected, that number could rise in 2023. 

    Here’s a weight-by-weight look at the CKLV. In each weight, we’ve noted the ranked wrestlers that are expected to compete, along with analysis, new faces to watch, potential spoilers, and picks for the semifinals and finals. 

    Since this tournament (and the preview) is so large, we’ll break it into two parts. Part one will focus on 125-157 and part two hits the upperweights. Part two will be released later today. 

    125 lbs

    Ranked Wrestlers: #2 Matt Ramos (Purdue), #5 Michael DeAugustino (Michigan), #8 Brett Ungar (Cornell), #9 Caleb Smith (Nebraska), #11 Jore Volk (Wyoming), #14 Brandon Kaylor (Oregon State), #16 Tanner Jordan (South Dakota State), #18 Kysen Terukina (Iowa State) #20 Nico Provo (Stanford), #21 Troy Spratley (Oklahoma State), #22 Tucker Owens (Air Force), #23 Brendan McCrone (Ohio State), #24 Nick Babin (Columbia), #25 Diego Sotelo (Harvard), #27 Spencer Moore (North Carolina), #31 Dominic Mendez (Cal Poly), #32 Eli Griffin (California Baptist)

    Right off the bat, we’ve got an extremely deep field at 125 lbs. Half of the placewinners from the 2022 tournament are back, led by Matt Ramos, the runner-up a year ago. Ramos is fresh off a huge win at the All-Star Classic and is looking to establish momentum. The remaining 2022 placers that are expected to compete are Brandon Kaylor (4th), Tanner Jordan (6th), and Brett Ungar (7th). 






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