If you don't feel like reading the whole thing my answer is Nebraska.
My off the wall, dark horse pick is...Lehigh.
Below is a few of the teams I would've thought had a chance at the beginning of the year and some general thoughts, how many AA's I think they'll end up with. Enjoy.
OK State. When I started wrestling they just won their first of four titles in a row. It's weird to me whenever they're not in the conversation as one of the top 3, 4 teams. But outside of Hwy, which has been terrible for them all year, they are very even across their whole line-up. Every one of their guys is ranked #21 or lower, according to Wrestlestat.
As a NYer, I'd like to see Picc make the finals. He's had a nice career for himself. 2 - 5
149 is a mess but Boo has enough talent to beat anyone at the weight. I think he ends up, top 4.
Geer's confusing. I thought he'd hammer people this year after finishing 7th last year. But so far his best win this year is against #19 Jordan Pagano of Rutgers. He has losses to the #'s 3, 4, 15 and 26th ranked guys. I'm back and forth on if he even makes the podium again or not. It wouldn't shock me if he did...but it wouldn't shock me if he didn't. I'll say he does.
Joe Smith - Which version shows up? Maybe he'll be so pumped that it's all coming to an end that he'll go all out and let it fly. Doubt it but it's a nice thought. 2-2
Dusty Hone, Wyatt Sheets, Witcraft, Wittlake and Montalvo are all talented, top 20 guys. I don't know if any of them can be consistent enough and win tough match after tough match, for three days in a row though. Wittlake and Montalvo would be my guesses to do so.
This is a hard team to make predictions on outside of 125 and 149.
3 or 4 AA's
I think they end up with 5 AA's. The thing is, outside of Kutler, I can't see any of them wrestling for a place higher than 5th.
Wood, a returning AA, is my least confident pick to repeat. Hwt is tough this year, taking a loss before the semis is going to make it that much tougher to reach the podium. I would hate to run into someone like D Thomas, Hokit or Hillger in the bloodround or earlier in the consis.
Hoffman (149) and Jakobsen (197) are capable of busting up a bracket as well.
I'd love to see them have a great tournament and have half their lineup AA.
I feel like ASU SHOULD be competing for a spot on the podium. They have Zahid..he should win his 3rd title and possibly the Hodge. After him though (Shields as well), there's a lot of question marks.
Hall has been with the team since 2008 and it hasn't gotten any easier for him. With Steveson,is, Cass, Hilger, Stencel, Wood, Hokit, Demetrius Thomas, etc. It's a tough weight and it's not a lock he is an AA again.
Teemer is talented and I'd really hate to wrestle him right after making weight. He can definitely mess a bracket up but I don't know if he can grind out tough wins for 3 days straight.
I really, really hope Anthony Valencia is an All American this year. I just can't see it happening. At times, he looks like a world beater on his feet. Then he'll face someone ranked top 10 and get majored. Thumped. Hammered. I don't think I've ever wanted someone to AA as badly as I want him to.
Norfleet. He's got a ton of talent and potential. Still has room to improve, which I think he will. He's wrestled Moore close twice this year and has a couple of nice wins over ranked opponents. I think he gets his first AA.
Maybe Courtney will win a match or two at 125. Nothing at 33, 41, 49 (Maruca's having a rough year).
3 - 4 AA's
Before the season started, I thought they were going to be a tough, tough tourney team with the Hidlay brothers, Nicky Reenan and Tariq.
Reenan hasn't looked right at all this year, I hope he's not seriously injured but I don't know how you go from Final X to a .500 wrestler that quickly. HEW? Tough cut? Injury? All of the above?
They still have a sneaky good team but perhaps they're a better dual team than tourney.
I hope Tariq regains his NCAA form of 2 years ago. Camacho could pick up a W or two in wrestle backs at 125 and the Bullards are tough and capable of causing an upset or two.
2 - 3 AA's
I think they're definitely a better dual meet team than tournament team.
Outside of Gross (1-3), Wick (2-5) and Hillger (4-8) they may have no other AA's.
Moran is definitely talented enough to get it done but he can bow out in the Rd of 12 again, like last year.
I'd like to see Johnny Sebastian AA in his last chance. I just can't see it. Hope I'm wrong though.
Nebraska - 5 - 6 AA's
Really tough team this year, I hope they keep improving and trending up.
Chad Red should become a 3x All American. They're loaded up top. White, Labriola, Venz and Schultz should all AA. I'm predicting their 157, Peyton Robb, will reach the podium, as well.
125, 133 and 149 are all capable of winning a match or two each.