West Virginia Wrestling

NCAA Wrestling Brackets Released


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (March 9, 2016) – Seeds and brackets for the 2016 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships were released by the NCAA Wednesday evening.

West Virginia has three wrestlers competing in the tournament as Dylan Cottrell (157) and Bubba Scheffel (184) earned automatic bids at the 2016 Big 12 Championship last weekend, while Jacob A. Smith (197) earned an at-large bid at 197 pounds. Zeke Moisey (125) also earned an at-large bid, but was forced to withdraw due to injury.

The NCAA Championships will be held March 17-19 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The first round starts at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 17.

“The postseason is the best time of year,” said WVU coach Sammie Henson. “It’s a time for our men to prove themselves and take wins from people. While we are a bit disappointed in not having more wrestlers qualified, we continue to be encouraged by our team working as a family to prepare the wrestlers who have made it. We are looking forward to seeing all of the Mountaineer wrestling fans in New York City.”

As the No. 13 seed at 197 pounds, Smith is just the second Mountaineer since 2009 to enter the NCAA Championships as a seeded wrestler. Michael Morales became the first since 2009 when he started the 2015 tournament as the No. 16 seed at 141 pounds.

Smith (30-10) is slated to meet Cornell’s Owen Scott (15-7) in the first round. Both have wrestled John Bolich of Lehigh, Trent Noon of Northern Colorado, Morgan McIntosh of Penn State, Preston Weigel of Oklahoma State and Zachary Nye of Virginia. Smith defeated Nye in overtime at the Southern Scuffle, while Scott lost to Nye, 3-2, at the meet. Smith pinned Wiegel twice and won in sudden victory in their third meeting, while Scott dropped a 2-0 decision in his lone meeting with Weigel. Both wrestlers defeated Bolich and lost to McIntosh and Noon.

Cottrell (30-9) will face No. 10 seed John Boyle of American in the first round of the 157-pound bracket. Boyle, who is also ranked No. 10 nationally, enters with a 29-7 mark overall. Though the two have not met, they share plenty of common opponents. No. 16 Cottrell won a 14-2 major decision over Minnesota’s Brandon Kingsley at Cliff Keen in December, while Boyle took a 0-0 decision against Kingsley on riding time in a second tiebreaker period, also at Cliff Keen. Both wrestlers defeated Iowa State’s Logan Brietenbach and earned decision wins over Russell Parsons of Army. Boyle won a 3-1 decision in sudden victory against Bryce Steiert of Norther Iowa, while Cottrell dropped an 8-3 decision to Steiert. Both lost to No. 3 Thomas Gantt of N.C. State and No. 6 Cody Pack of South Dakota State, though Cottrell took both to overtime.

At 184, Scheffel (21-14) will take on No. 11 seed Lorenzo Thomas of Penn. Thomas, who ranks at No. 13 in the country with a 30-6 mark, and Sheffel, who is coming off a third-place finish at the 2016 Big 12 Championship, have not met this season. Thomas has previously squared off with Nolan Boyd of Oklahoma State (win by fall) and Garet Krohn (5-2 decision) of Stanford, while Scheffel has faced Boyd twice this season (0-2). Both Scheffel and Thomas dropped matches to Gabe Dean of Cornell and both topped Anthony McLaughlin of Air Force earlier this year.

Moisey, the 2015 NCAA runner-up, will not get the chance to repeat his impressive run as he will miss the tournament with an injury.

“After my meeting with team doctors, we have decided is in the best interest of Zeke’s future to withdraw from the NCAA Championships and allow another wrestler to compete at 125,” said Henson.

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