Pittsburgh Nationals Fan Guide: Brackets, Schedule, How To Watch, and Storylines To Follow


PITTSBURGH, PA – Teams have arrived, wrestlers are warming up, and fans are making the trek into the Steel City! ESPN will be showing every single match with ESPNU doing some broadcasting as well. Here is a little guide to this week’s NCAA Championships in Pittsburgh! 


Updated Brackets

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Storylines To Follow


Penn State Party

The Nittany Lions could wrap up the team title as early as the semifinals depending on how the chips fall. They are the overwhelming favorites to win the team race as are seniors Jason Nolf and Bo Nickal who are in a battle for the Hodge Trophy.

Fans – appreciate these two wrestlers. We take for granted their levels of greatness because they almost make it look too easy. Enjoy them while they are here for three days – we won’t be seeing wrestlers like Nolf and Nickal every year.


Underdog Champions

After an unbelievable and dominating run to his first NCAA Title as a true freshman in 2018 – it’s hard to imagine Spencer Lee is not the undisputed favorite to win a National title at 125 pounds in 2019. Lee comes in as the third seed with three loses this season; two to top seed Sebastian Rivera and one to second seed Nick Piccininni. Now Spencer is the third seed and will likely get a re-match with Piccininni in the semifinals before facing Rivera in the finals (if everything goes according to plan – which we know it always does).

Likewise, 2-time NCAA Champion Vincenzo Joseph, comes in as the #2 seed after falling in the Big Ten finals to Iowa’s Alex Marinelli. The 165 pound junior is competing in his home City of Pittsburgh and is accustomed to the big stage. 


133 Pound Madness

Not only is 133 pounds one of the deepest weights overall – but in terms of Pennsylvania talent this weight is out of control. There are five wrestlers from the Keystone State seeded in the top 15 and combined they had a high school career record of 864-54 along with ten State Championship titles. Pletcher and Lizak are the highest returning NCAA medalists from Pennsylvania, both finishing fourth last season (Lizak down at 125 pounds). Pletcher has a loss to Phillippi this season, Phillippi has a win over top seed Daton Fix, Myers has a win over Phillippi, DeSanto and Lizak split matches this year, DeSanto split matches with third seed Nick Suriano, Pletcher beat Lizak, and the madness never stops.

I love this weight not only because of the top end talent from Pennsylvania represented here – but the overall intensity of the field. Fix and Suriano are must see wrestling and throw in Tariq Wilson have we are going to have a party.


Championship Schedule




























How To Watch

Date Time (ET) Session Networks Number of ESPN3
Mat Feeds
Thur, Mar 21 12 – 3:30 p.m. First Round ESPNU/ESPN3 Eight Mats
7 – 10:30 p.m. Second Round ESPN/ESPN3 Eight Mats
Fri,  Mar 22 11 a.m. –  2 p.m. Quarterfinals ESPNU/ESPN3 Eight Mats
8 p.m. –  11 p.m. Semifinals ESPN/ESPN3 Six Mats
Sat, Mar 23 11 a.m. –  2 p.m. Medal Round ESPNU/ESPN3 Three Mats
6:30 –  7 p.m. Off the MatPregame Show ESPN3 N/A
7 –  10 p.m. Championship ESPN/ESPN3 One Mat
Approximately 10 p.m. Off the MatPostgame Show ESPN3

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