2023 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational

2023 CKLV Bracket Reactions

2023 CKLV Bracket Reactions

Our rapid bracket reactions for the 2023 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.

Dec 1, 2023 by Jon Kozak
2023 CKLV Bracket Reactions

The 2023 Cliff Keen Las Vegas is the toughest in-season tournament of the year and is going down on December 1-2. Check out the below article for our bracket reactions for this incredible tournament. 

Check out complete brackets, team scores, and links to match archives on FloArena.

125 lbs

There’s nothing too wild at 125 but Matt Ramos didn’t get any favors with the top seed. He’ll likely have All-American Eddie Ventresca in the second round and then will face the winner of Kysen Terukina and Nico Provo in the quarters. Terukina already has a win over All-American Eric Barnett this year and Provo had a close, 3-2 loss to Matt Ramos last year at NCAAs. 

Troy Spratley and Jore Volk are the two I’m looking out for in this bracket. Oklahoma State’s Spratley is the 10 seed and will likely have Tanner Jordan in the second round and then All-American Michael DeAugustino in the quarters. Volk is the 5 seed but drew a very tough Anthony Molton in round one. Molton has up-and-down results but defeated Matt Ramos last year.

133 lbs

The big news is no Daton Fix in the bracket so Kai Orine gets the top seed. Reece Witcraft takes Fix’s place and earned the #14 seed. 

Other than no Fix, there aren’t too many surprises from this bracket but I’m circling the 5-12 match in the round of 16 between Dom Zaccone and Ethan Oakley. This SOCON rivalry has gone back and forth with these two splitting their last two matches. We could definitely see 12-seed Oakley make a run here.

141 lbs

There’s a ton of depth in this bracket starting with Anthony Echemendia at the 8 seed. If he wins first round, he’ll likely have Oregon State’s Cleveland Belton in the round of 16 only to meet top-seeded All-American Lachlan McNeil in the quarters. 

Michigan’s Sergio Lemley at the 12 seed is interesting. Lemley has a matchup with Northern Iowa’s Cael Happel in the round of 16 - that match will tell us a lot about what to expect from Lemley this year. 

The bottom side of 141 has a ton of heat with Jesse Mendez, Vince Cornella, Josh Koderhandt, and Brock Hardy all as the top-ranked wrestlers in the bracket. Mendez and Hardy are the favorites here but we shouldn’t be surprised if either Cornella or Koderhandt pulls an upset or two to make the finals. Even with all of that talent, OK State freshman Tagen Jamison is the dark horse here. He'll have Koderhandt round 2 and then a shot at Brock Hardy if he wins.

149 lbs

Casey Swiderski at the #10 seed is the man to watch in this bracket. Swiderski will have UNC’s Jayden Scott in round one and then All-American Jaden Abas in round 2. If he gets by both of those wrestlers, he’ll likely see Kyle Parco in the quarter-finals. That run to the semis is a tall challenge but Swiderski’s a gamer and will be ready for the battle.

Jordan Miller at the 11 seed is the other wrestler to keep an eye on. Williams, just a freshman, has taken over the starting 149-pound spot at OK State and was a top-ranked recruit coming out of high school. Williams had an up-and-down redshirt season but showed his potential when he defeated Ethen Miller at the Southern Scuffle last year. 

157 lbs

This is the weight class to watch. Every wrestler has a shot at placing in the top eight — and a handful have a shot at the title. Keep an eye on the second round with an expected match-up between Virginia Tech’s Bryce Andonian (seeded #3) and Cornell’s Meyer Shapiro (seeded #14). Andonian’s high-octane style will be fun to watch as he takes on a promising true freshman who has two age-level World titles on his resume. This could be the match of the tournament. 

Nebraska’s Peyton Robb earned the top seed and will have a potentially tough second-round match against Cal Poly’s Legend Lamer. South Dakota’s State’s Cael Swensen (seeded #8) should meet Purdue freshman Joey Blaze (seeded #9) in the second round, which could set up a match against Robb in the quarterfinals. 

The bottom half of the bracket features second-seeded Jacori Teemer of Arizona State, but keep an eye on #11 Cody Chittum of Iowa State. The Cyclone freshman is coming off a close loss to Iowa’s Jared Franek so we’ll see how he responds in Las Vegas. Set up text alerts for every seeded wrestler. Every match will be important for seeding at the 2024 NCAA Championships.

165 lbs

Returning national champion David Carr of Iowa State takes the top seed and is on a path to face Cornell’s Julian Ramirez (seeded #4) in the semifinals. Stanford’s Hunter Garvin is seeded #13 and should give Ramirez a test in the second round if all goes to seed. Oklahoma State’s Izzak Olejnik is seeded third but has a pigtail match. He is an important piece of a Cowboy line-up that’s seeking it’s identity throughout the season. Olejnik could face Michigan’s Cam Amine in the semifinals, which could mean a potential finals match with Carr in the finals — if the seeds hold.

174 lbs

At the top of this bracket, NCAA champ Shane Griffith has an opening bout against Perrine of Ohio then will await the winner of Brayden Thompson vs Lorenzo Norman. The Oklahoma State and Stanford fanbases are both fired up to see how these true freshmen can impact their programs, so it’s fantastic to see them match up so early in their careers.

This seems like a weight where the bracket is likely to follow the seeds which just might mean we could see a whole lot of chaos.

184 lbs

5th seeded Lenny Pinto and 12th-seeded Dylan Fishback could meet in a potential round-of-16 match that could be a whole lot of fun. Both guys have upper-body attacks and a ton of firepower. If it happens, don’t miss it.

Gavin Hoffman made 184 lbs for Ohio State, and now that he’s passed the scale test, he’ll need to gear up for Morgan State true freshman Kingsley Menifee then probably Virginia Tech’s Sam Fisher. Hoffman is an All-American with a ton of tools, but we haven’t seen him compete at this weight against competition this tough in his college career. The further he gets from the scale, the better he’s likely to be, so those early matches will be important.

197 lbs

Virginia Tech true freshman Sonny Sasso is looking to cut his teeth at a major tournament, and he’ll have returning NCAA finalist Tanner Sloan right away. Sloan is a massive favorite, but Sasso is extremely scrappy. Keep your eyes on that first-round match.

On the bottom side of the bracket, Wyoming true freshman Joey Novak (whose brother just competed at the NWCA All-Star Classic for St. Cloud State), could be a difference-maker right away for the Cowboys. He’ll see Campbell NCAA qualifier Levi Hopkins in the first round with the winner likely facing Cornell’s Jacob Cardenas.

285 lbs

Nebraska heavyweight Harley Andrews got dropped up top against Ohio’s Greer then, if he advances, Michigan’s Northwestern transfer Lucas Davison. Andrews came into college with a lot of hype, and he’ll have tough tests right away.

This bracket originally looked like it would have a round-of-16 rematch between Nick Feldman and Hunter Catka, but scratches moved them to opposite sides. Feldman’s first big test will be Cornell’s Lewis Fernandez in the round of 16. If he wins there, Yonger Bastida looms large.