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Minnesota Wrestling: NCAA Championship Preview

Can Gable finish the job?

Syndication: The Des Moines Register Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

The 2022 NCAA Wrestling Championships take place this weekend in Detroit, Michigan. The main story will be if Minnesota Gophers Gable Steveson can continue one of the best season in college wrestling history and complete his college career at the top of the mountain with his second NCAA Championship Saturday night. But Minnesota will bring eight other wrestlers to Detroit with a chance to earn All-American status with a top 8 finish in their weight class. Here is a full preview of each:

Patrick McKee—125 Pounds

McKee will be looking for a second straight All-American nod as he finished in third place last season. He comes into this tournament seeded 8th meaning a potential rematch against #9 seed Devin Schroder of Purdue in the 2nd round if he can get past Appalachian State’s Caleb Smith in the first round and a match with #1 seed Nick Suriano of Michigan in the quarterfinals.

Jake Gilva-133 pounds

Gilva is seeded 29th in his weight class and will open with a match against fourth-seed Korbin Myers of Virginia Tech.

Jake Bergeland—141 pounds

Bergeland gets the #10 seed after making a run to finish in third place at the Big Ten Championships. He will face Gabe Willochell of Edinboro in the opening round before a potential rematch with South Dakota State’s Clay Carlson in the second round.

Micheal Blockhus—149 pounds

Blockhus just squeezed into the field as the #31 seeded wrestler. His reward—a first round match with #2 seed Tariq Wilson (NC State).

Cael Carlson—165 pounds

Carlson got the last automatic qualifying spot when he took 7th place in the Big Ten Championships. His reward? A match against #5 seed and defending NCAA Champion Shane Griffith of Stanford.

Bailee O’Reilly—174 pounds

O’Reilly earned an at-large berth into the 174 bracket and is seeded #21. He will face South Dakota State’s Cade DeVos in round one with Iowa’s Michael Kemmerer probably lurking in round 2.

Isiah Salazar—184 pounds

Salazar is seeded #19 in the 184 bracket and will face Gavin Kane of North Carolina in round one.

Michial Foy—197 pounds

Foy is the #26 seed in his class and gets Missouri’s Rocky Elam in round 1.

Gable Steveson—Heavyweight

The one to watch, obviously. Gable is the #1 seed and will face the winner of the #32/33 match between Tyrell Gordon of Northern Iowa and Mathew Cover of Princeton in the first round. He will have the chance to see some familiar foes who he has already destroyed as he makes his way through the bracket starting with a potential rematch with Wisconsin’s Trent Hillger in round 2, Northwestern’ s Lucas Davidson in round 3, Penn tate’s Greg Kerkvliet in the semifinals, and then either Michigan’s Mason Parris or Iowa’s Tony Cassiopi in the finals.

If Gable can win he will become just the sixth multi-time NCAA Champion in Gopher history. He is also looking to become the first wrestler in collegiate history to finish a season with a 100% bonus rate, as he currently sits at 13-0 on the season with one fall, four technical falls, seven major decisions, and one forfeit win.

The competition schedule and TV schedule is below:

Thursday, March 17

11:00 a.m. CT: Session I (First Round) – ESPNU

6:00 p.m. CT: Session II (Second Round/Wrestlebacks) – ESPN2

Friday, March 18

10:00 a.m. CT: Session III (Quarterfinals/Wrestlebacks) – ESPNU

7:00 p.m. CT: Session IV (Semifinals/Blood Round) – ESPN

Saturday, March 19

11:00 a.m. CT: Session V (Consolation Semifinals/Place Matches) – ESPN2

6:00 p.m. CT: Session VI (Finals) – ESPN