NCAA Preview: Mizzou TigerStyle

#12 Mizzou

Link to Brackets

Coming off a disappointing Big 12’s the Tigers still have plenty of upside in a wide open NCAA’s. Based on seeds they’re projected to finish 12th with 36 points and just two All-Americans. The team has finished in the top ten every year since 2014, and they have the horses to finish above their seed at a handful of weights. However at NCAA’s anything can happen, and the battle for a top ten finish is spread out among a number of teams. Here’s a look at the team’s draws, projections, and opportunity to find upsets. 

125lbs: 13 Seed – #14 Noah Surtin (15-4)

First Round Match: 20 Seed; #22 Stevo Poulin (19-4) (Northern Colorado)

There’s no easy draws at 125 this season and Surtin has one of the toughest one’s with last year’s Big 12 champ Stevo Poulin. Last year Poulin beat him 11-4 in the finals, most of the points coming off a big move attempt by Surtin. Poulin did not have a great Big 12’s, needing an At-Large after finishing 7th, but is still a contender at this weight. 

If he can win the first match he is likely looking at another rematch from last season against finalist Matt Ramos. Last year Ramos won in the Southern Scuffle finals 4-3 in a highly entertaining match. Ramos just finished 4th at Big 10’s but has spent most of this season in the top three. 

If Surtin were to drop that first match he would likely face Brendan McCrone of Ohio State. McCrone was 10th at Big 10’s but has some high caliber wins this season. Past the second round it becomes much harder to predict with dangerous names in every match. Surtin has been a pretty consistent wrestler this season but his injury has clearly slowed him down of late. Due to the weight class volatility and Surtin’s health I could see him make the semis or struggle to get going and have a shorter than expected tournament. 

Prediction: Bloodround

133lbs: 26 Seed – #26 Kade Moore (11-5) 

First Round Match: 7 Seed; #5 Nasir Bailey (23-2) (Little Rock)

Moore had a disappointing Big 12’s but had enough to get an At-Large bid for his first NCAA’s. His seed isn’t great but he gets a potentially intriguing first round match against Nasir Bailey. Earlier this season Bailey won the Tiger Style Invite with a sudden victory win over Zeke Seltzer.

He’s been a breakout wrestler for the Trojan’s but if you go back to 2021, Moore took out Bailey at a tournament after Bailey won his first Fargo title. Admittedly it was a long time ago and both wrestlers are very different, but that could give Moore some confidence coming into a big match. 

If Moore drops that match he is projected to see 23 seed Marlon Yarbrough of UVA. Yarbrough has had a strong second half to the season with a major decision over Sam Latona and some ranked wins. Moore is a wildcard in my eyes with a lot of potential. He did not look like himself at Big 12’s but a second chance could be what he needs to get some wins. I would be surprised to see him on the podium

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Written by James Hackney

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