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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

No Holds Barred: Bob Mayeri Previews 2016 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with our long-time colleague and wrestling correspondent, Bob Mayeri.

In our discussion, we previewed the 2016 NCAA Div. I Wrestling Championships.

The 2016 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships take place March 17-19 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Once again the ESPN networks in the U.S. will provide live video of every match, with the finals and semifinals televised live on ESPN, the other four sessions televised live on ESPNU, and ESPN3.com and the WatchESPN app providing live multi-mat viewing throughout.

We spoke with Bob Mayeri by phone Sunday about both how the expected top teams shape up, and the favorites and possible upsets in each of the ten weight classes.

Speaking about the undefeated Big 10 champion Penn State team, which is favored by many to win the team championship, he said, "Penn State has some pretty high expectations. I think they probably are looking to have maybe as many as five in the finals."

Those five are: 125-pound number three seed Nico Megaludis, 149-pound top seed Zain Retherford, 157-pound number three seed Jason Nolf, 174-pound top seed Bo Nickal, and 197-pound top seed Morgan McIntosh.

"I don't think the wrestling community would be that surprised if those five did make it to the finals. So I think on paper they've got a serious edge on the team that's competing for second place."

As far as the competition to win this year's Hodge Trophy for college wrestling's most dominant wrestler, the favorite is the top seed at 165 pounds, Alex Dieringer of Oklahoma State, who is going for his third straight NCAA title.

"Right now it's Dierenger's to lose," he said.

In addition, we open the show with a commentary on the culture of college wrestling in America, its lack of diversity, and how this may play out as Wrestling Nation descends upon New York City.

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