Brackets For 2017 NCAA Championships Unveiled – Minnesota

The NCAA today unveiled the brackets for the 2017 NCAA Championships. Today’s bracket reveal comes a day after the NCAA released the names of all 330 wrestlers who will compete in the tournament.

The Gophers will be well-represented at this year’s event in St. Louis after automatically qualifying nine wrestlers at last weekend’s Big Ten Championships. That group will be Minnesota’s largest in the national tournament since 2014.

Of those nine, seven Gophers were seeded at their weights.

In a new twist this year, the NCAA announced the top two seeds at each weight in the build up to its full bracket reveal. This change gave Gopher fans a sneak peek at where their top-ranked wrestler would be placed in the tournament field as Brett Pfarr was announced as the second seed at 197 pounds. Pfarr is 27-2 on the season, with his only losses coming to defending national champ and Olympic bronze medalist J’Den Cox (Missouri) and Kollin Moore (Ohio State), the latter of whom Pfarr defeated in two of their three meetings this season.

minnlogoIn addition to Pfarr, three other Gophers are seeded in positions that would place them on the podium in St. Louis.

That list begins with Ethan Lizak, the No. 6 seed at 125 pounds. Most recently, Lizak finished third at the Big Ten tournament with a record of 5-1. All five of his wins came with bonus points (two major decisions, two tech falls and a pin), a trend he hopes to continue at NCAAs.

The most decorated Gopher in the lineup, two-time All-American Michael Kroells, will be the No. 8 seed at heavyweight. Kroells has wrestled in the seventh-place match at the past two national tournaments and is seeded to be in that contest for a third straight year.

Lastly, Jake Short will be the No. 8 seed at 157. Short has had his most successful collegiate season this year as a redshirt freshman after bumping up from 149 pounds. Short turned in a career-best fifth-place showing at the Big Ten Championships.

Three other Gophers have numbers next to their names in the tournament bracket: No. 14 Mitch McKee at 133 pounds, No. 14 Tommy Thorn at 141 and No. 16 Nick Wanzek at 165. All three finished sixth at their respective weights last weekend in Bloomington.

Chris Pfarr and Bobby Steveson, who join McKee as the Gophers’ first-time NCAA qualifiers, enter the field unseeded at 174 and 184 pounds, respectively.

NCAA Division I Championships Brackets

The NCAA tournament gets going next Thursday, March 16. The three-day wrestling extravaganza will wrap up on Saturday, March 18.

GopherSports.com is your home for Gopher Wrestling news throughout the 2016-17 season. Be sure to follow Gopher Wrestling on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest updates.

Visit The Guillotine College Tournament Time Page for brackets, results, and live video links.

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