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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    2023 NCAA DI National Championships Preview (197 lbs)

    (from left) Bernie Truax, Nino Bonaccorsi, and Rocky Elam (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

    174 lb Preview

    184 lb Preview

    The Top Seed: #1 Nino Bonaccorsi (Pittsburgh)

    Through all of the mess and muck at 197 lbs, only Nino Bonaccorsi emerged from the regular season unscathed and unbeaten. That continued after the ACC Championships where Bonaccorsi claimed his third straight conference crown. For all of the craziness associated with this weight, Bonaccorsi has been a model of consistency. He became the first Pittsburgh wrestler since his head coach, Keith Gavin (2008), to earn the number one seed at nationals.

    During the first month-plus of the season, Bonaccorsi posted three of his biggest non-conference wins. He took out #5 Michael Beard, #11 Jaxon Smith, and #12 Zac Braunagel (Illinois) within the span of three weeks. Bonaccorsi then had to navigate a tough ACC schedule that featured the dangerous #6 Isaac Trumble in a dual and the ACC finals. Even amidst, the typical conference dual season, Pitt stepped out of the ACC and wrestled Iowa State, which allowed Bonaccorsi to defeat another returning All-American, Yonger Bastida.

    Bonaccorsi is looking to get back to the NCAA podium, as he was a national runner-up in 2021 and finished in the bloodround last season. An early upset loss to Gavin Hoffman forced him to battle back and he ran into Rocky Elam in the Round of 12. Even though Bonaccorsi was an ACC champion in 2022, he suffered three regular-season losses, so this has the potential to be a different ending for the Panther senior.

    For the full article, Subscribe to InterMat's Rokfin Page

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