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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    2023 NCAA DI National Championships Preview (174 lbs)

    (from left) Mekhi Lewis, Carter Starocci, and Mikey Labriola (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

    125 lb Preview

    133 lb Preview

    141 lb Preview

    149 lb Preview

    157 lb Preview

    165 lb Preview

    The Top Seed: #1 Carter Starocci (Penn State)

    Perhaps the most underappreciated star in college wrestling today is two-time national champion Carter Starocci. Riding a 47-match winning streak, Starocci is seeking to win his third NCAA title in as many tries. I’d assume that some people think Starocci isn’t as high-scoring as teammates and fellow two-time champions RBY and Aaron Brooks; however, Starocci does possess a bonus point percentage that is over 73%. That’s the best in his career by almost 20%. Only five opponents this year have managed to avoid allowing bonus points to the Penn State 74 lber.

    Starocci is looking to go perfect for a second consecutive year. Last season, he ran the table in a veteran-laden weight class to claim his first Big Ten title and held off 2019 national champion Mekhi Lewis in tiebreakers. You have to go back to the 2021 Big Ten finals to find Starocci’s most recent loss, which was 7-2 to Iowa’s Michael Kemerer. Starocci reversed that result two weeks later in the NCAA finals and edged Kemerer in a 2021-22 dual meet.

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