2021 Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational

The CKLV Team Race Will Come Down To These Weights & Matches

The CKLV Team Race Will Come Down To These Weights & Matches

Nebraska, Ohio State, Northwestern, Cornell, or Michigan? Where will the team points come from for each school?

Nov 23, 2021 by JD Rader

Nebraska snapped Ohio State’s streak of three-straight CKLV team titles by winning in 2019, but can they (technically with no tournament in 2020) go back-to-back in 2021? They will for sure once again be in contention with Ohio State as well as several other teams. Several key wrestlers and weights could make the difference.

Below are the projected team scores based on the current set of rankings. Pre-seeds, which normally come out a day or two before wrestling starts, will give a slightly better indicator. Keep in mind that no bonus points are taken into account here, just placement/advancement points.

2Ohio State84.5
10Cal Poly47
13SD State38.5
14N. Colorado36.5
15ND State31.5
16Utah Valley30.5
22The Citadel3

Despite not having any projected points at 133 and 165, Nebraska is once again the odds-on-favorite to win CKLV. Led by four-year starter and returning 3rd place finisher, Mikey Labriola, the Huskers have few low points in the lineup outside of the aforementioned two weights.

After finishing 16th at CKLV in 2019, most would think that Michigan would be competing for the top spot this year. However, the Michigan team in Vegas will be much different than the one we will see in Detroit. Without Stevan Micic, Myles Amine, and Mason Parris, who are currently ranked #4, #2, and #2, the Wolverines don't get any projected points at 141, 184, and 285. Jelani Embree, who will be in for Amine, is capable of getting onto the podium and picking up some points.

Let’s take a deeper look at where these projected team points are coming from.

So, what weights are going to be the biggest for the team race?


#1 Yianni Diakomihalis, Cornell

#2 Sammy Sasso, Ohio State

#4 Yahya Thomas, Northwestern

#6 Jaden Abas, Stanford

#11 Ridge Lovett, Nebraska

Four of the top-five ranked guys are from teams in the hunt. Yianni will be the heavy favorite to win, but a Sasso win wouldn’t be the largest upset we will see in Las Vegas. Bonus points these two wrestlers pick up in the earlier rounds could be huge as well.

Justifiably, few will be picking Yahya Thomas, but don’t forget that he beat Jaden Abas twice at NCAAs and teched Ridge Lovett in freestyle at U23s. Michigan’s Kanen Storr, Oklahoma’s Mitch Moore, and Minnesota’s Michael Blockus have the ability to add some unexpected points for their teams by getting high on the podium.

Watch the highlights from Sammy Sasso and Yahya Thomas’ NCAA quarterfinal below.


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#8 Bernie Truax, Cal Poly

#11 Taylor Venz, Nebraska

#13 Tate Samuelson, Wyoming

#14 Rocky Jordan, Ohio State

#17 Max Lyon, Purdue

#19 Darrien Roberts, Oklahoma

#21 Jonathan Loew, Cornell

184 is fun because of its unpredictability. Throw this bracket in a matrix and play it out 20 times and you’ll probably get 20 different results. If Taylor Venz is able to bounce back after a loss to Marcus Coleman at the Daktronics Open, it could seal the deal for Nebraska.


#2 Ryan Deakin, Northwestern

#5 Brayton Lee, Minnesota

#6 Quincy Monday, Princeton

#7 Peyton Robb, Nebraska

#9 Will Lewan    Michigan

Listen to Ryan Deakin’s 2019 CKLV: 8-5 over Jacori Teemer, 9-3 over David Carr, 6-2 over Hayden Hidlay. However, Deakin is already projected to win and isn’t the biggest scorer of bonus points. Meaning, he probably it’s just as likely that Northwestern loses some points here than gains a couple. Nebraska fans, however, might be expecting more than 12.5 points with how good Peyton Robb has looked so far this season.

In conclusion, it will be a fun and tight team race where almost every match from the quarterfinals on will matter.