Projecting The 141lb Seeds For The 2018 NCAA Tournament

Tony Rotundo

Seeding for any tournament is a never-ending debate within the wrestling community, and that is only amplified when March rolls around and the NCAA seeds are released.

There is no single weight that will be more difficult to seed than 141 pounds. Everyone has a loss, and not everyone will meet this season.

There are still several key dates yet to happen that will mold the landscape, so there is going to be a bit of prognosticating for these projected seeds. Also, please keep in mind that "ranked opponents remaining" does not include the conference tournament, but I do factor in conference predictions for these rankings.

Projected Seeds: 125133

1) Yianni Diakomihalis, Cornell

Yianni has the easiest remaining schedule of the top five guys, so if Jaydin Eierman stumbles, be it against Dean Heil or anyone else, Yianni will likely be the top seed. If so, he would be the first true freshman since former Cornell star Kyle Dake in 2010 to hold a top seed going into NCAAs.

Ranked Opponents Remaining

Friday, Jan. 19: #19 Luke Karam, Lehigh

Friday, Feb. 16: #18 AC Headlee, North Carolina

2) Kevin Jack, NC State

Jack's win over Heil will prove to be the difference come time for seeding. However, Jack likely have to beat him again in the semis, as I have Heil as the three seed. Why Yianni over Jack? Because of their common opponent results against Bryce Meredith.

Ranked Opponents Remaining

Friday, Feb. 2: #15 Nick Zanetta, Pittsburgh

Friday, Feb. 9: #18 AC Headlee, North Carolina

Sunday, Feb. 18: #11 Joey McKenna, Ohio State

3) Dean Heil, Oklahoma State

It seems strange seeing Heil listed as a potential three seed when he's only lost three matches in three years, had a 55-match winning streak and, oh yeah, won two national titles. But such is life this year at 141 pounds. His match with Eierman is the single-most important match for seeding until the conference tournaments.

Ranked Opponents Remaining

Saturday, Jan. 27: #5 Jaydin Eierman, Missouri

Saturday, Feb. 3: #9 Josh Alber, Northern Iowa

4) Bryce Meredith, Wyoming

This would be Meredith's highest career seed at NCAAs, after previously being 10th in 2016 and sixth last year. He's currently at the top of the heap based on his win over Heil. But history has not favored Meredith, and he still has yet to score a takedown against Heil in five matchups. If I'm right and Meredith loses to Heil at the Big 12 tournament, he'll drop quite a bit seeding-wise.

Sidebar: We could see Seth Gross, the #1 at 133, bump up to wrestle Meredith on Thursday night! It would be Meredith's only ranked opponent left on the schedule.


5) Jaydin Eierman, Missouri

First, he'll have to get by #6 Mason Smith this Friday, his primary competition for a MAC title. Then next week he'll have Heil. While I think Eierman is one of the few guys who can beat Heil, I'm going with the prior data. 

Ranked Opponents Remaining

Friday, Jan. 19: #6 Mason Smith, Central Michigan

Saturday, Jan. 27: #4 Dean Heil, Oklahoma State

Saturday, Feb. 17: #9 Josh Alber, Northern Iowa

6) Brock Zacherl, Clarion

The ultimate conundrum is Zacherl, who has an excellent shot of going undefeated but will almost certainly be hurt by the coaches ranking and RPI. But, with a win over Nick Lee, he's got a good shot of grabbing the six seed.

Ranked Opponents Remaining

Friday, Feb. 16: #20 Javier Gasca, Michigan State

7) Nick Lee, Penn State

Guess what guys? It's not just the top five that's difficult to seed. The Big Ten is a mess at 141 thanks to the introduction of Lee. He could win it, or Joey McKenna could, or Tommy Thorn, maybe even Chad Red. It's a crapshoot, so right now I'm going with Lee, but that could very well change.

Ranked Opponents Remaining

Friday, Jan. 19: #17 Nate Limmex, Purdue

Friday, Jan. 26: #10 Tommy Thorn, Minnesota

Saturday, Feb. 3: #11 Josh McKenna, Ohio State

8) Josh Alber, Northern Iowa

With his only losses so far to Yianni and Lee, Alber is in a good position. However, his remaining schedule is an issue in that it may give him enough losses to push him out of the top eight. He has a win over Mike Longo of Oklahoma, which gives Alber a common opponent over Mason Smith of Central Michigan, but right now those two are looking like the #8 and #9 seeds.

Ranked Opponents Remaining

Saturday, Feb. 3: #4 Dean Heil, Oklahoma State

Saturday, Feb. 10: #12 Kanen Storr, Iowa State

Saturday, Feb. 17: #5 Jaydin Eierman, Missouri

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