Raleigh, North Carolina is the site for the 2017 ACC Wrestling Championship, Saturday, March 4th inside Reynolds Coliseum. The defending champion North Carolina State Wolfpack will try to hang on to their title but will have to stave off a strong Virginia Tech team that is the highest ranked of five ACC teams in TOM's top-25 team rankings. It has been a wild season in the conference as Pitt dismissed their head coach, Jason Peters, in January then Kevin Dresser announced he was leaving Virginia Tech for Iowa State. Interim head man Tony Robie leads a fifth-ranked Hokie squad into the post-season in search of their first conference title since 2014.
The first round begins at 11 am eastern time on Saturday with the semifinals at 1 pm and the finals set for 7 pm. Live video of both mats will be available on ESPN3 so don't miss a minute of the action! Now, let's go weight-by-weight to preview the tournament. We'll have a team race breakdown at the bottom. The highlighted wrestlers are those projected to earn an automatic qualifying bid for the 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championship. ACC brackets can be found here.
The conference will receive three allocations at this weight and it appears that there are three front runners to secure those spots. The first is No. 4 Joey Dance (Virginia Tech). Dance comes into the tournament with just one loss on the season. At this point, there is no reason to think Dance does not win this one. The other two spots come down to No. 8 Jack Mueller (Virginia) and No. 19 Sean Fausz (North Carolina State). At first glance, it appears they should finish in this order. Nobody else in the conference has really threatened the top three. The best match may occur in the semifinal when Mueller and Fausz face off. They have not met yet this season so there is no previous match to look at. Mueller is the favorite, but Fausz should be right there with him.
Joey Dance (Virginia Tech)
Jack Mueller (Virginia)
Sean Fausz (North Carolina State)
Lorenzo Bentley (Pittsburgh)
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