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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    2023 NCAA DI National Championships Preview (125 lbs)

    (from left) Patrick Glory, Spencer Lee, Liam Cronin (Photo/Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)

    The 2023 NCAA DI Wrestling Championships are less than a week away! In a few short days, 330 wrestlers will make the trek to Tulsa, Oklahoma, with hopes of a national title on their minds. Now it's in a state that hasn't hosted nationals since 2014 and a city that has never hosted the DI Tournament. Our Big 12 friends are plenty-familiar with the venue, the BOK Center, as it has become the home of their conference tournament.

    Before the action on the mat starts, InterMat will go through each individual bracket and highlight the favorites, top matches to watch, and much more.

    The Top Seed: Spencer Lee (Iowa)

    What more can we say about Spencer Lee? The two-time Hodge Trophy winner is seeking to become only the fifth wrestler to ever win four DI national titles and the first to do so in Iowa's black and gold singlet. Lee comes into the national tournament with a perfect 17-0 record and bonus points in 15 of those contests. He's also racked up eight falls, four of which have come against wrestlers currently seeded in the top-12.

    For most normal wrestlers, the higher level of competition and the bright lights of the NCAA Championships tend to lead to closer matches. That isn't the case for Lee. In 15 career NCAA bouts, he has posted bonus points 11 times. I wouldn't expect that to change as Iowa will need every bonus point and as Lee looks to put the finishing touches on his remarkable career.

    Even with his accomplishments, Lee's collegiate career has been marred by injuries. He came into college after suffering a knee injury and has dealt with others. After winning his third title at the 2021 national tournament, Lee revealed that he did so with "no ACL's." He only saw action in three matches last season, before deciding to get surgery and prep for a final run in 2022-23.

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