By Noah Becker – [email protected]
As everyone knows, March is the time for college basketball and all the excitement that comes with it.
I too get into it and fill out the massive bracket with teams I personally know nothing about. The NCAA basketball tournament certainly is a great athletic event, but there is another tournament that is overshadowed by basketball that probably compares equally in madness.
That tournament is the DI NCAA Wrestling Championships.
This intense 3-day event is also known as “March Matness” to its more devoted followers. This tournament of champions was held in St. Louis this year and showcased some of the greatest matches that the sport of college wrestling has ever seen. The competition was utter madness this year with Penn State winning their sixth title in seven years and winning five individual titles, two of which were first-years.
This year also highlighted some of the best wrestlers in the world with the youngest U.S. Olympic gold medalist Kyle Snyder and Olympic bronze medalist J’Den Cox both bringing home individual National Championships to their schools.
The sport of wrestling doesn’t often find very many undefeated wrestlers coming to the Championships, but this year had an undefeated wrestler in every weight class.
So, with all of these stud, undefeated wrestlers you would certainly presume that the NCAA title would fall into the hands of each weight classes respected undefeated wrestler. Unfortunately, that was not the case this year and upsets were plentiful in the Championship rounds in St. Louis.
Some of the craziest upsets of the night came from Penn State wrestlers Bo Nickal (beating Gabe Dean, the two-time national champion and No. 1 seed by a score of 3-4) and Zain Rutherford (beating Isaiah Martinez, the undefeated two-time national champion and No. 1 seed by pin).
By the end of the tournament, five of the 10 No. 1 seeds did not walk away with a national champion title which made for a very exciting national tournament.
I agree that the college basketball season is a very exciting time, for sports in the spring time, but if you want to watch some real madness unfold, don’t forget to watch the grapplers of college wrestling next March.
This is the opinion of Noah Becker, SJU first-year