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:

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197lb Semifinal: Matt McCutcheon, Penn St. vs Anthony Cassar, Penn St.


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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125 lbs Dual - Ethan Lizak, Minnestoa vs Nick Piccininni, Okst

Where Are PWC Participants Going To College?


Year after year, the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic showcases the next wave of college wrestling superstars. In fact, six of this year's ten NCAA champions were Classic alumni. Below we break down which colleges the 2018 Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic participants will be attending in the fall.

Robert Kanniard Commits To Rutgers

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Rutgers will be adding a Fargo champ to their roster in the next couple years. Robert Kanniard has verbally committed to wrestle for the Scarlet Knights in college.

Tech Notes: Gavin Teasdale vs Pat Glory

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I know we all still have an NCAA hangover, but don’t take your straps down just yet, the Pittsburg Wrestling Classic is this Sunday. Some of the matches lined up for this year’s PWC promise to be electric. One that I've had circled on the bout card since it came out is Pat Glory (USA) vs Gavin Teasdale (PA). Something tells me that this Who’s Number One rematch might look a little bit different than it did in the Snake Pit. 

FRL 275: NCAA Madness, Team Point Problems, And Looking Forward

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FRL 275 discusses the 2018 NCAA wrestling tournament, Penn State's title, and more.

Garbage Decision: EMU Dropping Wrestling


Eastern Michigan University press release

YPSILANTI, MI — Eastern Michigan University announced today that it will reduce its intercollegiate athletic program by four sports, effective at the end of the 2018 spring season. The action is being taken as part of the university's overall budget restructuring efforts. Affected by the decision are the sports of softball, men's swimming and diving, women's tennis, and wrestling. With the change, EMU, which previously led the MAC with 21 sports, will now have 17 sports (seven men's sports and 10 women's sports). This action in no way impacts Eastern's affiliation with the Mid-American Conference (MAC).

Hodge Trophy: Gross, Nickal, Retherford, & Valencia Announced As Finalists

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The four finalists have been named for the 2018 Hodge Trophy: Zain Retherford of Penn State, Zahid Valencia of Arizona State, Bo Nickal of Penn State, and Seth Gross of South Dakota State.

Ranking, Seed, & Finish: How Season Ended For NCAA All-Americans

Tony Rotundo Tariq Wilson 2018 NCAA Athletes Press Conference

Another heart-pumping NCAA tournament is in the books after a long season of incredible moments. 

Who's In Line For Wisconsin Job?

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The retirement of Barry Davis as head coach at Wisconsin opens up one of the most coveted positions in NCAA wrestling, and UW has left no stone unturned in its pursuit of filling the vacancy.

Four Events Live On FloWrestling This Weekend

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How do you follow up the NCAA Championships? With the NHSCA High School Nationals and Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic, of course.

Bloodround Heartache

Tony Rotundo Gabe Dean Jack Dechow

Losses are always tough to take. The most gut-wrenching losses come Friday night at the NCAA tournament. Years of hard work have allowed wrestlers to make the final twelve at the NCAA tournament. In each weight class four guys have to swallow the pill of being one match away from earning All American honors. It's a loss that sticks with guys, and a lot of them use the loss to fuel future success.