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NCAA Preview – Oklahoma State

#10 Oklahoma State

Link to Brackets

After their second consecutive runner-up finish at Big 12’s the Cowboys are looking to get back into the top ten for the first time since 2021. Despite the similar finish the team has high upside and is projected to finish 5th based on seeds. Penn State leads the way with 136 points and NC State with 86, but Nebraska is sitting at 58 in third, just 12 points ahead of #10 Virginia Tech. The race for a team trophy is projected to be tight, but OSU has shown that they have the wrestlers able to make the podium and outperform projections. Here’s a look at the team’s draws, projections, and opportunity to find upsets. 

125lbs: 6 Seed – #11 Troy Spratley (20-6)

First Round Match: 27 Seed; #30 Max Gallagher (20-8) (Penn)

In his first NCAA tournament Spratley earned a top eight seed but this weight class is wide open. His first opponent is true freshman Gallagher who’s seed and record may be deceiving. He’s had some inconsistent results but almost all of his losses are within two points, including a one point loss to Iowa’s Drake Ayala. Gallagher finished 5th at EIWA’s despite a seven seed, showing that he is a threat at a deep weight class. 

Assuming Spratley wins there he is looking at the winner between Virginia Tech’s Cooper Flynn and Chattanooga’s Brayden Palmer. Flynn had his Olympic redshirt pulled earlier this year and uses his strong defense to keep himself in every match. His biggest win this year likely came against Noah Surtin of Missouri, similar to Spratley. 

Brayden Palmer was a round of 16 finisher at 133 last year and has had some weight issues at 125 but could be a sleeper with more time off the scale. He’s good from top and his size is difficult to manage. 

If Spratley wins and makes it to the quarters he is projected to see a rematch against Drake Ayala. A win there puts him on the podium and into the semis, where a loss puts him into the bloodround against a number of difficult opponents. Spratley clearly has the ability to go far, but so do a number of wrestlers at this weight. I’m putting him in the top eight, but not with much confidence with how 125 has been this year. 

Prediction: Top Eight

133lbs: 1 Seed – #3 Daton Fix (17-0)

First Round Match: Winner of Dyson Dunham (20-13) (VMI) vs Cayden Rooks (10-11) (Indiana)

Fix was the one seed in 2019 and 2021 but the two seed in 2022 and 2023. He’s back to the top of the seeds, importantly having Vito Arujau and Ryan Crookham on the other half of the bracket.

With the top seed Fix will see the winner of the pigtail, then based on seeds he will likely run into Nic Bouzakis (Ohio State), Evan Frost (Iowa State), and Dylan Shawver (Rutgers) before the finals. Since we’ve already seen the Frost match multiple times, Bouzakis and Shawver standout as the biggest threats. 

Bouzakis had a rough Big 10’s due to some funky seeding, but was the three seed coming in before going 0-2. He’s got some big moves that make him dangerous however, and he pinned Kai Orine in under a minute this season. Shawver was the Big 10 champ with a dominant tech fall in the finals over Michigan’s Dylan Ragusin. Neither wrestler presents the full skillset that I would expect Fix…

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