After an impressive showing from the NC State wrestling team at the ACC Championships, which resulted in a conference title, nine Wolfpack wrestlers will carry that momentum into the NCAA Championships in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this week. All but one of NC State’s participants are seeded in the top half of the bracket, with three top-10 seeds.
NWCA National Coach of the Year finalist Pat Popolizio will try to land back-to-back NCAA podium finishes for the first time in school history, while redshirt sophomore Hayden Hidlay will attempt to return to the 157-pound final, this time with a different outcome.
Redshirt sophomore Tariq Wilson has unfinished business as well, after a third-place showing last year, the ACC runner-up at 133 pounds has the potential to make a run at the championship.
Here’s the seeding and opening matchup for each Wolfpack wrestler:
At 125 pounds, redshirt senior No. 15 Sean Fausz (11-2) takes on No. 18 Devin Schroder (19-11) of Purdue. Fausz won a 7-1 decision in their regular season meeting. No 11 Tariq Wilson (14-3) wrestles No. 22 Noah Gosner (20-8) of Campbell in the 133-pound bracket.
At 141 pounds, redshirt senior No. 14 Jamel Morris (22-3) wrestles No. 19 Sa’Derian Perry (23-8) of Old Dominion. Morris won a 7-2 decision in their regular season meeting. Ninth-seeded graduate 149-pounder Justin Oliver (18-5) wrestles No. 24 Cortlandt Schuyler (14-9).
Fifth-seeded Hayden Hidlay (20-2) wrestles No. 28 Hunter Willits (19-8) of Oregon State in the 157-pound bracket. At 165 pounds, redshirt sophomore No. 16 Thomas Bullard (20-8) wrestles No. 17 Jonathan Viruet (31-8) of Brown. Bullard won a 17-5 major decision in their regular season meeting.
No. 23 redshirt sophomore 174-pounder Daniel Bullard (20-9) wrestles No. 10 Mikey Labriola (26-6) of Nebraska. Labriola won a 13-4 major decision in their regular season meeting. Seventh-seeded redshirt sophomore Nick Reenan (15-4) wrestles No. 26 Dakota Greer (25-5) of Oklahoma State in the 184-pound bracket.
Lastly at 197 pounds, redshirt senior No. 13 Malik McDonald (18-9) wrestles No. 20 Noah Adams (18-13) of West Virginia. McDonald won a 12-6 decision in their regular season meeting.
The NCAA Championships will run from March 21-23, with every match on ESPN3. Early sessions will air on ESPNU and three primetime sessions will air on ESPN.