Tony Nelson looks like Lou Ferrigno. It’s March MATness!
It’s week two of Mostly Sheep, and I’m still trying to figure out what kind of blog this will be. I spent many showers (where I do my important thinking) going over the concept and direction of this thing, and then it hit me: It can be whatever the heck I want it to be each week. Eventually, a format will work itself out, but until then, I’m just going to write what’s on my mind for a given week.
This week, I’ll have two posts: One focusing on the NCAA D1 wrestling national championships, and one focused on the other college tournament thing. I think it’s basketball.
But first, some thoughts on St. Paddy’s Day. Saint Patrick was the patron saint of Ireland back in the day, and I guess the day has to do with bringing Christianity to the country. But we all know it as a day where you wear green and get hammered.
People love to shout out that they’re Irish on this holiday, which is more often than not obnoxious and not true. But everyone loves an excuse to wear a shirt that says “Kiss me, I’m Irish”, so power to them. Has anyone ever had any sort of luck from that shirt? I’d like to know if there are people out there that have to tell their kids this story:
“Well, kids, I met your motha one St. Patrick’s Day in Bohston. It was wicked cold at da pub, but I was wearing my friggin “Kiss me I’m Irish” shirt and I was wasted. Your motha had about 12 Irish cah bambs, and she walked right up to me and friggin’ slapped a sloppah on me. Ever since that we was in love.”
My brother is basically a ginger, and I like potato chips and whiskey, so I guess I might as well celebrate along with them.
Anyway, the NCAA basketball tournament isn’t the only madness that kicks off this weekend, bozos.
March MATness starts Thursday, and features college’s best athletes in 10 weight classes vying for national championships.
ESPN recenlty announced they were beefing up their coverage for the tournament, which is good news for wrestling fans and the sport itself.
My brother and I decided to host a bracket challenge for the championships, which takes a hell of a lot of research and work, and even still our picks are probably gonna be off by a mile and a half.
The rules of the challenge are simple enough: choose your picks for All-Americans in each weight class (1-8), and email them to me (firstname.lastname@example.org). We assigned point values to each of the correct picks, and half a point if you picked a guy that placed, but in the wrong spot. It’s easy until you start figuring out the bottom half of the bracket, the consolation side, and go through who drops where and who wins the first round consolations, which as far as I’m concerned are a toss-up.
If you want to play, we’ll keep the deadline open for picks until Wednesday evening. In the meantime, here are my picks, which should not serve as a guideline for anyone because they’re probably garbage. Thanks for following along.
1st place- Nahshon Garrett, Cornell over Jesse Delgado, Illinois
Delgado won last year’s tournament to make Nico Megaludis (Penn State) a 2-time runner up. I think Garrett is quicker and tougher this year, and will give Cornell a champion.
3-8 – Megaludis, Patterson (OU), Peters (UNI), Martinez (Air Force), Cox (Wyo), Taylor (Wisc.)
1st place – Jonathon Morrison, OK State over A.J. Schopp, Edinboro
This is one of the toughest brackets to predict. Eveyrone has beaten everyone, essentially, but J-Mo is my favorite to peak at the right time. He has the benefit of not having Tony Ramos on his side of the bracket, and instead will have to get through Joe Colon, a former JuCo champ. OK State always wrestles big in big situations.
3-8- Ramos (Iowa), DiJulius (OH State), Graff (Wisc), Colon (UNI), Thorn (Minn), Brewer (OU)
1st place – Logan Stieber, OH State over Pitchell Port, Edinboro
It was a big deal when freshman phenom Zain Retherford (Penn St.) beat Stieber earlier in the year, but the two-time champ got revenge at the Big Ten’s. The two should meet in the semis for a rubber match, but I think Stieber wins every match of this tournament by at least 3 points.
3-8: Retherford, Dziewa (Iowa), Carter (VT), Mecate (ODU), Dardanes (Minn), Vaith (Hofstra)
1st place – Drake Houdashelt, Mizzou, over Nick Dardanes, Minn
Houdashelt is a grown man doing grown man things. I have returning national champ from Oklahoma Kendric Maple placing right at his seed of fourth. It’s tough to move up a weight class and win it again.
3-8 -Tsirtsis (NW), Maple, Kindig (OK State), Villalonga (Corn), Sueflohn (Neb), Grothus (Iowa)
1st place – James Green, Neb., over Alex Dieringer, OK State
James Green has benefitted from working out with 2-time world champ and Olympic champ Jordan Burroughs in the Nebraska room. Dieringer is a tough kid that will have to pull the upset of Derek St. John (Iowa), but like I said about OK State, they shine in the big time.
3-8 – St. John, Miller (KSU), Ness (Minn), Taffur (BU), Jordan (Wisc), Realbuto (Corn)
1st place – David Taylor, Penn State over Tyler Caldwell, OK State
David Taylor is one of the most dominant and decorated wrestlers in school history. He should (mostly) walk/tilt through the tournament for his 2nd national title and 2nd Hodge Trophy.
3-8 – Sulzer (UVA), Moore (Iowa), Monk (NDSU), Mock (Chat), Luvsandorj (Citadel), Yates (Mich)
1st place – Chris Perry, OK State over Andrew Howe, OU
This bracket features 3 national champs, but Perry and Howe is the match we all want to see. It should be the one that gets flexed as the last match of the night during the finals. It features two national champions (Howe in 2010 with Wisconsin, Perry last year) going at it in what will be the rubber match between the two. Howe has been off the scene after taking an Olympic redshirt, but he comes back with experience and a few grinding bouts with Jordan Burroughs under his belt. Perry is, well, a Perry. Nephew of John Smith, brother of Mark Perry. March is “his time”, he said. Should be a blast.
3-8 – Kokesh (Neb), Brown (Penn St), Evans (Iowa), Storely (Minn), Wilps (Pitt), Hammond (CSB)
1st place – Ed Ruth, Penn St over Jimmy Sheptock, Maryland
On his quest for his third straight national title, this could be Ruth’s toughest path to the finals and the top of the podium. Gabe Dean from Cornell has beaten him once, and Sheptock has beaten everyone (28-0). Look for Ruth’s championship experience to shine through, he and Taylor will wrap up their illustrious careers with titles.
3-8 – Dean, Thomusseit (Pitt), Lofthouse (Iowa), Steinhaus (Minn), Abounader (Mich), Swartz (Boise St.)
1st place – Kyven Gadson, Iowa St., over Morgan McIntosh, Penn St.
These two are no sure locks to make the finals, and will have to beat several guys ranked ahead of them to get there. Gadson has been on a mission since the loss of his father last season, and has improved in all areas. McIntosh is one of the slickest 197 pounders I’ve ever seen. I’d like to see these two match up, so I predicted it in hopes that it will happen.
3-8 – Heflin (OH St.), Cox (Miszzou), Schiller (Minn), Rutt (OU), Perry (Blo), Burak (Iowa)
1st place – Tony Nelson, Minn, over Adam Chalfant, Ind.
These guys had an OT battle in the Big 10 finals that was ultimately decided by a heavy amount of heavyweight sweat. I’d love to see a rematch, and Nelson will likely repeat as NCAA champ. He kind of looks like Lou Ferrigno, BTW.
3-8 – Telford (Iowa), Gwiazdowski (NC State), McMullan (NW), Medberry (Wisc), McClure (MSU), Coon (Mich).