(from left) Real Woods, Andrew Alirez, and Cole Matthews (Photos/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.
Here are the previously released previews
Here's the 125 lb Preview
Here's the 133 lb Preview
The Top Seed: #1 Real Woods (Iowa)
This weight class is much different than the first two we previewed. 125 and 133 had a multiple-time national champions returning and in control of their respective weights. 141 lbs has #3 Cole Matthews as the bracket’s highest returner from last season after taking fifth in Detroit. Therefore, the weight class appears to be more wide open than its predecessors.
Of course, the top seed Real Woods, would probably disagree with that notion. And for good reason. Woods was a sixth-place finisher last year while at Stanford. In the offseason, Woods transferred to Iowa and has taken off. He is 16-0 on the season and recently claimed his first Big Ten championship.
Woods likely got the top seed over Andrew Alirez based on his schedule. He has a pair of wins over fourth-seeded Brock Hardy and another over #6 Beau Bartlett. Overall, 10 of Woods’ 16 victories came at the expense of eventual national qualifiers. This is a contrast from many other transfers to end up smothered by the constant strain of Big Ten competition.
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