INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA released the 10 brackets for the 2014 NCAA Championships Wednesday evening via a live “selection show” on its website. The NCAA Wrestling Championships will take place in Oklahoma City, Okla. at the Chesapeake Energy Arena from March 20-22.
Josh Houldsworth (25-11), Columbia’s senior co-captain, is making his second straight appearance on the national stage and will open the 165-pound bracket against 16th-seeded Jim Wilson from Stanford. Wilson racked up a 33-6 record overall and an 18-2 mark in duals. The winner will take on the top seed in the second round, David Taylor from Penn State.
Zack Hernandez (23-11) will face a familiar foe in the opening round at 184 pounds, taking on Ophir Bernstein (33-8) from Brown. The two went head-to-head three times this season, including twice at the EIWA Championships, with Bernstein winning all three by decision.
Markus Scheidel will bring his stellar rookie campaign to a close at the NCAA Championships as the Lions third automatic qualifier at 157 pounds. Oregon State’s Roger Pena, the eighth-seed, (33-4) will be Scheidel’s first test in Oklahoma City. Pena is coming off his second straight Pac-12 title.
Earlier in the day it was announced that Shane Hughes had earned an at-large bid for Columbia at 174 pounds. Hughes will go up against Old Dominion’s Billy Curling (17-8) in the opening round. Curling enters the championships as the 15th-seed after taking runner-up honors at the MAC Championships.