NCAA Preview – Mizzou

#4 Mizzou – NCAA Preview

After winning their 12th consecutive conference title the Tigers will be bringing 10 wrestlers to Tulsa and looking to potentially compete for a team trophy. Jarrett Jacques received an at-large to make it the full roster for Mizzou. The team finished 9th last year with two All-Americans, and have finished in the top ten for the past seven years. The last trophy came in 2015 with a 4th place finish, but they’ve been within two spots of a trophy four other times. 

As it stands the team has five wrestlers seeded to All-American, plus one to make the bloodround. The team title seems to be locked up by Penn State, but spots 2-4 get trophies and seem very open between Cornell, Mizzou, Iowa, NC State, and Nebraska. Schools like Virginia Tech and Iowa State could certainly come into play with a good tournament as well. 

The Tigers have pretty solid draws, and I think good paths to solid finishes. Outside of the six projected to make the bloodround I wouldn’t be surprised to see wrestlers like Surtin and Jacques go on a run as well. Then you add in Mizzou’s chances for bonus points and they could really make some noise. Mizzou’s highest finish is 3rd, and they have a great chance to tie it if not beat it here. 

Instead of seeds I used the rankings for opponents just because I feel like some of the seeds could look a little deceiving. Using rankings are a better view as to what the matchup looks like in my opinion. The rankings I use are InterMat’s that can be found here. Brackets can be found here

125lbs: #13 Noah Surtin (16-5) – 14 Seed

First Round Match: #17 Braxton Brown, Maryland (24-6)

In 2021 and 2022 Surtin was the 18 seed, so the 14 seed is the highest NCAA seed of his career. He gets a tough first round match in Braxton Brown, who was a breakout wrestler for Maryland. He was the seven seed at Big 12’s but finished 9th after an upset loss. Brown is a tough scrappy wrestler, but I’ll take Surtin getting a gritty win in the first round. 

In the quarters Surtin would likely see three seed Liam Cronin, a three-time qualifier who has also broken out this season. Cronin has four losses this season, with two to #1 Spencer Lee. He is tough to score on and a good scrambler, especially with a leg pass. Surtin has upset potential here, especially with how close Cronin wrestles. I have him dropping, but don’t be surprised if Surtin wins in a wild one. 

A win would put him in a great spot, but there’s a path for Surtin to make the bloodround like last year as well. The brackets are sure to blow up somewhere, but Surtin has a favorable list of opponents. I have him with a tough bloodround match, but at that point anything could happen. If Mizzou wants to win a team trophy, Surtin’s potential finish will play a big role. 


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Written by James Hackney

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