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PSU gets first-round opponents for Wrestling Championships

(PSU ATHLETICS) Penn State University’s Mark Hall flexes his arms during an NCAA wrestling match.

By ANDY ELDER

For The Express

The NCAA announced the brackets and pairings for the 2020 NCAA Div. I Wrestling Championships on Wednesday night, but those matchups will be seen in person by very few fans.

Just hours before the brackets started to be announced at 6 p.m., the NCAA made the unprecedented decision to hold its winter championships without fans. That includes the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments and hockey’s Frozen Four.

“I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events, including the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, with only essential staff and limited family attendance,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said in a statement.

The NCAA Wrestling Championships venue will seem especially empty since, for the first time, the event is scheduled in an NFL stadium, U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

On a conference call in early December, NCAA Director of Championships Anthony Holman said that around 43,000 tickets had already been sold for the tournament.

Now, wrestlers will vie for championships in front of far fewer fans.

Penn State, fresh off a fourth-place finish in the Big Ten Championships, earned just one No. 1 seed, Mark Hall at 174 pounds.

Nick Lee is seeded second at 141 as is Vincenzo Joseph at 165. Aaron Brooks is seeded 3 rd at 184 and Roman Bravo-Young is 5 th at 133. Jarod Verkleeren is seeded 19 th at 149 and Shakur Rasheed is the 21 st seed at 197.

Here is the complete list of first-round pairings for defending champion Penn State:

133 pounds

(5) Roman Bravo-Young (19-2), Penn State vs. (28) Collin Gerardi (14-11), Virginia Tech

141 pounds

(2) Nick Lee (20-1), Penn State vs. (31) Ryan Pomrinca (14-8), Lehigh

149 pounds

(19) Jarod Verkleeren (17-8), Penn State vs. (14) Andrew Alirez (24-4), Northern Colorado

165 pounds

(2) Vincenzo Joseph (15-1), Penn State vs. (31) Chase Straw (14-15), Iowa State

174 pounds

(1) Mark Hall (23-1), Penn State vs. winner of (33) Phillip Spadafora (17-16), Maryland vs. (32) Mason Eaglin (21-13), Duke

184 pounds

(3) Aaron Brooks (15-1), Penn State vs. (30) Max Lyon (19-15), Purdue

197 pounds

(21) Shakur Rasheed (8-6), Penn State vs. (12) Nathan Traxler (20-5), Stanford

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