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2016 NCAA Wrestling Championships Day 2 Preview & Game Thread

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Four Cyclones have won their way in to Friday morning's quarterfinals.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Day one is in the books and the Cyclone wrestlers start day two in 11th place at the NCAA Wrestling Championships in New York. Day One was full of upsets for the Cyclones, who are sending four wrestlers to this morning's quarterfinals despite having only Earl Hall seeded in the top eight.

Schedule for Day Two

Session Date Time Channel
3 (quarterfinals) Friday, March 18th 10 a.m. CDT ESPNU (some mats), ESPN3 (all mats)
4 (semifinals) Friday, March 18th 7 p.m CDT ESPN (Semifinals), ESPN3 (all mats)

Team Standings after Day One

Place School Points
1. Penn State 27.5
2. Ohio St. 24
2. Oklahoma St. 24
4. Nebraska 20
5. Iowa 17.5
5. Missouri 17.5
5. Virginia Tech 17.5
8. Michigan 15
9. NC State 13
9. Oklahoma 13
11. Illinois 12
11. Iowa St. 12
13. Cornell 11
14. Lehigh 10.5
15. Rutgers 10
16. Bucknell 9
17. Kent St. 8.5
18. Ohio 8
19. Arizona St. 7.5
19. Bakersfield 7.5
19. Oregon St. 7.5
19. Stanford 7.5

Brackets after Day One

2016ncaachampionships.0.pdf

Weight by Weight breakdown

133

Day One Recap

#8 Earl Hall started off the day with a 6-3 win over Josh Martinez of Air Force. He followed that up with a solid 8-3 win over #9 Mack McGuire of Kent State. As noted yesterday, last time those two met it was a tight 4-3 match. So it was nice to see Hall open up a bit more and score points instead of making us hold our breath until the last second

Day Two Matchups

Hall will start the day against #1 Nahshon Garrett of Cornell. Garrett is undefeated on the season and considered a prohibitive favorite to win this weight class. Hall will be a heavy underdog and getting a win here will be tough. If Hall does score the upset he'll likely face off against Big XII foe Cody Brewer in tonight's semifinals.  Hall is 0-2 against Brewer on the year but wrestled a good match against him in the Big XII finals a few weeks ago.

If Hall isn't able to pull off the upset he will fall into tonight's Round of Twelve, a.k.a "The Blood Round." He'll fall into a fairly favorable quarter of the consolation bracket. There are two seeded wrestlers who have a good shot at emerging this morning. #11 Dom Forys of Pitt and #14 Geoffrey Alexander of Maryland. Both are good wrestlers but Hall would have a very good shot at a win over either to punch himself in to the All American rounds.

165

Day One Recap

#9 Tanner Weatherman started his day off strong with a second period fall over Dakota Juarez of Eastern Michigan. He kept that momentum rolling with a 7-4 upset victory over Chad Welch of Purdue, who had pinned Tanner earlier this season. In that match Weatherman scored four backpoints off of a tilt in the second period and never looked back.

Day Two Matchups

Like Hall, Weatherman will start his day against a #1 seed who is a prohibitive favorite to win the weight class. Alex Dieringer of Oklahoma State. Weatherman is 0-2 against Dieringer on the year but was able to keep it close in their last matchup, losing just 2-4 in the finals at the Big XII tournament. I expect Tanner to keep his distance to avoid giving up points and then go for broke trying to get a takedown for the lead late in the third. If Tanner is able to get the upset he'll likely see #4 Daniel Lewis of Missouri in the semifinals. They have not met this season.

If Weatherman takes a loss to Dieringer he, also like Hall, will fall in to a favorable quarter of the consolation bracket for his Round of Twelve match. Only one seeded wrestler, David McFadden of Virginia Tech, remains in that quarter. Weatherman lost 4-3 to McFadden in his first match this season. But he avenged that loss with a 9-4 win at Cliff Keen in Las Vegas and I feel good about his chances in the rubber match.

174

Day One Recap

Unseeded Lelund Weatherspoon had an amazing day of wrestling. He kicked off his tournament with a 7-4 win over the #2 seed, Brian Realbuto of Cornell. He then followed that up with a tight 3-2 win over #15 Brian Harvey of Army to push himself in to today's quarterfinals.

Day Two Matchups

Weatherspoon will face off against #7 Cody Walters of Ohio. They've never met. Walters is a favorite in this match but of the four quarterfinals this is probably Iowa State's best chance at an upset. Weatherspoon is wrestling extremely well and Walters, though extremely talented, is not a Garrett or Dieringer. A win here would also make Weatherspoon a favorite to make the finals, as upsets have made the other side of the bottom half of the bracket fairly weak.  Only unseeded Matt Reed of Oklahoma, who Weatherspoon has beaten, and #11 Myles Martin of Ohio State remain.

A loss on the other hand would push Weatherspoon in to very dangerous territory. Due to upsets both #3 Blaise Butler of Missouri and #5 Zach Brunsun of Illinois are in the quarter of the consolation bracket he would fall into. If Weatherman isn't able to pull off the upset in this morning's quarterfinals he will be a heavy underdog against whichever of those two emerges to face him in the Round of Twelve.

197

Day One Recap

Unseeded Patrick Downey likes two things. Overtime, and winning. He started off his day with a 3-1 overtime victory over #11 Phil Wellington of Ohio. A few hours later he had another overtime match against #6 Jared Haught of Virginia Tech. His match with Haught went to ride outs and Downey managed to escape, take down, and pin Haught during the second 30 second tiebreaker period.  After that win he gave an interview with USA Wrestling that is worth a watch.

Day Two Matchups

Downey will open up this morning against #3 Brett Pfarr of Minnesota. Pfarr beat Downey 12-1 in ISU's dual against Minnesota in February. Downey will be a heavy underdog but with the way he's wrestling anything is possible. With a win he'd probably face off against #2 J'Den Cox of Missouri in the semifinals.

If Downey isn't able to turn things around against Pfarr he also will fall in to a nice quarter of the consolations. #15 Nate Rotert of SDSU (who Downey has beaten), #16 Kyle Conel of Kent State (who beat Harrington 3-2 earlier this season), and unseeded but ranked 16th by Intermat Shawn Scott of Northern Illinois are all possibilities for Downey's Round of Twelve opponent. With the way Downey wrestles a win is never certain, but he would be favored against any of those three.

Overall Thoughts

The quarterfinals this morning are likely to go poorly, though there's a decent chance that Weatherspoon and/or Downey can get a win. But tonight's Round of Twelve matchups set the Cyclones up very well to leave New York with multiple All Americans if they wrestle today like they did yesterday.