Penn State finished Session 2 on Thursday evening of the 2022 Wrestling National Championships in first place.
Drew Hildebrandt bounced back from a tough overtime loss in Round 1 to advance in the consolations. He faces one-time Penn State 125-pounder Brody Teske.
RBY again advanced with Bonus and with a win in the Quarterfinals can add 6 Placement Points, 1 more Advancement Point, and 1, 1.5 or 2 Bonus Points.
Nick Lee gave up a late reversal that left him just shy of a Major and next faces one of the tough Oregon State Beavers who have come to Detroit to show the improvements in their program.
Bartlett managed two takedowns against last year’s Finalist, but couldn’t quite pull of the upset. Next up is Yahya Thomas, who beat Bartlett in a close 7-5 SV victory in last year’s Big Ten Tourney.
Berge shook off the Round 1 loss by scoring a lot of points, a great sign. And for context, the Willits brother who took him out in R1 went on to knock off returning champ David Carr in the next round.
This, as learn anew each year, is an incredibly tough tournament.
Like Nick Lee before him, Starocci also very nearly missed a Major, and he seemed visibly disappointed. Such is the state of expectations for Penn State returning National Champions.
Man, I thought Hunter Bolen was probably underseeded, but Brooks absolutely smothered him. He looks great.
Dean really squeaked this out, and the majority of the arena was extremely and audibly unhappy. Here’s the controversial part of the bout that Wrestling Internet is unpacking, painfully:
At question by a loud number of fans and the Virginia coaches is why no Near Fall points were awarded. Dean appeared to be in compromised position for long enough for “two swipes” to have been administered (and two Near Fall points awarded), but the ref took too long to get into position as action rolled away from him. After review the no-call was upheld, and boos rained down.
It’s a tough loss for the UVA fans and a sigh of relief for Penn State and the Dean family, but it remains to be seen what lasting impact the result will have on fans’ impressions of this tournament.
Kerk stayed tied with RBY for most Penn State team points by Majoring Dorff and next has a Husker he Decisioned twice this year, and Majored last year.
Penn State remains in great shape. The strength of their top-end firepower should again allow them to hold or extend the lead in this meaty point-scoring session. A reminder for our newer wrestling fans, while heretofore only Advancement Points and Bonus Points have been available, the Quarterfinal round introduces the availability of Placement Points. They are awarded like this:
But they are credited to the team as soon as a wrestler is guaranteed to have finished at at least that position. A winner in the Quarterfinals is guaranteed to finish at least 6th place, because they have advanced to the Semifinals and even if they lose the next three matches (Semis, Consolation Semis & 5th Place match), they will still finish 6th.
As such, 6 Placement Points are awarded to the team immediately. Add on the 1 Advancement Point available and a possible Pin, Tech Fall or Major, and a single win in this round can add 7-9 total points.
Penn State has 6 Quarterfinalists and is well-situated to win all of them. If they do not, I’m sorry to also have to remind, please try to remember the difficulty of this beastly tournament and behave respectfully to our athletes in the comments.
In addition to the Quarterfinalists, the three wrestlers in the Consolation brackets can wrestle two rounds in this session, the R24 and the R16. Neither has Placement Points yet available, but Bonus Points always are, and a win earns .5 Advancement Points.
It should also be noted that a loss in either Consolation round this session eliminates the wrestler from the tournament.
In possible point scoring terms, excluding the always-wild wildcard of Bonus Points, Penn State’s Quarterfinalists can score a total of 42 points, and 3 by its wrestlers in the consis (two wins, at .5 Advancement Points each, times 3 wrestlers).
Looking around at the other contenders:
Arizona State has 5 Quarterfinalists and 2 in the consolations. They can score 35 and 2.
NC State has 4 Quarterfinalists and 7 in the consolations. They can score 28 and 7.
Michigan has 7 Quarterfinalists ! and 2 in the consolations. They can score 49 and 2.
And Iowa has 6 Quarterfinalists and 4 in the consolations. They can score 42 and 4.
Expect a ton of movement in the team race this session. Let’s goooo!