NCAA Wrestling Championship Brackets Announced - Asper Gets Hosed?

From the e-mail sent out by Coach Kerry McCoy last night:

The NCAA announced the brackets for the NCAA Championship in St. Louis next week. All seven Terps earned automatic qualification based on their performance at the ACC Championships. Maryland's seven wrestlers are the most the program has sent to the NCAA Championships since 1990 and are tied for the 12th most of any school in the tournament in which 70 are represented.

Three Terrapin wrestlers are seeded:

Redshirt sophomore Christian Boley is seeded fourth at 197 and will open with Binghamton's Cody Reed.

Junior Josh Asper is seeded seventh at 165 and will face Buffalo's Mark Lewandowski in the bracket's pigtail match.

At 285, sophomore Spencer Myers received the eighth seed and will face The Citadel's Andrew Delaney in the first round.

Sophomore Shane Gentry opens with seventh-seeded Jarrod Patterson of Oklahoma at 125 in the bracket's pigtail match.

Freshman Geoffrey Alexander was also drawn into the 133-pound pigtail match. Alexander gets 11th-seeded Steven Keith of Harvard in his opening match.

Senior Kyle John's opening-round opponent at 157 is Princeton's Daniel Kolodzik.

At 174, redshirt sophomore Jimmy Sheptock drew Indiana's Ryan Leblanc.

Action from St. Louis will begin Thursday, March 15. To see the complete brackets, visit

Given that Josh Asper was ranked at #2 behind only returning NCAA finalist David Taylor on D1CW's last set of rankings, his seems a curiously low seed. Granted, he did lose in overtime at the ACC Championships in the finals, but aside from forfeit losses where he was protecting an injury, it was his first loss on the mat all year.

What REALLY sucks is his bracket placement - 7th seed with a pigtail match. Who does the winner get? Peter Yates of Va. Tech, the very wrestler Asper lost to in the ACC final. CORRECTION: I read the bracket wrong. It's Nicholas Sulzer (UVA) 25-7 that Asper would get should he win his pigtail. He wouldn't see Yates until the semis if they both progressed that far.

How a wrestler goes from #2 to #7 with a pigtail match due to one loss is fishy, but to feed him directly into a match with Yates is downright conspiratorial. Something's rotten in Denmark (or St. Louis, in this case) and I'm surprised there's not outrage from the Terps coaching staff on the indefensible seeding of Josh Asper.

UPDATE: Thanks to TonyOrlando78 for noticing my error in reading the brackets.The committee did keep Asper & Yates separated until the semis, which is something. But Asper would still face the #2 seed in the quarter-finals, which is itself inexcusable.

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