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DETROIT – The Michigan wrestling team, in all likelihood, is not going to win an NCAA title in 2022.

Going into the tournament, bringing a trophy back to Ann Arbor was Michigan’s goal. And it seemed to be a realistic one — the Wolverines had won the Big Ten Tournament, taking down Penn State in the process. Additionally, every Michigan wrestler hoped to find personal success and contend for individual titles, especially those in their last seasons wearing maize and blue singlets.

“I thought our guys were in a great spot coming to this tournament, physically and mentally,” Michigan coach Sean Bormet said before Friday night’s session. “And coming off the Big Ten (Tournament), the Big Ten (Tournament) validated a lot for what this team is capable of.”

But not everything has gone right for the Wolverines so far in Detroit like it did, for the most part, in Lincoln two weeks ago.

With the outcomes of Session Four on Friday night, Penn State currently holds a 23.5 point advantage over Michigan, a lead that seems all but insurmountable for the Wolverines given that five Nittany Lions will be competing in championship bouts on Saturday. 

Graduate students Stevan Micic and Pat Brucki, along with redshirt freshman Dylan Ragusin, won’t get the opportunity to place in the top eight after dropping two matches. Redshirt sophomore Will Lewan at 157 lbs, redshirt junior Cam Amine at 165 lbs and graduate student Logan Massa at 174 lbs won’t get to wrestle for a title after falling in their semifinal bouts.

However, just because the Wolverines haven’t been able to perfectly execute their game plans and reach their biggest goals does not mean that their tournament campaign has been a failure.

“We had five semifinalists, and some guys didn’t perform the way they wanted to,” top-seeded graduate student Myles Amine said in his post-semifinal win press conference. “And I had it in the back of my head that I wanted to go out there and compete for them and for Michigan and try to score as many points as I can for my team.”

Amine at 165 lbs and top-seeded graduate student Nick Suriano at 125 lbs both advanced to the championship bouts after defeating their semifinal opponents 3-1 in sudden victory and 4-1, respectively. Both wrestlers secured individual Big Ten titles and will be competing for NCAA titles on Saturday night.

“I think I got what it takes,” Suriano said in his post-semifinal press conference. “I can’t look back, you know, with the past. Got to move forward and attack and get what I want because I know I’m the best.”

Suriano and Amine have the chance to become the first Michigan wrestlers to win individual NCAA titles since 2012. The team as a whole also has the opportunity to place second in the tournament for the first time since 2005. And even though most Michigan wrestlers won’t be competing in the championships, their performances throughout the tournament and their opportunities to capture wrestleback victories cannot be discounted. Six Wolverines secured All-American honors and four will wrestle in consolation semifinals on Saturday with the chance to compete for third place.

So although Michigan is most likely not going to win an NCAA title this year and some wrestlers won’t reach their individual goals, a lot of success has come out of the Wolverines’ tournament outing so far, and Saturday’s action presents the chance for even more triumphs.