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2018 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships Preview: 149 Pounds

Grant Leeth, Zain Retherford, Brandon Sorensen

Left photo by Mark Lundy, LutteLens.com, middle, right photos by Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, we’ve got brackets!  The 2018 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships is rapidly approaching and we now know what everyone’s path to the title looks like.  Before we head for Cleveland, we’re breaking down every weight class in depth.  We’ll start with some facts for reference, break down who can win the weight, who will contend for All-American honors, who needs to be on upset alert in the first two rounds, how this weight will affect the team race, and end with a little analysis for those of you participating in fantasy wrestling contests. Enjoy and check back later for much more!

Other weights: 125133141157165174, 184197, 285

149

Conference Champions

ACC – Troy Heilman (North Carolina)

Big Ten – Zain Retherford (Penn State)

Big 12 – Boo Lewallen (Oklahoma State)

EIWA – Matt Kolodzik (Princeton)

EWL – Ronnie Perry (Lock Haven)

MAC – Grant Leeth (Missouri)

Pac-12 – Jason Tsirtsis (Arizona State)

SoCon – Tyshaun Williams (SIUE)

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

1: 9 AAs, 8 finalists, 6 champions

2: 6 AAs, 4 finalists, 1 champion

3: 7 AAs, 3 finalists, 1 champion

4: 8 AAs, 1 finalist, 1 champion

5: 9 AAs, 1 finalist, 1 champion

6: 6 AAs, 1 finalist

7: 5 AAs, 1 finalist

8: 4 AAs

9: 4 AAs

10: 4 AAs

11: 3 AAs, 1 finalist

12: 1 AA

13: 0 AAs

14: 0 AAs

15: 3 AAs

16: 0 AAs

US: 11 AAs

Returning All-Americans

Zain Retherford (Penn State) – Champion in 2017, Champion in 2016, 5th in 2014 at 141

Brandon Sorensen (Iowa) - 3rd in 2017, 2nd in 2016, 4th in 2015

Max Thomsen (Northern Iowa) - 5th in 2017

Matt Kolodzik (Princeton) - 7th at 141 in 2017

Justin Oliver (Central Michigan) - 7th in 2016

Jason Tsirtsis (Arizona State) - 3rd in 2015, Champion in 2014

Who can win?

Two-time defending NCAA champion Zain Retherford (Penn State) has not lost a college match since the consolation semifinals of the 2014 NCAA tournament and heads to Cleveland riding an 89 match winning streak. That stretch includes six wins over second-seeded Brandon Sorensen (Iowa), a three-time national top four finisher himself.

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