5 Crucial Keystone Contests

Austin Bernard Matt McCutcheon

Hundreds of NCAA wrestlers, including 17 ranked in the top 20, are headed to the historic Palestra on UPenn's campus in Philadelphia for the 2017 Keystone Classic on Sunday.

Here are the five potential matches we're looking forward to most.

Watch the 2017 Keystone Classic LIVE on FloWrestling

5) Ryan Deakin, Northwestern vs. Hunter Ladnier, Harvard - 149 Pounds

Deakin has been on the radar since his third-place finish at the 2016 Midlands while redshirting. Deakin beat Hunter Ladnier by major decision at the tournament, but Ladnier really turned things on late last season, making the finals of the EIWA Championship and the NCAA Tournament.

4) Vincenzo Joseph, PSU vs. Chad Walsh, Rider - 165 Pounds

Cenzo beat Walsh by regular decision at last year's Keystone Classic. Since then, Cenzo won a national title and Walsh placed in the top eight for the second straight time. Should Joseph and Walsh meet again on Sunday, it'll be as the No. 1- and No. 6-ranked wrestlers, respectively.

3) Nick Nevills, PSU vs. Jacob Kasper, Duke - 285 Pounds

These two premier heavies met twice at the 2017 NCAA Tournament. Kasper won in the quarterfinals, but Nevills got revenge in the fifth-place match. They both enter the Keystone Classic for the rubber match as top 10-ranked 285-pounders.

Jacob Kasper and Nick Nevills' quarterfinals bout in St. Louis:


2) Austin DeSanto, Drexel vs. Corey Keener, PSU - 133 Pounds

If not even earlier, fans have been pumped to watch the NCAA career of DeSanchise ever since he knocked off Spencer Lee at the Pennsylvania State High School Championships and then four-time California state champ Justin Mejia at the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic. No. 20 Corey Keener is a three-time NCAA qualifier and will be a great litmus test for the true frosh, should they meet in Philadelphia.

1) Anthony Cassar, PSU vs. Matt McCutcheon, PSU - 197 Pounds

Matt McCutcheon is a three-time NCAA qualifier and two-time bloodround finisher who earned the fifth seed at the 2017 NCAA Tournament. He's currently ranked fourth nationally and was the assumed Penn State starter entering the season. But Anthony Cassar also had designs on the spot in the starting lineup, and the freestyle junior national champ from New Jersey started the last two duals for the Nittany Lions. Both Cassar and McCutcheon are registered for the 197-pound bracket, providing us with a potential de facto wrestle-off to enjoy.

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