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Fix is Pokes Best Hope as Pokes Report Makes Predictions on NCAA

March 14, 2022
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STILLWATER – Oklahoma State head coach John Smith heads to Detroit later this week with eight wrestlers and the NCAA Championships projections for the greatest collegiate wrestling program, the greatest collegiate sports dynasty in history are ranging from thirteenth to fifteenth. It is not good in fact historically bad. Injuries, wrestlers that have struggled to improve, and a head-on collision on Jan. 24 have cost the Cowboys. Injuries have compromised Trevor Mastrogiovanni, Wyatt Sheets, and Travis Wittlake, who failed to qualify for the NCAA Championships at 165-pounds. The head-on collision ended the season of 2021 NCAA Champion at 197-pounds A.J. Ferarri. The best hope for the Cowboys is unbeaten and No. 2-ranked Daton Fix at 133-pounds. Fix has been a runner-up twice at the NCAA Championships and is determined to win an individual title.

If the Cowboys finish out of the top 10 and that appears likely, it will be just the third time in history. Oklahoma State had their lowest finish ever in 2009 when they came home with a No. 16 finish. Then in 2018 the Cowboys were No. 13 in the final team standings. The fact they’ve won the NCAA a record 34 times makes a finish out of the top 10 even more puzzling.

“We’re building,” head coach John Smith told the media. “We’ve got four wrestlers seeded in the top 10, underclassmen and we have to go punch some All-Americans in this tournament. Try to get a national champion or two and build toward next year.”

The NCAA Championships get started with the first round on Thursday. Oklahoma State did not qualify or get a wild card at either 165 pounds or 197 pounds.

NCAA Championship First Round Matchups
125: No. 7 Trevor Mastrogiovanni vs. No. 26 Kysen Terukina (Iowa State)
133: No. 2 Daton Fix vs. No. 31 Kyle Burwick (Wisconsin)
141: No. 25 Carter Young vs. No. 8 Grant Willits (Oregon State)
149: No. 9 Kaden Gfeller vs. No. 24 PJ Ogunsanya (Army)
157: No. 31 Wyatt Sheets vs. No. 2 Ryan Deakin (Northwestern)
174: No. 6 Dustin Plott vs. No. 27 Sal Perrine (Ohio)
184: No. 16 Dakota Geer vs. No. 17 Jeremiah Kent (Missouri)
HWT: No. 19 Luke Surber vs. No. 14 Luke Luffman (Illinois)

Here is our Pokes Report projection on where the eight Cowboys will finish in Detroit later this week.

125 Pounds

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Mastrogiovanni with a takedown at the Bout at the Ballpark.

Trevor Mastrogiovanni bounced back at the Big 12 Championships to finish third after we picked him fourth. He opens with Iowa State Kysen Terukina, who beat him 2-1 in the dual in Stillwater. I think Mastrogiovanni (18-3) is better now physically. He also has wins over potential second round opponents in Brody Teske of Northern Iowa 7-5 in sudden victory 1 in overtime and Missouri’s Noah Surtin 4-2 in Tulsa at the Big 12 Championships. I’m going to be hopeful here and believe that Mastrogiovanni can scramble in the consolations and come up with a seventh place finish and live up to his seed earning All-American honors.

133 Pounds

Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports
Fix in last year’s NCAA final.

Daton Fix (21-0) has to feel a little slighted as the No. 2 seed. His first big challenge should ne No. 3 seed Michael McGee of Arizona State (21-2). Fix has been a runner-up twice and one of those he didn’t deserve. He had the win and had it taken away. Penn State’s Roman Bravo-Young (17-0) is the top seed and I believe he is going down. Fix will win his first NCAA individual national championship.

141 Pounds

Young Carter Young (12-7) is in a tough wait but has a decent draw. I’m curious what he will do with Oregon State veteran and No. 8 seed Grant Willits (24-5). I think Young could win nd in the next round see Missouri’s Allen Hart (15-5). Those two did not meet in the dual in Columbia. After that Young is at the mercy of the consolation winds. He’s either going to grow up and battle or be out by Friday evening. It’s hard to pick him to pull it off.

149 Pounds

Oklahoma State Athletics
Gfeller needs to get his hand raised a bunch.

Kaden Gfeller has been a favorite of mine all season. He has an 18-2 record and should win his opener and then sees Iowa’s Max Murin (12-3), who decisioned him 5-2 in the Bout at the Ballpark in Arlington. He wins that and then he sees top seed and unbeaten Yianni Diakomihalis of Cornell (23-0). I see Gfeller going to the consolations after that. I think he’ll upset Murin. In the consolations Gfeller battles to a fifth place finish and gives the Cowboys a third All-American.

157 Pounds

Tough season for Wyatt Sheets just gets more tough. His knee has been the issue and he’ll lead off with No. 2 seed Ryan Deakin of Northwestern (13-0). It’s a quick trip into the consolations and Sheets won’t last to finish unplaced.

174 Pounds

The Cowboys Dustin Plott is seeded sixth and will open with No. 27 Sal Perrine of Ohio (23-4), which is one of the best records I’ve seen for a 27 seed. Waiting in the second match will be Missouri’s No. 11 seed Peyton Mocco of Missouri, who will be looking for payback as Plott took him down late for the win in the Big 12 Chmapionships. Two wins and that gets Plott to No. 3 seed Logan Massa of Michigan (16-2). Plott will battle but finds a tough draw in the consolations to finish unplaced.

184 Pounds

Dakota Geer (15-6) will open with Big 12 foe and Missouri’s No. 17 seed Jeremiah Kent (17-7). Geer lost to Kent in the dual at Columbia 2-0. If Geer gets that win then he will see No. 1 seed Myles Amine of Michigan (16-1). That would send him to the consolations and a long battle awaits there. I’m not sure he will last long enough.

Heavyweight

Oklahoma State Athletics
Surber has been constantly improving.

I’m actually thinking that the Cowboys undersized heavyweight Luke Surber (13-8) could surprise. He will need to see the right opponents. I think he wins his opener with Illinois Luke Luffman (15-10). He handles that and he sees Iowa’s Tony Cassioppi (15-2) again. Cassioppi scored a 9-1 major in the Bout at the Ballpark. Surber goes to the consolations, but if he sees bigger wrestlers that are not as athletic then I really like his chances. It is all in the match-ups and the draw. I predict he finds a decent draw and finishes eighth and claims All-American honors.

 

Discussion from...

Fix is Pokes Best Hope as Pokes Report Makes Predictions on NCAA

1,175 Views | 5 Replies | Last: 6 mo ago by RowdyRawhide
CaliforniaCowboy
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the Championship tournament can't even get an internet showing?

I know they put the final round on TV, but good golly, nothing before that, not anywhere?
Danny Deck
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Thursday Morning: ESPNU
Thursday Evening: ESPN2
Friday Morning: ESPNU
Friday Evening: ESPN
Saturday Morning: ESPN2
Saturday Evening: ESPN

All mats all sessions on ESPN+
CaliforniaCowboy
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thank you Danny,

I had gone to the OSU site, and it only had a link to "listen". I didn't see anything in Robert's article.

I looked at ESPN+ and found nothing there - maybe I only looked at Big12 NOW.

thanks again.
Danny Deck
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Not sure if this link will work, but here is the ESPN+ wrestling homepage which has the mats for round 1 showing.

https://www.espn.com/espnplus/catalog/99c32c26-2a57-3ec2-b14c-824684bd2e7f/wrestling#bucketId=29451&sourceCollection=categories
RowdyRawhide
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Look for Daton Fix to get revenge against Bravo-Young of Penn State and reverse

the results of last year's final. Fix can beat him if he's mentally ready.
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