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March Matness 2019: Day 1 Recap & Day 2 Preview

Day One is in the books and it went pretty well for the Cyclones. Iowa State currently sits in 11th place with 2 wrestlers in the quarterfinals this morning and the remaining seven warning up for consolation matchups. But Day 2 is where separation happens. Iowa State has three guys in the consolations right now that have a legitimate shot at being All Americans. Every single one of them had their eye on the finals yesterday and had those hopes dashed. But they’re all facing opponents who are in the same situation. How Gomez, Parker, and Miklus respond today will have a huge impact on the team score. If they come out focused and ready to wrestle they all could make deep runs. But if they come out disappointed that they aren’t in the quarterfinals along with Degen and Colbray they could bow out quickly.

The team has already vastly outperformed last year’s showing. Today is all about proving whether the Cyclones are ready to be back on the national state.

Where: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA

When: See Schedule Below

Brackets & Live Results: Trackwrestling


In addition to the TV channels listed below, every mat, every match, will be streamed live on WatchESPN

  • Session 3 (Consolations Round 2 & 3, Quarterfinals): Friday, March 22nd, 10:00 AM CDT; ESPNU
  • Session 4 (Round of 12 & Consolation Round 5, Semifinals): Friday, March 22nd, 7:00 PM CDT; ESPN
  • Session 5 (Consolation Semifinals, 3rd, 5th, & 7th Place Matches): Saturday, March 23rd, 10:00 AM; ESPNU
  • Session 6 (Finals): Saturday, March 23rd, 6:00 PM; ESPN

Iowa State Lineup


Weight ISU Wrestler Record Seed Next Match
Weight ISU Wrestler Record Seed Next Match
125 #20 Alex Mackall 26-11 19 Conso R2
133 #12 Austin Gomez 22-6 13 Conso R2
141 #12 Ian Parker 24-8 17 Conso R2
149 #10 Jarrett Degen 27-6 8 Quarterfinals
157 #23 Chase Straw 22-11 23 Conso R2
174 #22 Marcus Coleman 28-13 21 Conso R2
184 #11 Sam Colbray 28-6 10 Quarterfinals
197 #6 Willie Miklus 23-4 6 Conso R2
HWT #26 Gannon Gremmel 27-14 25 Conso R2


Since guys will have up to four matches on Friday I’m only going to detail their first match below. As the day progresses I will update results and matchups in the comments below.


Degen will be Iowa State’s first quarterfinalist and will face the #1 seed (and #1 ranked) Anthony Ashnault of Rutgers. These two have never met but Ashnault is a hammer who is definetely a heavy favorite. Degen always has a chance due to his ability to exploit matchups but he’ll be the underdog in this one.

What’s a Good Day For Degen

Getting a win. Doesn’t matter if it comes with an upset against Ashnault or in a tossup in his Round of Twelve match. Getting one win today makes Degen an All American and that’s a good day for anybody.


Colbray is in an all upsets quarterfinal as what was supposed to be the 2-7 match is instead a 10-15 match. He’ll take on #15 seeded (#14 ranked) Chip Ness of North Carolina. They not met prior to this. Colbray is ranked and seeded higher but Ness just took out the #2 seed. So I think it is fair to call this one a tossup, maybe a slight Colbray favorite.

What’s a Good Day for Colbray

Looking through the brackets Colbray will likely have the #4 seed, Emery Parker of Illinois, waiting for him in the Round of Twelve if he loses to Ness. So a good day for Colbray probably requires him to win his quarterfinal match and punch his way in to the semifinals and All American status. He’ll get a second shot if he loses to Ness, but it’ll be a much tougher one.



Mackall will start his second day against #13 seeded Hildebrandt, who is ranked 10th. As you can tell from the seeding and ranking difference, Mackall will be a big underdog in this one. But there’s no easy wins on Friday and you never know who is going to bow out and who is going to grab an upset or two.

What’s a Good Day For Mackall

Getting one more win would make this a good day for Mackall. He’s already reached his seed but of the four wrestlers Iowa State has in that situation he’s the only one that isn't going to lining up against a top ten seed to start off his morning. That gives him the best shot at an upset.


