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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    2023 NCAA Seed Performance Fun

    West Virginia's Killian Cardinale (right) and Eddie Ventresca of Virginia Tech (photo courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)


    After a couple of week of looking and relooking and relooking at the brackets from the 2023 NCAA Championships, we've put together some fun takeaways regarding seed performance at the tournament.

    Numbers in parathesis are seeds.

    2023 NCAA Titles by Seed

    (1): 5

    (2): 3

    (3): 2


    2023 NCAA Runner's-Up by Seed

    (1): 4

    (2): 3

    (3): 1

    (4): 1

    (7): 1


    2023 NCAA Third Place Finishers by Seed

    (2): 1

    (3): 1

    (4): 2

    (5): 2

    (6): 2

    (10): 1

    (12): 1


    2023 NCAA Fourth Place Finishers by Seed

    (2): 3

    (3): 2

    (4): 2

    (8): 1

    (10): 1

    (11): 1


    #1 seed by Conference

    Big Ten (5)

    ACC (2)

    Big 12 (2)

    EIWA (1)


    2023 All-Americans by Seed

    (1): 10

    (2): 10

    (3): 9

    (4): 9

    (5): 6

    (6): 5

    (7): 4

    (8): 4

    (9): 4

    (10): 5

    (11): 5

    (12): 3

    (13): 1

    (14): 2

    (17): 1

    (27): 1

    (28): 1

    Both of the wrestlers that were All-Americans from 20+ seeds (Eddie Ventresca/27 and Killian Cardinale/28) competed at the 125 lb weight class. The two wrestled for seventh place and Ventresca prevailed 7-6.

    The only #1 seed that did not make the NCAA finals was Spencer Lee at 125.

    The #2 seed made the NCAA finals in six of the ten weights (125, 141, 149, 157, 165, 174)

    Only five weight classes saw the #1 and #2 seeds meet in the finals (141, 149, 157, 165, 174).

    In those #1 vs. #2 instances, Andrew Alirez (141) and Keegan O'Toole (165) were the only two seeds that pulled the slight upset.

    #7 (197) Tanner Sloan was the lowest seeded finalist.

    The lowest seeded third place finisher was #12 Shayne Van Ness. The only other double-digit third place finisher was Lachlan McNeil at #10.

    Van Ness was also the lowest seeded semifinalist. #11 Cam Amine was the only other double-digit seed to make the semis.

    Van Ness also notched wins over the #3, #4, and #5 seeds at his weight. His only loss came to #1 Yianni Diakomihalis.

    The top-four seeds advanced to the semifinals at 125, 133, 174, 184, and 285.

    The only weights where the top-four seeds all finished in the top-four were 133, 174, and 285.

    There were no weights where the top-four placers finished exactly as their seeds, one through four, in that order.

    It may not be surprising with Ventresca and Cardinale placing at 125 lbs, but that bracket was the only one where the lower seeded wrestler won in three of the four bloodround matches. #10 Brandon Courtney over #6 Stevo Poulin was the other "upset."

    On the other end of the spectrum, 149 lbs was the only weight class where all of the higher seeded wrestlers prevailed in the bloodround.

    The bloodround match that featured the two highest seeds took place at 197 lbs as #2 Bernie Truax downed #5 Michael Beard 4-2.

    Truax was the only #2 seed to wrestle in the bloodround.

    The quarterfinals featured four wrestlers seeded #20 or lower. Ventresca/Cardinale, along with #20 (149) Graham Rooks, and #29 (165) Caleb Fish.

    The only quarterfinal that saw two double-digit seeds meet was at 149 with Van Ness and Rooks.

    The opening round saw six single-digit seeds go down. 125: #28 Cardinale/#5 Caleb Smith, #27 Ventresca/#6 Poulin, #26 Jack Wagner/#7 Brandon Kaylor. 165: #25 Austin Wilson/#8 Matthew Olguin, #29 Fish/#4 Julian Ramirez. 184: #25 Brian Bonino/#8 Matt Finesilver.

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