Hawkeyes playing underdog role at NCAA wrestling tournament - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

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Hawkeyes playing underdog role at NCAA wrestling tournament

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Spencer Lee is one of nine Hawkeye wrestlers competing at the NCAA Tournament. Spencer Lee is one of nine Hawkeye wrestlers competing at the NCAA Tournament.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

The NCAA wrestling tournament starts Thursday in Cleveland. The Hawkeyes have 23 national championships, but are a long shot to win it all this year. Iowa was fourth at the Big Ten Tournament, their worst finish under head coach Tom Brands. Most experts think a third-place finish at nationals would be Iowa's best outcome.

Penn State and Ohio State are the favorites and the Hawkeyes last NCAA title came in 2010. Iowa has nine guys at nationals and four are seeded fifth or better.

"It's never going to go as planned so saddle up every time and go out there and wrestle your best match," said Iowa head coach Tom Brands. "Smart, hard, make adjustments as it goes down the path and let it fly."

"I can picture in my head what everything looks like and everything like that," said 157-pounder Michael Kemerer. "So now it's just, I mean this is the last thing of the year so it's just going out and executing, doing what I do."

The action starts at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday.

There are a couple of Siouxlanders to watch at nationals, including Iowa's Cash Wilcke at 197 pounds. The OA-BCIG grad is seeded 14th. Sgt. Bluff-Luton grad Colton McCrystal will wrestle for Nebraska at 149 pounds. The senior was fourth at the Big Ten championships and is seeded 13th at nationals.

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