Gomez will have #19 Josh Terao of American. These two have never met but looking at rankings and common opponents I’d call Gomez a small favorite in this one. Gomez looked pretty drained after his 0-1 loss to #4 Phillippi last night and is going to need to refocus this morning if he wants to make a run through a very tough string of wrestlers today.

What’s a Good Day For Gomez

Gomez didn’t come to Pittsburgh to bow out on Friday morning. A good day for Gomez is to rattle off two wins this morning and make the Blood Round tonight. If you asked him he’d probably say that a win there to reach the AA rounds would be needed to really make this a good day. But given the tough path ahead of him an R12 finish would be respectable and give him momentum heading in to the off season.


Parker will start his second day against the #15 seed, Kaid Brock of Oklahoma State. Brock is the higher seed but Parker owns a 6-3 head to head win over Brock from the Cyclone’s visit to Stillwater back in January. That makes him the favorite in this one. And due to an upset of #10 seeded Gil of Navy in the first round this quarter of the consolations has no one seeded higher than these two between this match and the Round of Twelve. So whoever wins this one will be a favorite to make a run in to the evening session. That upset handed Parker a realistic path to being an All American so hopefully he grabs ahold of it.

What’s a Good Day For Parker

Upsets have given Parker a tough, but very winnable path to the AA rounds. After Brock he’ll face two wrestlers ranked lower than him to reach the AA rounds. There are no easy paths to AA on the backside on a Friday, but that path is about as nice as Parker possibly could have asked for. If he wins his first match he’ll be a favorite to AA. So a good day for Parker is to pick up three straight wins to reach the AA rounds.


Straw will start his second day against #8 Josh Humphreys of Lehigh. And he’s going to look like a badass doing it

What’s a Good Day for Straw?

Straw has already reached his seed and has a very tough first round match. Just being on the mats today is a good day for Straw and any wins he is able to get are gravy.


Unlike Parker, Coleman is facing the downside of upsets elsewhere in the bracket. Instead of starting the day against the #11 seed as had been expected, he’ll get to wrestle #6 McFadden of Virginia Tech. These two met at the Southern Scuffle with McFadden winning 10-4. So Coleman will have nothing to lose. One thing worth paying attention to (that we’ll also see at 197 on the other side of it) is how a guy who had his eye on the finals reacts after eating an unexpected loss early in the tournament. If McFadden comes out deflated Coleman will have a much better opportunity to pick up a win.

What’s a Good Day for Coleman?

Like Straw at 157, Coleman has reached his seed already. With the #6 seed in front of him to start the day any win at all makes today a good day for Coleman and a loss out of the gate doesn’t really even make it a bad one.


Miklus will start the day against #28 Drew Phipps of Bucknell. Phipps was able to take advantage of some upsets on Thursday and wrestle above his seed so even with his disappointing match yesterday Miklus will be the favorite in this one. Looking ahead through the bracket there is definitely a path for Miklus to finish on the podium for a 4th time so we’ll find out whether that loss yesterday caused him to check out or if he’ll be on fire to end his career with another AA honor.

What’s a Good Day for Miklus

Miklus doesn’t need any upsets to reach the AA rounds. He just needs to come ready to wrestle each and every match. In fact, because of upsets elsewhere he wouldn't even need any upsets to make it as far as the consolation semifinals. Given his seeding and expectations, a good day for Miklus is to win three straight and push in to the AA rounds.


Gremmel will start his second day against #10 (#6 ranked) Youssif Hemida of Maryland. He’s a huge underdog in this one so there isn’t a whole lot to say. Go big or go home.

What’s a good day for Gremmel?

Gremmel has already outperformed his seed by winning a match to stay alive in to day 2. So there’s no pressure here. Any win is a good one and even with a loss against Hemida he can feel pretty good about his tournament.


The team hasn’t let me down so far so I’m going to go bold on this one. I think Iowa State gets one semifinalist, three guys in the Round of Twelve, and ends the day with Colbray and two of Miklus, Degen, and Parker still alive as All Americans. I think Gomez’s path is just a little to tough for him to make it through the day but I’d love for him to surprise me.

Next Up

We’ll update the comments section with results throughout the day and if there are any Cyclones left alive for the medal rounds we’ll have a Day 3 preview up before the first whistle blows tomorrow.


Iowa State has 9 wrestlers taking the mats today. How many will end the day as All Americans?

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