PSU has 8 Top 5-ranked wrestlers at the NCAAs

ASSOCIATED PRESS Penn State’s Zain Retherford, right, wrestles Iowa’s Brandon Sorenson at 149 pounds during a match in February. Retherford, the defending two-time champion, is the top seed at 149 pounds.

Penn State will try to win its third consecutive NCAA wrestling championship and seventh in eight years with eight of its nine-man contingent ranked among the top five of their respective weights, including two seeded No. 1.

The NCAA released seeds and brackets for the 2018 NCAA Div. 1 Wrestling Championships on Wednesday night. The tournament begins at noon March 15 in Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena.

Two-time defending champion Zain Retherford is the top seed at 149 pounds. The senior will start his hunt for a third title against Eastern Michigan’s unseeded Kyle Springer.

Defending 184-pound champion junior Bo Nickal is also a No. 1 seed. The first step toward his bid to repeat will come against unseeded South Dakota State wrestler Martin Mueller.

Mark Hall, the sophomore defending champion at 174, is one of three undefeated wrestlers at the weight. Hall is seeded second behind Zahid Valencia of Arizona State, who Hall defeated in the semifinals a year ago, 4-3. Hall faces unseeded Austin Rose of Drexel in the first round.

Jason Nolf, a junior, is one of three Nittany Lions who earned a No. 3 seed. He takes on unseeded Colin Hefferman of Central Michigan in the first round.

Vincenzo Joseph, the sophomore defending 165-pound champion, starts his title defense from the top of the bottom bracket as the No. 3 seed. He opens the tournament against Jonathan Schleifer of Princeton, who is unseeded.

Junior 285-pounder Nick Nevills, who placed fifth a year ago, is seeded third. He drew unseeded Stephen Suglio of Kent State in the first round.

Junior 197-pounder Shakur Rasheed enters his first NCAA tournament as the No. 5 seed. He will face unseeded Sawyer Root of the Citadel in the opening round.

Freshman 141-pounder Nick Lee earned the No. 8 seed for his first NCAA tournament. He meets Maryland’s Ryan Diehl in the first round. Lee defeated Diehl, 22-10, in a dual meet on Jan. 21.

Senior 133-pounder Corey Keener is unseeded in his final NCAA tournament. He starts the tournament against Pitt No. 11 seed Dom Forys.



Half of Lock Haven’s six-man contingent was seeded.

Junior 165-pounder Chance Marsteller is seeded No. 11. He meets unseeded Bryce Martin of Indiana in the first round.

Senior 149-pounder Ronald Perry is one of two Bald Eagles seeded No. 15. Perry will take on Lehigh’s Cortlandt Schuyler in the opening round.

Junior 285-pounder Thomas Haines is seeded No. 15. He is paired with unseeded Conan Jennings of Northwestern to open the tournament.

Sophomore 141-pounder Kyle Shoop takes on Iowa’s Vince Turk in a pigtail bout. If Shoop wins, he would earn a match with No. 16 seed Cole Weaver of Indiana in the first round.

Sophomore 157-pounder Alex Klucker meets No. 15 seed John Van Brill of Rutgers to open the tournament.

Sophomore 184-pounder Corey Hazel will meet the Chattanooga’s Bryce Carr, who is seeded No. 12..



Bucknell’s lone qualifier, senior Tyler Smith, will start his fourth NCAA tournament as a No. 11 seed. He meets Virginia Tech’s Brent Moore in the opening round.

The 330-man field will be trimmed down to 10 champions by the end of the evening on March 17.