Gophers Receive Draws for NCAA Championships

The NCAA released full brackets for next week’s NCAA Championships, which will be held at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Mo. Two-time Big Ten Champion Gable Steveson enters the tournament as the top seed at heavyweight, while sophomore Brayton Lee is seeded sixth at 157 pounds.

The lone Gopher with NCAA Championship appearance is Steveson. He will face the winner of the pigtail match between Taye Ghadiali of Campbell and Andrew Gunning of North Carolina. Steveson is 12-0 on the season and currently on a 29-match win streak. Steveson finished third as a true freshman in 2019.

After placing third at last week’s Big Ten Championships, Lee will face Justin Ruffin of SIU-Edwardsville in the first round. Lee was a 2020 All-American and qualified for last year’s national tournament at 149 pounds.

A trio of Gophers and 2020 NCAA qualifiers earned seeds in the teens. Sophomore Michael Blockhus (149) is seeded 14th and will meet Navy’s Casey Cobb, while sophomore Patrick McKee (125) is seeded 15th and will face Noah Surtin of Missouri.

Senior Owen Webster (184) is seeded 17th and will meet Purdue’s Max Lyon. The pair have met four times in their career with each winning twice. Webster won a 6-5 decision in the dual meeting in January, while Lyon responded with a 3-1 decision in the seventh-place match at the Big Ten Championships.

Coming off a seventh-place finish in his first conference tournament, junior Jake Allar (174) is seeded 24th and will meet Donnell Washington of Indiana. True freshman Andrew Sparks (165) and redshirt freshman Marcos Polanco (141) are seeded 24th and 28th, respectively. Sparks will face Luke Weber of NDSU, while Polanco will meet Dom Demas of Oklahoma.

The NCAA Championships will run Thursday-Saturday, March 18-20. The entire tournament will be televised on the ESPN family of networks with ESPN3 providing mat-by-mat coverage online.

2021 NCAA DI Championship Brackets

Golden Gopher Seeds
125: No. 15 Patrick McKee
133: No. 23 Boo Dryden
141: No. 28 Marcos Polanco
149: No. 14 Michael Blockhus
157: No. 6 Brayton Lee
165: No. 24 Andrew Sparks
174: No. 24 Jake Allar
184: No. 17 Owen Webster
HWT: No. 1 Gable Steveson

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