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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    The Impact of Transfers on the 2023 NCAA Tournament

    Iowa's NCAA finalist Real Woods at the 2023 NCAA semifinals (photo courtesy of Tony Rotundo; WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

    The biggest topic of the college wrestling offseason has been transfer portal-related news. We've seen programs like Penn State and Michigan add multiple All-Americans to what were already strong lineups. There have been plenty of transfers to other schools as well. As of publishing, there are plenty of talented wrestlers still in the portal looking for a new home.

    Today, we're looking at the impact of transfers on the 2023 NCAA Championships. To do so, we've looked at the top-20 teams from Tulsa and how many points they gained from wrestlers that transferred at one point during their collegiate careers.

    Much has been made about Penn State's transfers and "the rich getting richer," however, Penn State still would have outdistanced itself from second-place Iowa without any prior transfers. Speaking of Iowa, the Hawkeyes received a huge boost from NCAA runner-up Real Woods, a Stanford transfer. Without Woods, Iowa is clawing for that fourth-place position.

    The other top-ten team that was positively impacted by transfers was Arizona State. The Sun Devils story is different as both of their notable transfers previously wrestled at schools that eliminated their wrestling programs.

    With so much talk about transfers, seven programs finished in the top-20 that received zero NCAA points from transfers. Two were Ivy League teams (Cornell/Princeton), another was a service Academy (Air Force), while the traditional schools that fit the bill were (Missouri, Virginia Tech, NC State, and Oklahoma State). Missouri and Oklahoma State both had transfers that qualified for nationals; however, they did not score any points.

    As the transfer process continues to evolve and NIL opportunities become more readily available, it will be interesting to track its impact on the 2023-24 team race and beyond.

    Below are the top-20 teams from the 2023 NCAA Championships, along with any transfers they had qualify for nationals and the point totals they amassed. We've also looked at how much that impacted their total score.

    1) Penn State

    Max Dean (197) 6.5 points

    Greg Kerkvliet (285) 19 points

    25.5 team points = 18.5 % of score (137.5 points)

    2) Iowa

    Brody Teske (133) 0.5 points

    Real Woods (141) 19 points

    19.5 team points = 23.6% of score (82.5 points)

    3) Cornell

    No Transfers

    (76.5 points)

    4) Ohio State

    Tate Ondorff (285) 1.5 points

    1.5 team points = 2.1% of score (70.5 points)

    5) Missouri

    Connor Brown (133) 0 points

    (64.5 points)

    6) Michigan

    Matt Finesilver (184) 1.5 points

    1.5 team points = 2.6% of score (58.5 points)

    7) Arizona State

    Michael McGee (133) 14.5 points

    Kyle Parco (149) 13.5 points

    28 team points = 51% of score (55 points)

    8) Nebraska

    Liam Cronin (125) 12 points

    12 team points = 22.2% (54 points)

    9) Virginia Tech

    No Transfers

    (49 points)

    10) NC State

    No Transfers

    (48 points)

    11) Iowa State

    Jason Kraisser (157) 3 points

    Sam Schuyler (285) 2 points

    5 team points = 10.6% of score (47 points)

    12) North Carolina

    Jack Wagner (125) 1 point

    1 team point = 2.3% of score (42 points)

    13) Princeton

    No Transfers

    (37.5 points)

    14) South Dakota State

    Tanner Cook (165) 2.5 points

    AJ Nevills (285) 1.5 points

    4 team points = 10.8% of score (37 points)

    15) Minnesota

    Michael Blockhus (149) 5.5 points

    Michial Foy (197) 0 points

    5.5 team points = 18% of score (30.5 points)

    16) Northern Iowa

    Colin Realbuto (149) 1 point

    1 team point = 3.4% of score (29 points)

    16) Wisconsin

    Taylor LaMont (133) 0 points

    Austin Gomez (149) 3.5 points

    3.5 team points = 12% of score (29 points)

    18) Air Force

    No Transfers

    (28.5 points)

    18) Oklahoma State

    Carter Young (141) 0 points

    (28.5 points)

    20) Lehigh

    Tate Samuelson (184) 3.5 points

    Michael Beard (197) 4 points

    7.5 team points = 26.8% of score (28 points)

    20) Purdue

    Matt Ramos (125) 18 points

    18 points = 64.3% of score (28 points)

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