Hokies Set to Send 7 Wrestlers to NCAAs in Philadelphia

*I'm writing this from my phone while sitting in class, so forgive any accidental informational errors or typos.

The Virginia Tech Wrestling team's performance at ACCs was dreadful to say the least. We only came out of the tournament with 3 ACC champs and 4 automatic bids in a conference that we dominated throughout the regular season. Part of this reason is the difference in competition style, during the year we met our ACC foes in a dual meet format and the ACC tournament is an individual tournament format. Nonetheless, the Hokies under performed at ACCs.

I personally believe that our outstanding regular season aided us in receiving 3 at-large bids (wish we could've given one to the basketball team). I predicted that we would get one, maybe two at large bids at the most.

If we want to be successful at NCAAs and have a shot at the team title, I believe we need to have 1 or 2 NCAA Champs, and have 7 All-Americans, period. The Hokies are tied for 11th in the number of wrestlers participating by team, with only 2 teams taking a full, ten-man team to Philadelphia. With that said, if all of our wrestlers place top 6 in the tournament we have a shot.

Personally I believe #5 seed Jesse Dong is our best shot at an NCAA title. If he wrestles smart and stays aggressive (unlike how he wrestled at UNC) he will be right there. #9 seed Devin Carter has an outside shot at a NCAA title as well. The freshman sensation looked stronger and more focused than I have ever seen him in the five years I have followed him (previous 4 years at Christiansburg High School). If he stays focused throughout NCAAs he has the potential to upset top-seeds. Our other five wrestlers will have to grind to stay alive until the quarters and semis to help score some team points for us.

Ultimately, our shot at winning this tournament is low. Our at-large bids will be wrestling top-seeds early, so they we will have to upset the top-seeds to advance. IntermatWrestle has us ranked 27th in the tournament rankings (behind NC State and Maryland). I believe if the teams that showed up at the Nationals Duals shows up in Philadelphia we will finish much higher, but only time will tell.

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