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LIVE WRESTLING: NCAA Session 1; No. 1 Penn State Starts Its Title Hunt

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No. 1 Penn State begins its fight for a national title. Join us for the live action.

Madison Square Garden's doors opened at 11am ET, and wrestlers take the mat to fight at Noon.  Our No. 1 Penn State Nittany Lions begin the hunt for a 5th national championship in the last 6 seasons.  Join us as we live blog the action in the comments below. Also follow Cari (@NotCarlotta) and JP (@jtothemfp) on the twitter.com as they cover the action live from MSG for us.

HOW TO WATCH

Video: ESPN3 / WatchESPN (Free)

Audio: Jeff "Ironhead" Byers via GoPSUSports.com (Free)

Live Team Scoring: Penn State Wrestling Club (Free)

Brackets: Brackets (PDF)

WHAT HAPPENS IN SESSION ONE

Three hundred thirty wrestlers - 33 in each of 10 weight classes - begin fighting at Noon.  First, 10 "pigtails" get wrestled, followed immediately by the opening round matches.  By 4pmET, when this first session (of 6 sessions) ends, we'll have blown through the first 170 matches.  No one gets eliminated in Session One. (h/t to our guy Frank for the correction).

Nine of those will be our Nittany Lions.  Seven of our 9 are favored in their openers, while two are not.  Here are the matchups:

PENN STATE WT Opponent
#3 Nico Megaludis (27-3) 125 UN Jeske (ODU, 18-11) OR Tolbert (UVU, 16-7)
#5 Jordan Conaway (26-5) 133 UN Corey Keener, CMU (18-10)
UN Jimmy Gulibon (12-9) 141 #5 Matt Manley, MIZZ (27-6)
#1 Zain Retherford (29-0) 149 UN Vassar (GW, 18-7) OR Hammond (CSUB, 21-13)
#3 Jason Nolf (29-1) 157 UN Kamaal Shakur, UTC (24-6)
UN Geno Morelli (19-10) 165 #11 JP Staudenmayer, UNC (21-10)
#1 Bo Nickal (29-1) 174 UN Josef Johnson, HARV (18-14)
#16 Matt McCutcheon (16-6) 184 UN Tom Sleigh, BUCK (26-8)
#1 Morgan McIntosh (30-0) 197 UN Ryan Wolfe, RID (27-8)

WHOM TO HATE

You know to cheer the blue and white.  But whom should you hate?  The teams you should actively root against are Oklahoma State, Iowa, and Ohio State (i.e., the top 3 challengers).   No excuses, no refunds, no exceptions.  So get excited when they lose matches.  Each loss moves PSU one step closer to the big trophy.  Here are some of their first round matchups to keep an eye on.

HATE ON WT CHEER FOR
#6 Eddie Klimara, OKST (27-5) 125 UN Conor Youtsey, MICH (12-13)
#10 Johnni DiJulius, OHST (17-7) 133 UN Rob Deutsch, RID (20-5)
UN Gary Harding, OKST (15-11) 133 #15 Josh Alber, UNI (26-10)
#11 Anthony Collica, OKST (25-7) 141 UN Joey Delgado, ORST (23-14)
#13 Edwin Cooper, IOWA (17-9) 157 UN Tyler Berger, NEB (21-11)
UN Patrick Rhoads, IOWA (13-11) 165 #13 Jim Wilson, STAN (24-6)
#11 Myles Martin, OHST (28-6) 174 UN Nick Wanzek, MINN (20-11)
UN Kenny Courts, OHST (17-10) 184 #6 Blake Stauffer, ASU (23-2)
UN Preston Weigel, OKST (16-10) 197 #3 Brett Pfarr, MINN (35-3)
#11 Sam Stoll, IOWA (22-5) 285 UN Boyce Cornwell, GW (22-9)

TIER TWO CHEERING

There won't always be a Penn State wrestler on the mat.  So whom do you cheer for when that happens?  We have you covered.  Here is a handy guide.

Tier Two Cheering Rules

  • Pennsylvania high schooler OR Pennsylvania university/college OR Military Academy;
  • But NOT Lehigh or Pitt.  Never Lehigh or Pitt (obviously);
  • Wrestler can't be wrestling against Penn State (of course);
  • If possible, avoid wrestlers on contenders (sorry NC State, Virginia Tech);
  • When you have more than one wrestler that fits (and despite these rules, you usually will), then give preference to PSAC schools, and special preference to PA high schoolers wrestling for PSAC schools.
And there it is - it's just that simple.  Rules to live by in the wrestling game, friends.  Here's a couple of guys at each weight:

WT TIER 2 CHEERING LIST
125

UN Zach Fuentes, Drexel (22-12) Norristown

#12 Paul Petrov, Edinboro (31-5) Cedar Lake, IN

#10 Connor Schram, Stanford (20-5) Canon-Mac

133

#9 Mack McGuire, Kent State (24-5) Upper St. Clair

#14 Geoff Alexander, UMD (13-5) Shady Side Academy

141

#15 Brock Zacherl, Clarion (27-1) Brookville

#9 Rick Durso, F&M (37-8) Malvern Prep

UN Tyler Smith, Bucknell (22-11) Franklin Regional

UN Zach Horan, Central Michigan (25-11) Nazareth

149

#4 Matt Cimato, Drexel (34-5) LaSalle College High

#10 Mike DePalma, Kent State (23-7) Jeannette

#15 Dan Neff, Lock Haven (26-8) Solanco

157

UN Justin Staudenmayer, Brown (29-8) Plymouth-Whitemarsh

#14 Austin Matthews, Edinboro (10-4) Reynolds

165

UN Casey Fuller, Edinboro (26-9) Western Wayne

UN Tyler Buckwalter, Kent State (24-11) Central Mountain

174

UN Rustin Barrick, Bucknell (27-10) Mechanicsburg

UN Mike Pavasko, Clarion (21-13) Steel Valley

#10 Mike Ottinger, Central Michigan (29-6) Parkland

184

#3 Vic Avery, Edinboro (13-1) Foxboro, MA

#11 Lorenzo Thomas, Penn (30-6) Central Catholic

197

UN Phil Sprenkle, Lock Haven (18-7) Dallastown

#14 Zach Nye, UVA (24-10) East Pennsboro

285

UN Ray O'Donnell, Princeton (27-11) Saucon Valley

UN Joey Goodhart, Drexel (24-12) Hempfield

#10 Joe Stolfi, Bucknell (20-2) Souderton

Now - let's get out of the tunnel and go pick a fight.