Hawks familiar with foes
Eight Iowa wrestlers seeded 7th or better
Andy Hamilton ? Iowa City Press-Citizen ? March 17, 2009
The unveiling of the brackets for the NCAA Championships typically sends college wrestling coaches and athletes scrambling for information and video clips on unfamiliar opponents.
That task became a little less complicated for Iowa Monday evening. Most of the research for the Hawkeyes was readily available in their video room.
Four of Iowa's nine qualifiers for the NCAA Championships have already won head-to-head meetings this season against the opponent they will face in Thursday morning's opening round at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. The Hawkeyes have also run into two of their other first-round foes this season.
Defending NCAA champion Brent Metcalf (33-0) earned the No. 1 seed at 149 pounds and will open the tournament against Bucknell's Kevin LeValley. The Iowa junior notched one of his team-high 18 pins against LeValley in January.
The Hawkeyes have eight wrestlers seeded seventh or better, including No. 2 Phil Keddy (184) and No. 3 Ryan Morningstar (165). Daniel Dennis (133), Alex Tsirtsis (141) and Jay Borschel (174) earned No. 4 seeds, while Charlie Falck (125) is seeded fifth and heavyweight Dan Erekson is seeded seventh.
Falck (22-4), a two-time All-American, opens the tournament against Bucknell's Derek Reber. The Iowa senior won a 9-3 decision in their previous meeting.
Dennis (27-4) makes his NCAA debut against Oklahoma State's Chris Notte. Dennis was a 3-2 winner against Notte in January.
Tsirtsis (25-5) scored a 4-1 victory in November against his first-round opponent, Maryland's Alex Krom.
The Hawkeyes also got a January peek at their opening-round opponents at 174 and 197. Although Borschel wasn't in the line-up when Iowa wrestled Wyoming at the National Duals and Chad Beatty sat out against Oklahoma State, the Hawkeyes got a glimpse at the Cowboys they'll face Thursday -- Wyoming's Shane Onufer at 174 and Oklahoma State's No. 8 seed Clayton Foster at 197.