NCAA DI Stock Report: PSU Shakes Up 197 Pounds

Juan Garcia Anthony Cassar Keystone

The 197-pound weight class continues to swirl with volatility in our weekly look at the big movers in the NCAA top 20 rankings. Penn State's Anthony Cassar is the biggest gainer, going from unranked to No. 11 at 197 and taking the place of his teammate and three-time NCAA qualifier Matt McCutcheon in the top 20.

Check out our NCAA rankings for a full look at every weight and read ahead to see whose stock is going up and whose is on the way down.


No. 11 Anthony Cassar, Penn State - 197 Pounds

It would appear that PSU coach Cael Sanderson has a solution to his 197-pound conundrum in redshirt sophomore Anthony Cassar. The New Jersey native beat his teammate and No. 4-ranked Matt McCutcheon in the semifinals of the Keystone Classic, then took out No. 12 Frank Mattiace in the finals. Cassar makes his rankings debut at No. 11. A lot can happen between now and March but for now, the starting job for the Nittany Lions at 197 looks to be Cassar's to lose.

Watch Anthony Cassar's match versus Matt McCutcheon:


No. 18 Zeke Moisey, West Virginia & No. 16 Connor Schram, Stanford - 125 Pounds

The pair of lightweight wrestlers suffered tough losses in week three. Zeke Moisey continues his slide, falling all the way to No. 18 after starting the year at No. 7. Moisey's most recent defeat came at the hands of Oklahoma's Christian Moody, a bubble candidate for the top 20. Stanford senior All-American Connor Schram also suffered an early-season upset, going down to unranked Brandon Cray of Maryland in a dual meet, and falls from No. 9 to No. 16.


No. 11 Yianni Diakomihalis, Cornell - 141 Pounds

Yianni beat No. 12 Josh Alber in a dual meet in convincing fashion, catapulting himself into the next tier of rankings. It's no surprise to folks who have been following the two-time cadet freestyle world champion to see him reach this level. The 141 weight class is perhaps the most loaded in the NCAA, but if any true freshman can crack the top eight in March, the undefeated Cornelian is probably your best bet.


UR Jonathan Schleifer, Princeton - 165 Pounds

From No. 13 to outside the top 20, Scheilfer dropped out of the due to his two losses this weekend at the Navy Classic: one to Campbell's Quentin Perez and another to Bryce Martin of Indiana, who were both unranked. The senior from New Jersey is a three-time NCAA qualifier and remains a dark-horse All-American contender, but his early-season struggles prevent him from remaining in the top 20 at this moment.


No. 5 Darian Cruz, Lehigh - 125 Pounds

Cruz is the returning national champ and has yet to drop an official match. However, the loss the Mountain Hawks senior took at the all-star exhibition match against Oklahoma State's Nick Piccininni can't be ignored.

There is, naturally, plenty to quibble with regarding the four wrestlers ranked ahead of Cruz. Nathan Tomasello has been injured (though is expected back next month). Nick Suriano did not wrestle at last year's NCAAs and his current quality of competition has been lower than that of Cruz this season. Cruz beat Ethan Lizak the last time they wrestled. And Piccininni finished fourth in St. Louis at 125, whereas Cruz won the whole dang tournament.

But the loss to Piccininni and Piccininni's subsequent loss to Lizak must be reflected in the rankings, and it puts the national champion in incongruous fifth-place position. That said, now would be a tremendous opportunity to buy stock in Cruz if you think the Pennsylvania native will repeat next March in Cleveland.

Watch Ethan Lizak's incredible comeback against Nick Piccininni that knocked Cruz down to fifth:

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