Nicholas Hucke took third this past weekend in the MAC Championships. He will make his second NCAA appearance after earning an At Large bid at 141 pounds Wednesday.
March 13, 2013
UPDATED Wednesday, 9:45 p.m.
COLUMBIA, Mo. - On Wednesday afternoon, the NCAA announced all 330 qualifiers for the 2013 NCAA Championships that will be held in Des Moines, Iowa, starting next Thursday, March 21. Of the 330 selected, ten bids were dealt to Tiger grapplers from the University of Missouri.
The NCAA began announcing the Division I Championship fields by weight class starting at 12 p.m. in 30-minute intervals. Following this past weekend's MAC Championships, eight of 10 wrestlers had received automatic bids to this year's national tournament. Senior Nicholas Hucke and junior Zach Toal were the only starters that were hoping for At Large bids into this year's field.
At 1 p.m., the 141-pound field was announced, with Hucke receiving one of the four wildcard spots. Hucke had an up-and-down year for the Tigers, finishing with a 14-14 record at 141. This is his second NCAA appearance after automatically qualifying in 2012.
At 2:30 p.m., the news became official. Toal squeezed his way into the competitive 165-pound bracket that includes Cornell's No. 1 Kyle Dake and Penn State's David Taylor, who's ranked second. Toal finished the year with a 23-16 record. This will be Toal's third appearance in the NCAA Championships in his third year as a starter with the Tigers.
For a second consecutive season, Tiger Style will showcase a starter in every weight class. Oklahoma State, Minnesota, Penn State, and Virginia Tech are some other programs that have qualified all 10 starters this year. Mizzou was the only program in the nation to send all ten starters to the NCAA's last year, which were held in St. Louis.
Alan Waters (125) and Dom Bradley (HWT) open as the No. 1 seeds nationally in their bracket. Seniors Nathan McCormick, Mike Larson, and Brent Haynes round out the nationally seeded Tigers this year. Here are Missouri's first round matchups:
125- No. 1 Alan Waters (29-0) vs. David Thorn, Minnesota, (13-10)
133- No. 6 Nathan McCormick vs. Erik Spjut, Virginia Tech, (17-10)
141- Nicholas Hucke (13-13) vs. No. 3 Michael Mangram, Oregon State, (36-4)
149- Drake Houdashelt (28-9) vs. No. 11 Andrew Alton, Penn State, (26-4)
157- Kyle Bradley (26-13) vs. No. 4 James Green, Nebraska, (20-4)
165- Zach Toal (22-16) vs. Ryan Leblanc, Indiana, (22-8)
174- Todd Porter (31-10) vs. No. 2 Mathew Brown, Penn State, (25-4)
184- No. 11 Mike Larson (27-10) vs. Ophir Bernstein, Brown, (24-9)
197- No. 12 Brent Haynes (31-8) vs. Jackson Hein, Wisconsin, (20-10)
285- No. 1 Dom Bradley (35-1) vs. Stryker Lane, Cornell, (20-10)
Senior Todd Porter is making his first NCAA appearance in his first year as a starter. Larson and Haynes have qualified for the NCAA Championships for the fourth consecutive season.
The Tigers finished the regular season ranked No. 4 by the NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll. This past weekend in Buffalo, the program claimed their second consecutive conference title in its first year as an affiliate member with the Mid-American Conference. In 2012, Mizzou left their former conference, the Big 12, as conference champions as well.
The NCAA Championships start next Thursday, March 21 and run through Saturday, March 23 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. Stay tuned on MUTigers.com for matchups and more on this year's NCAA Championships. For a list of all of the qualifiers, visit the NCAA's official page by following this link.
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