The first competition in the 2018 NCAA Division I wrestling post-season gets underway Sunday, February 25th in Corvallis, Oregon as Oregon State hosts the Pac-12 Wrestling Championships. 10th-ranked Arizona State leads the five-team field and the Sun Devils are the defending champions having ended a five year run of titles claimed by the Beavers. Jim Zalesky's team comes in ranked 20th as they look to reclaim the crown, but in this condensed format, CSU Bakersfield projects to have the second most placement points behind the favorites. I expect the first 23 automatic tickets to Cleveland to be handed out and, at many weights, there is little room for error. Three of the five wrestlers in each weight class will have a semi-final for their opening match. Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 10:30 am Pacific time with the final session, which will be broadcast live on the Pac-12 network, set for 4 pm. A live stream for the first session will be available on Pac-12.com.
As we go weight-by-weight, we'll break down the brackets, then make our predictions. The bolded wrestlers in each prediction section are those we expect to earn automatic bids to the NCAA tournament. While the allocations will not be released until Thursday, we ran our own numbers to see where things stand. If any prove incorrect, we'll update as needed.
#9 Ronnie Bresser (Oregon State)
#17 Ryan Millhof (Arizona State)
Yoshito Funakoshi (Cal Poly)
Sergio Mendez (CSU Bakersfield)
Gabe Townsell (Stanford)
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