Set Up for NCAAs
With the conference title under their belts, the Nittany Lions set their sights on the big prize. This weekend will highlight the best of the best in college wrestling at the 2023 NCAA Championships in Tulsa, OK. With action starting Thursday morning, it’s going to be a jam-packed weekend of takedowns, scrambles, and upsets.
RBY and Aaron Brooks are looking to become four-time NCAA champions. RBY sits on top of the 133 weight class as the top seed and has a perfect 16-0 season. Brooks is sitting at a questionable third seed, probably due to his single loss of the season to Iowa State’s Marcus Coleman.
No. 1 seed Carter Starocci also looks to add to his NCAA hardware with a third title at 174. Max Dean enters the tournament at a lower seed than anticipated, ninth, after a disappointing finale at Big Tens, but hopes to repeat his NCAA title win at 197. No. 3 seed Greg Kerkvliet remains in the hunt for the heavyweight title now that Gable Steveson has retired and opened the door for a new champion. Beau Bartlett is the final veteran in the Penn State mix, finally in this tournament at his true weight class and seeded sixth, he hopes to make it to Saturday night.
Then there are the newcomers. Three true freshmen have proved themselves, again and again, this season in Penn State’s lineup and find themselves on the road to NCAAs. Shayne Van Ness has remained consistent in the 13 spot throughout the season, his six losses have all been close. Levi Haines put himself on the map at 157 at Big Tens and has his sights set on a top finish in Tulsa. Alex Facundo might be in the toughest weight class in the tournament, but he’s found a way to win in some tough matchups this season.
If Penn State does it again, this would be their 11th NCAA title. Tune in to ESPNU for all early sessions and ESPN for evening sessions.
Thursday: 12 and 7 p.m.
Friday: 12 and 8 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
In Cael we trust.