2024 NCAA Championships Watch Party

2024 NCAA Wrestling Championship Preview & Predictions - 149 Pounds

2024 NCAA Wrestling Championship Preview & Predictions - 149 Pounds

A full preview, with predictions, for the 149-pound weight class at the 2024 NCAA Wrestling Championships.

Mar 18, 2024 by JD Rader

Without 4X NCAA champion Yianni Diakomihalis no longer in the field, 149 has opened up into quite an entertaining weight class this season. Before diving deep into this weight class preview, I encourage you to go check out all of the awesome preview content surrounding the NCAA Championships HERE.

Complete FloWrestling 149-pound rankings

2024 NCAA wrestling brackets

More NCAA Weight Class Previews: 125 lbs | 133 lbs | 141 lbs | 157 lbs | 165 lbs | 174 lbs | 184 lbs | 197 lbs | 285 lbs 

Complete FloWrestling news coverage of the 2024 NCAA Wrestling Championships

2023 All-Americans

  1. Yianni Diakomihalis, Cornell
  2. Sammy Sasso, Ohio State
  3. Shayne Van Ness, Penn State
  4. Kyle Parco, Arizona State
  5. Caleb Henson, Virginia Tech
  6. Max Murin, Iowa
  7. Brock Mauller, Missouri
  8. Michael Blockhus, Minnesota

2024 Top Eight Seeds

  1. Ridge Lovett, Nebraska
  2. Kyle Parco, Arizona State
  3. Jackson Arrington, NC State
  4. Caleb Henson, Virginia Tech
  5. Ty Watters, West Virginia
  6. Austin Gomez, Michigan
  7. Tyler Kasak, Penn State
  8. Casey Swiderski, Iowa State

The Favorite

Ridge Lovett was rightfully given the #1 seed. He went 24-1 this year with wins over #4 Caleb Henson, and #6 Tyler Kasak and won the CKLV bracket that had #2 Kyle Parco, #3 Jackson Arrington, and #8 Casey Swiderski. He did suffer a 4-3 loss to Parco less than a month ago in the last dual of the year. However, with Parco’s losses to Ty Whalen, Caleb Henson, and a medical forfeit to Kannon Webster, Lovett has had the best season from start to finish.

Lovett is solid on his feet, but his real X-factor is his top game. He might be the best wrestler from the top position in Division I wrestling this year. Against Austin Gomez in the dual, Lovett picked up multiple sets of back points and over four minutes of riding time for a dominant 11-4 victory. That being said, Gomez looked much better in the Big Ten finals where the score was 5-4 and Lovett only had 15 seconds of riding time.


#2 Kyle Parco, Arizona State

#3 Jackson Arrington, NC State

#4 Caleb Henson, Virginia Tech

#6 Austin Gomez, Michigan

Outside of Lovett, it feels like four guys have a legitimate shot at winning. Parco, who already beat Lovett this year. Gomez, who narrowed the gap a lot from the dual to Big Tens, and the two ACC boys - Jackson Arrington and Caleb Henson. Caleb Henson wrestled Lovett super close in the CKLV finals this season. They both got takedowns, but the difference was Lovett got an escape and Henson didn’t. 

Watch Lovett and Henson’s super close CKLV final below.


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Jackson Arrington is already showing great progress at NC State. After finishing in the bloodround last season, he only suffered two non medical forfeit losses this season. Both of which he avenged. He lost 9-8 to Dylan D’Emilio of Ohio State at CKLV, but then defeated him 5-3 in the dual and he lost 4-1 to Caleb Henson in the dual but then defeated him 4-1 at ACCs. Somebody like Lovett doesn’t seem like a great match up for Arrington, but luckily for him, he’s on the opposite side of the bracket.

Sleepers And Landmines

#20 Jordan Williams, Oklahoma State

#26 Jaden Abas, Stanford

You’re not going to see too many 149 brackets that don’t predict the top eight seeds finishing in the top eight in some order. The top guys just feel too established and separated from nine seed Ethan Fernadez to fall too much. In my bracket, however, I do have 20 seed Jordan Williams and 26 seed Jaden Abas making it to the round of 12. Abas was an All-American at this weight back in 2021. He’s failed to repeat that performance the past two seasons, but if he can channel that version of himself again, he’s capable of sneaking on the podium. Williams had his rough patches this year as a true freshman. However, he was the #12 overall recruit in 2022 ahead of guys like Jackson Arrington, Mitchell Mesenbrink, Daniel Cardenas, Bennett Berge, TJ Stewart, Clayton Whiting, Jore Volk, and others, and is coming off of a runner-up performance at Big 12s where he defeated 8 seed Casey Swiderski.

Early Round Matches To Watch

Caleb Rathjen vs Caleb Henson

Classic Caleb battle. Both of these dudes wrestle super hard, so this match is sure to be an entertaining scrap. Henson is a heavy favorite, and rightfully so based on their college career results. And while they have never met in their college careers and this is slightly said tongue in cheek, Rathjen did beat Henson at UWW Cadets in 2018 and 2019.

Jackson Arrington vs Dylan D’Emilio

The rubber match. D’Emilio won at Vegas and Arrington won in the dual. If there’s one guy outside of the top 10 seeds who can get on the podium, I think it’s D’Emilio. He’ll need to win this match to do it.


1. Ridge Lovett, Nebraska

2. Austin Gomez, Michigan

3. Caleb Henson, Virginia Tech

4. Kyle Parco, Arizona State

5. Tyler Kasak, Penn State

6. Casey Swiderski, Iowa State

7. Jackson Arrington, NC State

8. Ty Watter, West Virginia

R12. Chance Lamer, Cal Poly

R12. Jordan Williams, Oklahoma State

R12. Caleb Rathjen, Iowa

R12. Jaden Abas, Stanford