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OSU Wrestling: NCAA Championships Brackets Released

All 10 Cowboys will compete in Kansas City.

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[Devin Wilber/PFB]

Let the madness begin.

The NCAA released on Wednesday night seeding and brackets for the NCAA Wrestling Championships, which will start March 21 at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri. All 10 Oklahoma State wrestlers received automatic qualification after their performances at this past weekend’s Big 12 Wrestling Champions, so there’s a Cowboy included in every bracket.

You can see all the brackets here. 

Like he was at the Big 12 Wrestling Championships, Daton Fix, who’s 17-0 this season, is again OSU’s only top seed at 133 pounds. It’s the third time Fix has been atop the 133-pound bracket in his fifth and final trip to the NCAA Wrestling Championships. He’s been the 2 seed the past two years and has reached the final three times, falling short every time so far.

Cornell’s Vito Arujau upset Fix in the semis last season on his way to claiming the title. Throw that run out the window for seeding, though, as Arujau will enter this tournament as the 6 seed at 13-2 and on the opposite side of the bracket as Fix. Arujau has lost twice to Lehigh freshman Ryan Crookham this season, including this past weekend in the EIWA final. Crookham is 18-0 and missed a chance at Fix earlier this season when Lehigh visited Stillwater for a dual because Fix was sidelined with an injury.

OSU’s next highest seed is Dustin Plott, who got the 3 seed at 184 pounds in his first season at the weight after bumping up from 174. At 27-3, Plott is on the other side of the bracket as both wrestlers that have beaten him this season. Top-seeded Parker Keckeisen has beaten Plott twice this season — in a dual at Stillwater and in the Big 12 final on Sunday. Keckeisen is 26-0 and has appeared untouchable so far this season, but Plott wouldn’t get his third shot at Keckeisen until the finals.

Starting from the top, redshirt freshman Troy Spratley is the 6 seed at 125 pounds after going 21-6 so far. Iowa’s Drake Ayala, who beat Spratley 8-1 in sudden victory in OSU’s regular-season finale, got the 3 seed on the same side of the bracket as Spratley. That rematch wouldn’t happen until the quarterfinals.

Fellow redshirt freshman Tagen Jamison, at 21-8, is the 10 seed at 141 pounds. The next weight features another redshirt freshman for the Cowboys in Jordan Williams, who got the 20 seed after making a run to the Big 12 finals and entering the tournament at 14-7. Williams will be the first Cowboy with a chance at an upset against Iowa’s 13th-seeded Caleb Rathjen, who did not wrestle when the Hawkeyes visited Gallagher-Iba Arena.

Teague Travis’ tournament will start with a rematch against Missouri’s Brock Mauller, who he beat 4-2 in a dual in Colombia. Travis got the 16 seed at 20-5, while Mauller is 17th at 16-5.

Izzak Olejnik gets to encounter another gauntlet with the 165-pound bracket, where he’s the 7 seed after placing third at the Big 12 tournament and going 24-5 so far this season. This will be Olejnik’s fifth trip to the NCAA tournament, where he reached All-American status last year for Northern Illinois.

Brayden Thompson will make his NCAA Wrestling Championships debut as a true freshman and the 25 seed at 174 pounds. He’ll get 8 seed Andrew Sparks from Cal Poly in the first round.

Luke Surber is OSU’s lowest-seeded wrestler at No. 27 in the 197-pound bracket. He’s 12-7 so far this season and did just enough at the Big 12 tournament to automatically qualify for nationals.

Konner Doucet rounds out OSU’s qualifiers at 285 pounds, where he’s the 12 seed and will get a rematch with 21 seed Dayton Pitzer of Pitt in the first round. Doucet beat Pitzer 3-0 in a dual at Pittsburgh. Doucet could also see another familiar face in the next round in 5 seed Nathan Taylor of Lehigh. Taylor won the first meeting, 4-3.

Later this week, I will break down these brackets like I did leading up to the Big 12 Wrestling Championships. PFB will also be in Kansas City with two writers and a photographer to bring you coverage of the NCAA Wrestling Championships next week.

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