Seven Badgers will compete in the event in Philadelphia, Pa.
March 9, 2011
? 2011 NCAA Wrestling Championships bracket*
MADISON, Wis. -- The NCAA announced the 330 student-athletes set participate in the 2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on Wednesday. Seven Badgers are among those athletes who will compete at this year's event in Philadelphia, Pa., March 17-19.**
The Badgers automatically qualified seven different wrestlers, including redshirt sophomore Tyler Graff (133 lbs.), redshirt sophomore Cole Schmitt (149 lbs.), redshirt sophomore Ben Jordan (174 lbs.), juniors Andrew Howe (165 lbs.) and Travis Rutt (184 lbs.) and redshirt seniors Trevor Brandvold (197 lbs.) and Eric Bugenhagen (Hwt.).
In addition, Howe, Graff, Rutt, Brandvold and Bugenhagen were among those who are seeded in their respective weight classes.
Graff, who was slated as the No. 4 seed at 133 lbs. will wrestle Nebraska's Ridge Kiley in the first round. The Badger enters the NCAA's after placing second at the Big Ten Championships on Sunday. Kiley and Graff squared off earlier in the season in Wisconsin's dual with Nebraska on Jan. 21 and Graff slated a 13-5 major decision over Kiley.
Schmitt placed eighth at the league tournament last weekend and faces No. 9 seed Donald Vinson of Binghamton in the first round at 149 lbs. Although Schmitt has not wrestled Vinson, he could face American's Ganbayar Sanjaa (No. 8 seed) in the second round, a grappler who the Badger defeated 4-3 at the NWCA National Duals on Jan. 8.
No. 2 seeded Howe, who most recently became a three-time Big Ten champion, faces Cal Poly's Ryan DesRoches in the opening round. The two have not met on the mat this year.
At 174 lbs., Jordan placed sixth at the Big Ten Championships and will face Stanford's No. 7 seed Nick Amuchastegui. This is the first meeting between the duo this year.
A third place finisher at Big Ten's on Sunday, Rutt received the No. 4 seed. The junior will square off against Binghamton's Nathan Schiedel in the first round on March 17.
Joining Howe as a repeat Big Ten Champion on Sunday, Brandvold was awarded the No. 3 seed for this year's national tournament. At 197 lbs., Brandvold faces North Carolina-Greensboro's Caylor Williams in the first round. Brandvold opened the 2010-11 season by pinning Williams at 2:22 in the Badgers' first regular season dual on Nov. 19.
Bugenhagen, who slated an impressive third-place finish on Sunday, was slated the No. 12 seed and will open the tournament against Hofstra's Paul Snyder at heavyweight.