INDIANAPOLIS – Franklin & Marshall’s Matt Fullowan will face Boise State’s Jake Swartz in the first round of the 174-pound bracket at the NCAA Division I Wrestling National Championships. Jake Bucha’s career unceremoniously came to a close as he was not afforded an at-large bid.
Fullowan, who posted a record of 27-13, took fifth place in the 174-pound draw at last weekend’s Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) Championships. The EIWA had an allotment of five automatic qualifiers for the NCAA tournament. Both Fullowan and Swartz (18-14) are unseeded, and will wrestle for the right to face the four-seed, Coby Covington (Oregon State) or Mike Dessino of Bloomsburg. Fullowan is F&M’s first NCAA qualifier since Justin Herbert represented F&M at 174 pounds in 2009.
Bucha (31-5) also finished in fifth at the EIWA Championships, but the conference’s allotment of automatic qualifiers was reduced from five last year, to three this season. The at-large selections were made by the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee using the following selection criteria without priority order: head-to-head competition, qualifying event placement, quality wins, results against common opponents, winning percentage, rating percentage index, coaches ranking and number of matches contested at that weight class. The 133-pound bracket was one of only two that added four wrestlers through the at-large process. The rest of the weight classes saw five or more at-large entries. The 133-pound bracket features three wrestlers that Bucha has defeated this season.
Bucha’s senior season ended with a record of 31-5, while his career comes to a close at 78-25. He is the eighth most victorious wrestler in Franklin & Marshall’s history.
Fullowan’s first match in Philadelphia will be Thursday morning, March 17.