Oklahoma State will send nine wrestlers to the NCAA Championships next week after 157-pound redshirt sophomore Wyatt Sheets did not receive one of the 45 at-large bids by the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee on Tuesday.
Illinois’ Eric Barone, Ohio’s Zac Carson, North Carolina’s Joshua McClure and Oklahoma’s Justin Thomas received at-large bids at 157. Iowa State’s Chase Straw beat Thomas 3-2 in the Big 12 Championship title match for the conference’s lone automatic bid Sunday in Tulsa. Sheets took fourth at the Big 12 tournament.
The at-large selections were made by the committee using head-to-head competition, quality wins, results against common opponents, winning percentage, rating percentage index, coaches ranking and conference tournament finish.
OSU has nine qualifiers, including undefeated Nick Piccininni (30-0) and Preston Weigel (11-0) at 125 and 197 pounds, respectively. Heavyweight Derek White (28-1) is a candidate for the top seed.
Those three along with Daton Fix (30-1) at 133, Kaden Gfeller (26-5) at 149 and Jacobe Smith (26-3) at 174 all won Big 12 titles and qualified for NCAAs. Kaid Brock (19-6) took second at 141, Dakota Geer was third at 184 and Joe Smith was fifth at 165 to qualify.
Brackets and seeding for the NCAA tournament will be revealed during a selection show at 5 p.m. Wednesday on NCAA.com. The @NCAAWrestling Twitter handle will also be releasing the top two seeds for each weight class every 10 minutes from 3-5 p.m., leading up to the selection show.
The NCAA tournament is March 21-23 at PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh.