The brackets have been released for the 2021 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, the league office announced Wednesday, March 10. The event takes place March 18-20 in St. Louis.
The University of Pittsburgh wrestling team will send five of its 10 starters to nationals later this month. Micky Phillippi (133), Cole Matthews (141), Jake Wentzel (165), and Nino Bonaccorsi (197) all punched their tickets to NCAAs thanks to their respective performances at the 2021 ACC Championships last month in Raleigh. Gregg Harvey was also awarded an at-large bid to the big dance, rounding out the five NCAA qualifiers for the Panthers.
Pitt Panthers » NCAA Seeds
— Pitt Wrestling (@Pitt_WRES) March 11, 2021
The two-time defending ACC champion at 165 pounds, Wentzel (9-1) earned the highest seed among Pitt’s NCAA qualifiers, garnering the No. 3 spot and an opening match with Drexel’s Evan Barczak (6-3).
Pitt’s other ACC champion, Bonaccorsi (9-1) received the No. 6 seed at 197 pounds and will meet Stanford’s Nick Stemmet (7-2) in the opening round next Thursday. A possible matchup with familiar Virginia Caviler, Jay Aiello, could follow if both advance to the second round.
A three-time NCAA qualifier, Phillippi (8-1) also holds strong hopes of a podium finish in 2021. He begins as the No. 5 seed, meeting Ty Smith (8-5) of Utah Valley in his opening bout.
Matthews (6-5) and Harvey (6-6) both performed impressively at the ACC Championship and could also contend for All-America honors at 141 and 184 pounds, respectively, if they can peak in St. Louis. The No. 16 seed, Matthews will meet Rider’s McKenzie Bell (7-3) in the first round, while No. 30-seed Harvey opens his tournament against No. 3 Lou DePrez (7-0) of Binghamton.
Coverage of the 2021 NCAA Wrestling Championships will be broadcast by the ESPN family of networks, with live scenes from every mat available on ESPN3 and via the WatchESPN app.
The early sessions on Thursday and Friday will begin at 11 a.m. on ESPNU. Thursday’s second round coverage starts at 6 p.m. on ESPN, while Friday evening’s always anticipated semifinals and round of 12 are set for 8 p.m. on either ESPN or ESPN2.
Saturday’s NCAA Championships television coverage begins with placement matches at 11 a.m. on ESPN2 before the championship finals of all 10 weight classes air live on ESPN at 7 p.m. on Saturday night in St. Louis.