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2017 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational Wrestling Tournament Preview

Micah Jordan, Zahid Valencia, Logan Massa

Photos by Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com

As many as 109 wrestlers present in the latest edition of TOM's NCAA Division I Individual College Wrestling Rankings could take the mat for the 2017 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational this weekend. The Las Vegas Convention Center is once again the host for one of the premier regular-season tournaments in the country. Over half of the teams competing at the Division I level will be represented. With wrestling beginning at 9 am local time in Las Vegas on Friday, December 1st, the quarterfinals set for 6 pm that day, the action will be fierce on the opening day. Saturday morning at 10 am a set of semi-finals expected to include an incredible array of talent keeps the party going with the finals scheduled for 3 pm. Each year we see breakout freshmen at this event and there will be plenty of matches that have national seeding implications. TOM will be live from the event once again but, before we travel West, we'll go weight-by-weight breaking down the contenders and making our predictions for the top eight.

125

Second-ranked Ethan Lizak's (Minnesota) great escape against Nick Piccininni (Oklahoma State) kept him undefeated on the season, but he will be tested again here with as many as four other top-10 foes set to compete. 2016 All-American Ryan Millhof (Arizona State) checks in at number five in the latest rankings. The Oklahoma transfer hasn't seen much tough competition this season which means we could find out a lot about where he stands after taking most of last year off. Seventh-ranked Sean Russell (Edinboro) is one of four past All-Americans preparing to wrestle in Vegas at 125 and he could get a chance to avenge his only loss of the season if he meets up with number 19 Drew Mattin (Michigan). The true freshman saw his redshirt pulled before Michigan's dual against Lehigh. He has been up and down so far this season with a couple of nice wins, but a couple of losses that made him look like a competitor still adapting to the college-level.

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