Penn State advanced 7 wrestlers forward in their brackets and added 47.5 points to their team score, and yet, the ending of the seasons for Brady Berge & Shakur Rasheed left a bitter reminder of this difficult struggles this tournament can provide.
The top three seeds here and the perceived national title front runners all advanced to the semis on the front side. In the 4-5 matchup, it was Jack Mueller of UVA who stayed undefeated by knocking off fourth-seeded Ronnie Bresser of Oregon State in sudden victory two.
On the back side, the blood round is set with Ronnie Bresser-Brent Fleetwood, Sean Fausz-Vito Arujau, Michael McGee-Pat Glory and RayVon Foley-Sean Russell.
Roman Bravo-Young wrestled twice this morning. In the R24, he battled Cornell’s Chas Tucker to a 6-3 win. In the first period, there was lots of dancing, but no real scoring threats from either guy.
In the second, before escaping, RBY got penalized for grabbing hands. But he got to his offense and scored a takedown before the period ended, to lead 3-1. He finished the bout off with a second takedown and a riding time point in the third.
In his second bout, he had a rematch with Ben Thornton, against whom in the dual, he made the ill-advised decision to attempt an acrobatic dive out of a Thornton takedown attempt, injured his knee and took a loss. A loss which, it could be argued, affected the arc of his postseason matchups via its seeding impact.
But RBY handled his business.
Up next in tonight’s bloodround, for the right to become an All-American, is Pitt’s Micky Philippi, the 4-seed who lost 3-1 to Luke Pletcher in this morning’s Quarterfinals.
Much like at 125, the three pre-tournament favorites advanced to finals as Daton Fix, Stevan Micic and Nick Suriano all won comfortable. Luke Pletcher knocked off Micky Phillippi in the 4-5 contest.
Phillippi will meet RBY in the round of 12, while John Erneste will take on Tariq Wilson, Austin Gomez has Austin DeSanto and Ethan Lizak takes on Mason Pengilly.
Nick Lee is a 2x All-American!
In the first period two great shots by each wrestler ended up out of bounds. Lee had a second great chance, but time ran out.
They traded escapes in the 2nd and 3rd period, until Lee came out of a sloppy Murin shot on top, and for the win.
Next up in tonight’s dope Semifinals: round 4 in the series against Ohio State’s Joey McKenna. Their last three bouts have gone:
- McKenna, 7-6
- Lee, 7-6
- McKenna, 5-4
As mentioned above, Lee and McKenna are in for round four, while Yianni D has Jaydin Eierman on the top side. Eierman gave Diakomihalis the only lose of his career last season.
Your blood round is Kyle Shoop of Lock Haven against Kaid Brock of Oklahoma State, Dom Demas of Oklahoma and Matt Findlay Utah Valley, Tristan Moran of Wisconsin and Mitch McKee of Minnesota and Chad Red of Nebraska against Max Murin of Iowa.
Bardy doth wrestle victorious, in his first bout in the R24.
In his second bout, in the R16 he faced Minnesota’s 20-seed Tommy Thorn, a sophomore All-American in 2017.
Here’s how it went.
Note that with the score tied at 2 and with choice in the third period, under the advice of Cody Sanderson in his corner, Berge chose neutral.
But then he didn’t shoot, and didn’t score.
And in sudden victory overtime, Tommy Thorn did.
Up next for Berge is begin eating once again, for starters. Conventional wisdom suggests he will bump up man the 157 spot being vacated by Jason Nolf. But he also has lots of work to do in all three positions.
He needs to develop a go-to leg attack, and he needs work on both top and bottom.
Best of luck next year, Bardy!
Top-seeded Anthony Ashnault of Rutgers got out to a big lead and coasted home against Jarrett Degen of Iowa State to advance to the semis. He’ll meet Matt Kolodzik of Princenton who down fourth-seeded Brock Mauller of Mizzou. Micah Jordan rolled past Pat Lugo (see below) and UNC’s Austin O’Connor eeked out a 3-1 sudden victory win over Mitch Finesilver of Duke.
In the blood round, you’ll have Lugo-Thorn, Finsilver against Jared Prince of Navy, Degen against Anthony Artalona of Penn and Mauller will square off with Max Thomsen of Northern Iowa.
Fall, Tech, Tech for our now 4x All-American.
Before moving on to your regularly scheduled Next Topic, behold the beauty of our man’s score sheet:
Points, points and more points.
Up next in tonight’s Semifinals is a rematch of last year’s National Finals, against NC State’s 5-seed Hayden Hidlay.
