The Penn State wrestling team will try to win its fifth-straight NCAA championship next week in St. Louis and the Nittany Lions will do so shorthanded.
Seven Nittany Lions will compete at Scottrade Center after 165-pound redshirt freshman Garett Hammond failed to secure an at-large bid after finishing 10th in the Big Ten tournament last weekend. Kade Moss (141) and Luke Frey (152) were eliminated from postseason contention at the Big Ten tournament.
Meanwhile, Matt Brown (174) and Morgan McIntosh (197) are both No. 2 seeds at their respective weights.
Brown (24-3) will open his final NCAA tournament against North Carolina State’s Pete Renda (18-14). McIntosh (26-2) is fresh off a Big Ten championship and will face Virginia’s Zach Nye (17-9) first.
Jimmy Gulibon (133) is the No. 7 seed at 133 pounds. Gulibon (22-7) will face Rutgers’ Scott Delvecchio (21-10) in the openin ground, an opponent Gulibon majored in a dual meet earlier this season.
Jimmy Lawson (285) is the No. 8 seed and will wrestle Cornell’s Jacob Aiken-Phillips (18-15) first. Lawson (15-4) did not wrestle in the fifth-place match at the Big Ten tournament due to an injury but with two weeks between tournaments, coach Cael Sanderson said he believed Lawson would be ready.
Jordan Conaway (125) will open against Citadel’s Joaquin Marquez (23-13). Conaway (23-6) is making his second NCAA tournament appearance.
Zack Beitz (149) will open against Chattanooga’s Shawn Greevy (20-11). Beitz (18-9) is making his NCAA tournament debut.
Matt McCutcheon (184) is also making his frist NCAA tournament appearance. McCutcheon (24-12) also withdrew from the Big Ten tournament with an injury but is expected to be ready to wrestle next weekend. McCutcheon (24-12) will open as the 14th seed against Cal Poly’s Nick Fiegener (24-15).