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Welp, it's either gonna be really good, or really bad tonight.

 

141--Red has Wilits from Oreg State.  Red should be able to get past him but he's been really riding the edge in terms of getting dinged for stalling.  Coin flip.

 

149--This match will be crazy.  VT guy is going to put Lovett under a ton of pressure, I think Ridge can pull it off and make the finals.

 

157--Heard a rumbling that Robb tore his meniscus, he has a tough matchup with Scott from NC State who has some juice.  Don't think Robb gets there this year.

 

174--Labriola has a kid from Wyoming that has come all the way back through the consis.  Labs beat him H2H a couple years ago but that doesn't mean much.  I do think Labs gets the W.

 

184--Really tough draw for Venz with Keckeisen from UNI.  He's going to have to wrestle extremely well, I think Venz falls short.

 

197--Schultz has Aiello from UVA who squashed Caffey from MSU last round.  If Schultz can get his offense going, he should be able to win.

 

HWT--About as good as a draw as you could hope for with Lance.  I'm of course picking him to win.

 

Sticking with my prediction of one finalist and 5 AAs plus a Top Ten finish.  Ridge making the finals would be huge for the team score.

 

 

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All in all, I think is about as good as you could've hoped for.  Given the current team structure, 5th place is about the absolute max you could hope for.  While it would've been great to see Red and Venz make the podium, unfortunately, that's the way the cookie crumbles sometimes.  Really hard to find fault in Venz's performance and his career.  He wrestled to seed and gave Keckeisen from UNI all he could handle.  Venz had a heckuva career, almost 100 wins, 1x AA and 3 finishes in the blood round.

 

Same with CJ Red.  3x AA and I hope his performance from last weekend doesn't eat at him too much.  That Rivera match was pretty squirrelly and unfortunately, he just got caught against the Oregon State guy.  

 

Both Venz and Red did it the right way and I wish them all the best.

 

Was great to see Schultz get over the hump too.  I would imagine that loss to Warner is going to bug him for a while.  He did a great job bouncing back and it was nice seeing him finally secure an AA finish.

 

Lance progressed great over the year and you could Tervel really helped him out late in the year.  He peaked at NCAAs and that's all you can do.  He will be missed.

 

As for the other guys.

 

149--A helluva tournament.  Nothing you can do in that spot.  That version of Yanni is about as close to unbeatable as you're going to see.  Great to see Ridge get a taste of this as a Soph and I'm sure he'll use this as fuel.

 

157--If you would've told me Robb would finish 4th and along the way he would beat Scott from NC State and Teemer from ASU I would've questioned your sobriety.  A truly great effort and I hope Robb uses this to take the next step.  He's got all the tools to build on this finish for the next 2 years.

 

165--All in all, a pretty tremendous year for Bubba, especially given he missed last year with injury.  1-2 in his first stint at NCAAs was great to see.

 

174--You know, it's weird here with Mikey.  7th maybe seems a bit disappointing but he lost to Starocci and Grandpa Mike (in SV).  While Starocci definitely seems like a level above, I'm sure the goal is to make the finals next year.  He definitely has all the tools and has an excellent shot at being a 4x AA.

 

Nebraska has some holes to fill especially up top at 197/HWT so we'll see what next year holds.  GBR!

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