ACC Receives 34 Automatic Bids for the NCAA Wrestling Championships
The Atlantic Coastal Conference received 34 automatic bids for the NCAA Wrestling Championships from March 16-18 in Tulsa Okla.
The NCAA bases automatic qualifiers on different variables such as a .700 winning percentage, top 30 ratings percentage index (RPI) and top 30 coaches; rank. There also cannot be more than a total of 29 pre allocations for each class. The NCAA pre allocated 29 automatic qualifiers at 125, 141, 149, 157, 197 and 285 pounds, 28 automatic qualifiers at 133, 165 and 174 pounds and 26 automatic qualifiers at 184 pounds.
The ACC has averaged around 34 automatic qualifiers per year since Pitt joined the conference in the 2013-14 season. 125 pounds has two qualifiers, 133, 149, 157, 165, 174 and 285 pounds have three qualifiers each, 141 and 197 pounds have four qualifiers each and 184 pounds has five automatic qualifiers.
Much of the Intermat rankings align with how the NCAA hands out automatic qualifiers at each weight. The ACC has five wrestlers ranked at 184 pounds and there are five automatic qualifiers in that weight class.
The ACC Championships on March 5 in Raleigh, N.C. will have at most six wrestlers for each school in the conference at each weight. The wrestlers will compete against each other for the first through fifth places to see if they automatically qualify for the NCAA Championships.
The NCAA also has 46 at-large qualifiers they have available spread throughout the weight classes. There are four at-large qualifiers for the 125, 141, 149-, 157-, 197- and 285-pound weight classes, five at-large qualifiers at 133, 165 and 174 pounds and seven at-large qualifiers at 184 pounds.
Pitt finished the 2022-23 season with a 10-4 overall record and a 4-1 record in ACC play, which earned them a share of the ACC Regular Season Title. This is the first ACC Regular Season Title for Pitt since they won the conference outright in the 2013-14 season.
Here are the starting wrestlers heading into the ACC Wrestling Championships
Pitt wrestler record overall/ACC record. Rankings by Intermat.
125-Redshirt junior Colton Camacho (15-8)/ (3-2)
133-No. 10 redshirt senior Micky Phillippi (12-2)/ (4-1)
141-No. 3 redshirt senior Cole Matthews (17-1)/ (5-0)
149-No. 29 redshirt sophomore Tyler Badgett (16-10)/ (2-3)
157-Senior Dazjon Casto (6-7)/ (2-2)
165-No. 22 redshirt senior Holden Heller (12-5)/ (5-0)
174-No. 33 redshirt first-year Luca Augustine (13-8)/ (3-2)
184-No. 17 redshirt junior Reece Heller (16-6)/ (2-3)
197-No. 1 redshirt senior Nino Bonaccorsi (14-0)/ (5-0)
Heavyweight-Senior Jake Slinger (8-7)/ (1-1)
Bonaccorsi, Phillippi and Matthews are the best bets for Pitt to win an ACC Title, or at least qualify for the NCAA Championships. Some of the more interesting wrestlers to watch are Camacho, Badgett, Casto, Augustine and Slinger, who face great competition for an automatic qualifying spot.
Pitt will practice next week before competing at the ACC Championships on March 5.
Jake Slinger, not Mike… I am looking forward to see how they do at the ACC Championship… H2P!!