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LIVE WRESTLING: No. 1 Penn State Looks To Extend Lead

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Session Four separates the contenders from the also-rans. Penn State looks for a big round here.

Session Four kicks off at 7pmET from the Garden.  This, friends, is your money round.  Semi-finalists punch their tickets to the finals - and grab a bunch of placement points for securing no worse than 2nd place.

Down in Hades - aka, the Consolation Bracket - we get consolation round number four, also called "the round of 12".  Or, as it's colloquially known, "the blood round".  80 wrestlers will fight for 40 spots.  Win, and you're an All-American, which you can write alongside your name for the next 50 years.  Lose, and you get nothing but a busted up face.  Consequently, there are no more brutal matches on the planet than these, and the gory nickname is well-earned.

Current Team Standings

  1. Penn State: 68.5 - (5 SF, 1 R12)
  2. Ohio State:  54 - (4 SF, 1 R12)
  3. Iowa: 48.5 - (4 SF, 2 R12)
  4. Oklahoma State: 46 - (3 SF, 5 R12)
  5. Missouri: 42.5 - (3 SF, 3 R12)

The "SF" stands for semi-finalist.  R12 for "round of 12" participant.

Session Three Results

WT Penn State Result Opponent Team Points
125 #3 Megaludis DEC 4-0 UN Youtsey (MICH) 1.0
133 #5 Conaway L, 4-8 #4 Brewer (OU) 0.0
141 UN Gulibon DEC 4-2 UN Nickell (CSUB) 0.5
UN Gulibon L, 6-10 UN Gross (SDSU) 0.0
149 #1 Retherford WBF 2:12 #9 Oliver (CMU) 3.0
157 #3 Nolf MAJ 11-3 #6 Smith (OKST) 2.0
165 UN Morelli DEC 5-2 UN Faust (DUKE) 0.5
UN Morelli L, 3-14 #14 McFadden (VT) 0.0
174 #1 Nickal MAJ 15-4 #9 Rogers (OKST) 2.0
197 #1 McIntosh MAJ 16-4 #8 Studebaker (NEB) 2.0

Penn State pushed 5 of 6 quarterfinalists into tonight's semi-finals.  Jordan Conaway lost a tight, 2 minute scramble with the defending champ, and it cost him the match.  He's in the round of 12, but Nico, Zain, Nolf, Bo, and Morg all made it through.

Jimmy's luck ran out in consolation round three, dropping a decision there to SDSU's Seth Gross.  He's eliminated.  Same goes for Geno, who scored the first takedown on VaTech's McFadden, but lost 3-14.  Both wrestlers finished 2-2.  Jimmy scored 3 team points, Geno chipped in 1.5.

How Does This Compare?

How does Penn State's 5 semi-finalists, 1 R12 candidate, and 68.5 team points compare to past PSU championships at this juncture?  Terrific question.  Here's the answer:

  • 2011: 53 points, 4 SF, 3 R12 (finished with 107.5 points);
  • 2012: 70 points, 5 SF, 2 R12 (finished with 143 points);
  • 2013: 73 points, 5 SF, 2 R12 (finished with 123.5 points);
  • 2014: 61 points, 4 SF, 2 R12 (finished with 109.5 points)

The 2012 team was slightly behind the 2013 squad at this juncture - which surprised...myself.  But here's the thing about 2012: they only lost a couple of matches the rest of the tournament.  All 5 semi-finalists became finalists.  One of the 2 round-of-12 guys (Dylan Alton) didn't lose again, and took 3rd place.  So...pretty good job that year.

Session Four Matchups

WT Penn State Round Opponent
125 #3 Megaludis Semis #15 Terao (AMER)
133 #5 Conaway R12 UN Beckman (LEH)
149 #1 Retherford Semis #5 Pantaleo (MICH)
157 #3 Nolf Semis #15 Walsh (RID)
174 #1 Nickal Semis #12 Jackson (IND)
197 #1 McIntosh Semis #4 Burak (Iowa)

Nico vs. David Terao (American U) - these two have never met, but Terao is the guy that Conaway beat in the blood round last year to make the podium.  Terao's quick and has good strength, but Nico will be the clear favorite.

Jordan vs. Mason Beckman (Lehigh) - these two wrestled just a few weeks ago, with Jordan winning an 8-1 decision.

Zpain vs. Alec Pantaleo (Michigan) - Pain's wrestled Pantaleo twice, and pinned him both times.  To Pantaleo's credit, he is one of two wrestlers this year to score a takedown on Pain.  But Pain's turned him every time.

Nolf vs. Chad Walsh (Rider) - Nolf majored Walsh at the dual in December.

Bo vs. Nathan Jackson (Indiana) - Jackson is the only wrestler to beat Bo this season, and he did it by reversing Bo, and having Bo slip on a double-overhook-outside-trip, getting 4 near fall from that, and then playing keep-away for the last 4 minutes to win 7-6.  I'm pretty excited for this rematch.

Morg vs. Nathan Burak (Iowa) - these two seniors have wrestled a bunch.  Something like 6 times.  Morg's won them all, but they're always close fights.

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)

Spacebook/Tweeters: Cari (@NotCarlotta) and JP (@jtothemfp)