Redshirt sophomore Hayden Hidlay and redshirt senior Sean Fausz will attempt to repeat as ACC champions when NC State travels to Blacksburg, Virginia on March 9. The No. 10 Wolfpack went 4-1 against ACC foes in the regular season to secure a share of the dual conference title.
Several Wolfpack wrestlers went undefeated in ACC play, including Hidlay (5-0), Fausz (3-0), redshirt sophomore Tariq Wilson (2-0) and redshirt senior Jamel Morris (4-0), all of whom were awarded byes in their respective double-elimination tournaments. Four of NC State’s 10 wrestlers received top-two bids, including one-seeds Morris, at 141 pounds, and Hidlay, at 157 pounds. The two-seeds, 125-pounder Fausz and 133-pounder Wilson, round out the wrestlers with a match off.
At 149 pounds, three-seed graduate Justin Oliver draws six-seed Dallas Bulsak of Pittsburg, their first meeting of this season. This will be Oliver’s first time wrestling in the ACC tournament.
Three-seed redshirt sophomore Thomas Bullard takes on six-seed Tommy O’Brien of Pitt at 165 pounds. Bullard earned a 6-1 decision over O’Brien in their regular-season meeting.
Also in the third spot at 174 pounds is redshirt sophomore Daniel Bullard, who will take on the six-seed Robert Patrick of Virginia. Bullard scored a 6-4 decision over Patrick in their regular-season meeting. Bullard has secured victories in five of his last eight mat appearances.
At 184 pounds, three-seed redshirt sophomore Nick Reenan will wrestle Will Schany of Virginia, the six seed, in their first meeting of the season. Reenan has been nursing a leg injury during the second half of this season, but with the time off should be relatively healthy.
Redshirt senior Malik McDonald, the three seed in the 197-pound bout, draws the six-seed Brandon Whitman of UNC-Chapel Hill. McDonald scored a key 3-1 decision over Whitman in their regular-season meeting.
At 285 pounds, five-seed freshman Deonte Wilson takes on four-seed Tyler Love of Virginia. The two did not meet in the regular season, as Love won a 4-2 decision over freshman Colin Lawler. Wilson and Lawler have both seen time on the mat as head coach Pat Popolizio searched for a starter at 285, but a strong finish at the National Collegiate Open last week secured the spot for Wilson.
The tournament begins at 11 a.m. with semifinals at 1 p.m. and championship matches at 7 p.m, with live coverage by ACC Network Extra.