First round: #28 Dack Punke vs. #5 Jack Mueller, UVA
Thoughts on seed fairness: Punke went 3-7 against the field with wins over #18 Schroder, #22 Schwarm and #31 West. His loss to West at MACs, as well as his 11-10 record likely doomed him to be seeded about where he is. The seed seemed about right.
Thoughts on draw: Drawing Mueller in the first round is about what I was expecting. Mueller pinned Punke in 2:55 during the dual meet this season and he is a monster on top. Punke will almost certainly drop that bout and move into a consi bout against either #12 Michael McGee, ODU (McGee beat Punke 7-1 at MACs) or #21 Gabe Townsell, Stanford.
I expect it to be Townsell. Townsell is long for the weight and has some great quick low level leg attacks. Townsell is not overly strong for the weight and struggles at times on the mat. Punke can certainly beat Townsell and if he holds position well and rides well on top he will win. If Punke beats Townsell in his second consi match he would likely see #11 Travis Piotrowski of Illinois. Piotrowski is really long and tough on top. He would be a tough match-up for Punke and I would predict him to get the win here.
Prediction of placement/ finish: I have Punke going 1-2 here. 0-2 and 2-2 are both entirely plausible as well.