Hildlay reached the semis with a sudden victory takedown of Alec Pantaleo. Kaleb Young of Iowa also left it late, downing Ryan Deakin of (just) Northwestern in overtime, and Tyler Berger dispatched of Old Dominion’s Larry Early.
On the back side, the matches are Alec Pantaleo-Steve Bleise, Taleb Rahmani-Christian Pagdilao, Justin Thomas-Larry Early and Josh Humphreys-Ryan Deakin.
Phewwwwww! Cenzo v Isaiah White bouts are tighhhht.
And yet, they all result in the same outcome: a victory for Our Little Meatball!
Next up in tonight’s Semifinals for the now 3x All-American: a rematch with Arizona State’s Josh Shields that Cenzo won in the December dual 10-2.
Time to get crazy! Junior World Champion and eighth seed Mekhi Lewis of Virginia Tech lit up PPG Paints Arena with a 3-1 upset victory over top-seeded Alex Marinelli. The aforementioned Josh Shields downed Bryce Steiert and Evan Wick wasted no time to lock up a cradle on Chance Marsteller.
Marsteller will have Demetrius Romero in the round of 12, while Marinelli has Logan Massa, White has Te’Shan Campbell and Steiert has Gordon Wolff.
No bonus this time, but a steady, solid win against a dangerous opponent.
Next up in tonight’s Semifinals for the now 3x All-American: round 5 in the series against Michigan’s Myles Amine. Their last four bouts have gone:
- 3/9/19: Hall, 3-2
- 2/1/19: Hall, 3-2
- 3/3/18: Hall, 4-3
- 1/12/18: Hall, 6-5
You get the idea; expect another close, tense bout.
This one held chalk into the semis but only just as fourth-seeded Myles Amine needed a pair of sudden victory periods to knock off Jordan Kutler of Lehigh. On the bottom side, both Zahid Valencia and Daniel Lewis won by fall. Lewis locked up a cradle and pinned Valencia when the two met earlier in the year.
Your blood round is Kutler against 33rd seed Gavin Kane of UNC, Taylor Lujan-David McFadden, Dylan Lydy-Mikey Labriola and Ben Harvey-Devin Skatzka.
Rasheed took advantage of the double-elimination in his first opportunity, and added a bit of bonus as a bonus.
But In his second bout, it call came crashing down.
He battled 26-seed Dakota Geer from Oklahoma State, and...his season ended.
Myles Martin rolled past Ryan Preisch and into the semis where he’ll have Max Dean of Cornell who he nearly majored when they met a month ago. Northern Iowa’s Drew Foster reached the semis by picking up his third win of the year over Zack Zavatsky and he’ll square off with Cinderella 15th seed Chip Ness of UNC to topped Sam Colbray of Iowa State.
The blood round gives up Dakota Geer-Nino Bonaccorsi, Ryan Preisch-Lou DePrez, Emery Parker-Sam Colbray and Taylor Venz-Zack Zavatsky.
Bo Nickal, Bo Nickal, oh how we love thee, our 4x All-American Bo Nickal.
Nickal with have Pat Brucki of Princeton in the semis after the latter held on to top Thomas Lane of Cal Poly, 4-3. On the bottom half Kollin Moore won a barn burner against Tom Sleigh of Virginia Tech and Preston Weigel pinned Christian Brunner of Purdue in under a minute.
The back side gives us Thomas Lane-Ben Honis, Nathan Traxler-Willie Miklus, Jacob Warner-Tom Sleigh and Josh Hokit-Christian Brunner.
Anthony Cassar, a first-year starter, is now a first-time All-American!
He methodically took out Wisconsin’s Trent Hilger for the second time this season.
Up next: a rematch of the Big Ten Finals against Minnesota’s superfrosh, Gable Steveson.
We will see a rematch of this year's @BigTenWrestling finals tonight!— NCAA Wrestling (@ncaawrestling) March 22, 2019
No. 2 Anthony Cassar of @pennstateWREST vs. No. 3 Gable Steveson of @GopherWrestling
Get your popcorn ready #NCAAWrestling
( Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images) pic.twitter.com/7E4jPCbjSC
Gable Steveson is an utterly terrifying human being who absolutely mauled Amar Dhesi in the quarter. On the top side, Derek White clung to a 3-1 win over Matt Stencel of Central Michigan and Jordan Wood of Lehigh topped Sam Stoll 2-0.
The final blood round matchups of the night give us Sam Stoll-Youssif Hemida, Matt Stencel-Mason Parris, Zach Elam-Trent Hillger and Ian Butterbrodt-Amar Dhesi.
- Penn State 80
- Ohio State 66.5
- Oklahoma State 56.0
- Iowa 43.5
- Michigan 40.0