Fanta is the third seed at 141 pounds and will face Eastern Michigan’s Seth Schaner, whom Fanta topped in a 7-3 decision Jan. 26, in the first round. Meanwhile, Smith is the fourth-seeded 133-pounder and battles Kent State’s Mackenzie McGuire.
Two others NIU wrestlers earned five seeds.
Andrew Morse (157) and Parker Settecase (197) both earned six seeds at their respective weights, while Sam Bennett (165) and Matt Mougin (174) will be seven seeds. Lastly, Derek Elmore (125) and Bryan Loughlin (184) enter the tournament as the eighth-seeded wrestler in their bracket.
Four schools boast at least one top-seeded wrestler, with Missouri leading the way with six top seeds, while Central Michigan will bring two top seeds and Kent State and Northern Iowa each with one top seed. Missouri holds six No. 1 seeds with 125-pounder Alan Waters, 133-pounder Nathan McCormick, 149-pounder Drake Houdasheldt, 157-pounder Kyle Bradley, 174-pounder Todd Porter and 285-pounder Dom Bradley.
The pre-seeds were voted on by the conference’s coaches and rank the top eight wrestlers in each weight class.