Taking a look at some bold predictions for No. 1 ranked Penn State Wrestling heading into the 2022 NCAA Wrestling Championships
It’s the most coveted and tradition-rich time of the year. People all across the nation circle this on their calendars and plan their days around it. Some people say it’s like Christmas in March.
That’s right, it’s VBR bold prediction season, baby!
Oh, and the 2022 NCAA Wrestling Championships are only a couple of days away. I guess a lot of people look forward to that as well.
But in all seriousness, how can you not get excited for the incredible wrestling action set to take place this Thursday in Detroit, Michigan?
The NCAA Championships never disappoint. Unless you’re a fan of a team other than Penn State Wrestling.
The Nittany Lions put together many strong performances in the 2022 Big Ten Championships and while they didn’t win the title, that’s not really the goal. You can make an argument Drew Hildebrandt and Creighton Edsell had disappointing showings in the championships, however, Hildebrandt didn’t appear to be healthy and Edsell should have received an at-large bid at 165.
The latter simply amplifies the notion athletes should never leave their fate up to outside forces.
Speaking of disappointment and fate, my “5 Bold Predictions for Big Ten Wrestling Championships” were certainly bold, but they weren’t very accurate.
I hit on two of the five bold predictions which roughly equates to my church league slow pitch softball batting average (.400). That would be great for a major league baseball hitter but when someone is lobbing a giant, bright yellow ball to the plate, it leaves a lot to be desired.
So I’m back at it and this time I’m going to take a crack at making bold and hopefully accurate predictions for the Penn State Nittany Lions. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight!
Bold Predictions for Penn State Wrestling in the 2022 NCAA Wrestling Championships
Bold Prediction No. 1
Drew Hildebrandt and Brady Berge will both be All-Americans
This prediction is bold for several reasons.
For starters, Brady Berge‘s best finish in the NCAA Championships was a round of 12 exit last year after suffering an injury in his quarterfinal match against Rider’s Jesse Dellavecchia.
Secondly, both Drew Hildebrandt and Brady Berge drew No. 16 seeds despite strong resumes during the season and a single bad day for Hildebrandt. As pointed out previously, this means both Berge and Hildebrandt will have to square off against the No. 1 ranked grappler in the second round of their individual bracket.
Despite my chugging of the blue Kool-Aid at times, even I realize the most likely outcome for both guys is a trip to the consolation bracket following the second round. And this is exactly why my prediction is bold.
Because if this happens then both Drew and Brady will have to win at least three matches in the wrestle backs just to have a shot at the seventh-place match. Keep in mind a top-eight finish earns you All-American honors. So if a wrestler makes it this far then they are guaranteed this distinction.
Taking it a step further, it will take four wins in the consolation bracket to make the fifth-place match and five wins to get a shot at a podium finish in the third-place match.
I’m not going to bet against either of these guys to pull off incredible finishes, but for both of them to finish in the top eight in the nation?