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2017 NCAA Wrestling Division I Preview: 141 Pounds

2017 141

We’re breaking down every weight class at the 2017 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship set for next week in St. Louis.  We usually start our previews at 125, but this time around we thought we’d give the big fellas the first look and work our way down.  We’ll start with some facts for reference, break down who can win the weight, who will contend for All-American honors, how this weight will effect the team race, and end with a little analysis for those of you participating in fantasy wrestling contests.  If you missed 285, 197, 184, 174, 165, 157, or 149 check them out as well. Enjoy and check back later for much more!

141

Conference Champions

ACC – Kevin Jack (NC State)

Big 10 – Anthony Ashnault (Rutgers)

Big 12 - Dean Heil (Oklahoma State)

EIWA – Matt Kolodzik (Princeton)

EWL – Ronnie Perry (Lock Haven)

MAC – Jaydin Eierman (Missouri)

Pac-12 – Joey McKenna (Stanford)

SoCon – Josh Heil (Campbell)

 

Performance by Seed, Last 10 Years (13-16 seed started in 2014)

1: 10 AAs, 7 finalists, 5 champions

2: 9 AAs, 4 finalists, 3 champions

3: 7 AAs, 3 finalists, 1 champions

4: 8 AAs, 2 finalists

5: 5 AAs

6: 6 AAs, 2 finalists, 1 champion

7: 3 AAs

8: 5 AAs, 1 finalist

9: 2 AAs

10: 3 AAs

11: 5 AAs

12: 3 AAs

13: 1 AA

14: 2 AAs, 1 finalist

15: 0 AAs

16: 1 AA

US: 10 AAs

 

Returning All-Americans

Dean Heil (Oklahoma State) – Champion in 2016, 4th in 2015

Bryce Meredith (Wyoming) - 2nd in 2016

Joey McKenna (Stanford) - 3rd in 2016

Anthony Ashnault (Rutgers) - 4th in 2016, 8th in 2015

Joey Ward (North Carolina) - 7th in 2016

Randy Cruz (Lehigh) - 8th in 2016

Jimmy Gulibon (Penn State) - 5th in 2015 at 133

 

Who can win?

The defending champion Dean Heil (Oklahoma State) has won 36 matches in a row and enters the tournament looking to complete his first undefeated season. He is the favorite, though if you polled a random sampling of wrestling fans I'd guess most would pick someone else. This is for two reasons. One, Heil's style leaves something to be desired in the aesthetics department. Two, this is a deep weight with many title contenders. Kevin Jack (NC State) is wrestling as well as just about anyone in the country right now, having won 27 matches in a row including resounding victories over George DiCamillo (Virginia), twice, and Joey Ward (North Carolina). He'll get a lot of backing this week and he certainly has a chance to win. However, he'll likely have to deal with Joey McKenna (Stanford) in the semi-finals first. We've been waiting for Heil/McKenna III for over a year now and I'm sure the Stanford sophomore would love to get another crack at the Cowboy in the finals. Each of the top three seeds can win with the winner of the Anthony Ashnault (Rutgers)/Matt Kolodzik (Princeton) quarter-final also having an outside shot.

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