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Wisconsin wrestling: 2022 NCAA Tournament preview and how to watch

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The Badgers are sending nine wrestlers to Detroit this weekend to compete for an All-American spot and a national title.

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Eric Barnett after beating Iowa’s Drake Ayala at the Big Ten Championships.
Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Wisconsin Badgers wrestling team is already in Detroit getting prepared for this weekend’s (Thursday-Saturday) NCAA Championships. An impressive nine wrestlers, tied for the second most of any school in the country, made the trip for Chris Bono’s crew and will be looking to earn All-American status and compete for a national title.

Only Iowa, Northwestern and N.C. State qualified all 10 of their wrestlers, while true freshmen Dean Hamiti, Joe Zargo and Braxton Amos are three, of only 24, true freshmen to qualify for the tournament.

Here are the seeds, and first round opponents, for all nine of the Wisconsin wrestlers:

  • 125 pounds: No. 6 Eric Barnett opens with No. 27 Justin Cardani (Illinois)
  • 133 pounds: No. 31 Kyle Burwick opens with No. 2 Daton Fix (Oklahoma State)
  • 141 pounds: No. 27 Joe Zargo opens with No. 6 Cole Matthews (Pitt)
  • 149 pounds: No. 3 Austin Gomez opens with No. 30 Marshall Keller (Princeton)
  • 157 pounds: No. 27 Garrett Model opens with No. 6 Jared Franek (NDSU)
  • 165 pounds: No. 4 Dean Hamiti opens with No. 29 Andrew Nicholson (Chattanooga)
  • 184 pounds: No. 29 Chris Weiler opens with No. 4 Parker Keckeisen (Northern Iowa)
  • 197 pounds: No. 23 Braxton Amos opens with No. 10 Yonger Bastida (Iowa State)
  • 285 pounds: No. 17 Trent Hillger opens with No. 16 Zach Elam (Missouri)

Here is where to watch the whole tournament:

  • Thursday, 11 a.m. CT - Session I (ESPNU)
  • Thursday, 6 p.m. CT - Session II (ESPN2)
  • Friday, 10 a.m. CT - Session III (ESPNU)
  • Friday, 7 p.m. CT - Session IV (ESPN)
  • Saturday, 10 a.m. CT - Session V (ESPN2)
  • Saturday, 6 p.m. CT - Session VI (ESPN)

Four Badgers earned their first-ever career qualifications to NCAAs. UW’s three true freshman — Hamiti, Zargo and Amos obviously — join senior Garrett Model, who placed seventh at Big Tens to earn an automatic qualification in his last career appearance at the conference tournament.

Hillger will be attempting to become an All-American for the fourth time in his career while Barnett will be looking to do it for the second time.