First Round Match: #13 Jarrett Jacques vs. #20 Luke Weiland, Army (Seckman)
Potential Second Round: #13 Jacques vs. #4 Alec Pantaleo, MICH
Potential Quarter: #13 Jacques vs. #5 Hayden Hidlay, NCST
Thoughts on seed fairness: My initial reaction is that the seed is not bad, and given his early season losses is likely fair for his total body or work. That said the Jacques that just beat #7 Larry Early in his conference tournament should probably be seeded between 7 and 12. Jacques went 7-4 against the field here. Jacques had wins over #7 Early, #8 Humphreys, #22 Carson, #23 Straw, #25 Ruffin and #29 Smythe X2. Jacques losses were to #2 Berger, #9 Pagdilao, #15 Barone and #17 LaPrade.
Thoughts on draw: Jacques got a fairly tough draw. Weiland is a solid kid out of Missouri and though I have Jacques winning it will likely be fairly close. In the second round Jacques has a super interesting match with #4 Pantaleo. Pantaleo is extremely strong for the weight class and is explosive from the neutral position. Pantaleo struggles on bottom at times. Jacques can be very solid on top and his scrambling ability and reattacks take away some of Pantaleo’s explosiveness. Pantaleo is the favorite and like wins, but Jacques could beat him as he is wrestling really well right now. In his first consi match I see Jacques wrestling #19 Parriott of Purdue. Parriott is really gritty and tough to score on, but he struggles to generate offense. I like Jacques to win a close match there and advance to a bout with #12 Rahmani. Jacques and Rahmani are both excellent scramblers and this R16 match could be worth the price of admission. I like Jacques to win a tight one here with his strong top game and advance to a R12 bout with either #7 Early or #10 Bleise. Jacques just beat Early last week in the MAC finals and though a rematch going Early’s way would not stun me I favor Jacques slightly in that match-up. Bleise is long for the weight and is good upperbody. It will be a scrap either way, but I like Jacques to overperform and put himself onto the back end of the podium. One thing to watch with Jacques all weekend will be his conditioning. It was poor for long parts of the season, but he looked great at MACs. If Jacques beats Early or Bleise I have him losing a close bout to #6 Young of Iowa and wrestling in the seventh place bout. In the bout for seventh I imagine he will see #3 Deakin of Northwestern. Deakin has been a little off his best of late, but he is extremely long for the weight class and has good leg attacks. I could see him being a match-up problem for Jacques. I will take Jacques to finish in 8th here.
Prediction of Placement: I have Jacques taking 8th place. Anything from 6th to R16 would not be a surprise. Jacques has the talent, so if he is wrestling at his best he has a chance to be a bracket buster here.