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Wrestling Nationals Session 2 Recap and Session 3 Preview

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Iowa and Penn State wrestled nearly flawlessly on Day One and are locked into what could shape into an epic team race today.

Cael & Cody Sanderson look even more like silent assassins in their masks.
Tony Rotundo, via twitter

Man, that was some good-ass wrestling!

The legendary Iowa Hawkeyes brought 10 veteran wrestlers to St. Louis with hopes of returning their program to the mountaintop and earning their first National Championship since 2010, and they wrestled like it.

Penn State brought 9 young wrestlers to St. Louis with hopes of maintaining their stranglehold of dominance over the national title scene and earning their 5th National Championship in a row and 9th out of the past 10 tournaments. And they also wrestled like it!

Both teams wrestled immaculately.

Iowa earned Bonus Points in 12 of their whopping 18 victories (out of 20 bouts), to total 15.5.

Penn State earned Bonus Points in 12 of their 15 victories (out of 18 bouts), to total 14.

Additionally, here are some fun Penn State-centric bout-level statistics amalgamated by BSD Wrestle member spigmana, using the Penn State Wrestling Club site for Day One. These boys came to fight!

This is shaping up to be an absolutely epic team race. Here are the current standing (including the Top-15, so we can know our friends: the enemies of our enemy):

Top-15 Team Scores, via PSWC.

Yesterday was undeniably awesome, but from a points-opportunity perspective, it was child’s play. A max of 3 team points were available in individual wins.

Shedule, bracket and points available on Day One of the Wrestling Nationals.

This morning, though ... things get really really real.

Schedule, brackets and points available in Session 3 of the Wrestling Nationals.

It’s the beginning of Placement Points availability, typically the biggest separator in wrestling team races. Hopes are sustained or dashed on this day.

Looking both behind and ahead, here is Iowa’s fierce performance, and their massive opportunity to bury the Nittany Lions:

They’ve got 8 Quarterfinal matches that total a potential 56 team points—and that’s before Bonus Points! Also, they still have Kaleb Young and Nelson Brands alive with a potential 2 points in this session, plus Bonus. All 10 of their wrestlers can still score.

Opportunity lies wide open before them.

Penn State is only slightly less powerful, with 7 Quarterfinal matches, for 49 potential team points, before Bonus. And Robbie Howard alive in the consis.

Looking ahead to tonight’s important Session II matchups, we turn to BSD Wrestle member Bubba and his extremely helpful website:

Penn State’s Session II matchups, via bubbaland.net

For Iowa’s matchups, we turn to old friend and current blistering enemy, RossWB at Go Iowa Awesome (check his preview there for a great Hawkeye perspective!):

So there we have it. Just insane opportunities immediately available for both teams.

Let’s check in with former Penn State wrestler Matt McCutcheon for a Penn State vibe check this morning:

Yep, they’re ready.

You guys have heard lion cub roars before, right? They’re both totally adorable and ferociously foreboding for what inevitably is to come. The only question is the length of the growth term.

How long until that cute sound evolves into a terrifying roar?