To contend for a national title this year, Iowa needed a lot of things to go right -- and a few things to go wrong for their key rivals. The latter hasn't happened, although Penn State, Ohio State, and Oklahoma State have suffered losses, but none to their major point scorers, and the former has been so-so for Iowa. Iowa hasn't suffered any extreme upsets in terms of seeding and all five of their main point-scorers (Gilman, Clark, Sorensen, Brooks, and Burak) are still alive for today's quarterfinals. But those point-scorers aren't getting a lot of assistance, either. There was no surprise run to the quarterfinals from Edwin Cooper at 157 or Alex Meyer at 174 and Sam Stoll's badly injured knee left him barely able to move, let alone score points at 285. The Meyer loss is especially frustrating given the way the 174 lb bracket has opened up like an oyster -- the only seeds remaining are 1, 7, 9, 11, and 12. Had he been able to get past the first round, he might have been able to make a run into the semifinals. Alas.
That said, Meyer and Cooper are still alive in the consolation bracket, needing three wins there to earn All-America honors. And Iowa is favored in terms of seeding in all five of their quarterfinals today -- if they can win those matches and maintain a heavy presence in the semifinals, they can keep hope alive for a strong finish to this tournament. (Although a title may still be out of reach unless Penn State and Ohio State really slip up.)
1) 27.5 -- Penn State
2) 24.0 -- Ohio State
2) 24.0 -- Oklahoma State
4) 20.0 -- Nebraska
5) 17.5 -- Iowa
5) 17.5 -- Missouri
5) 17.5 -- Virginia Tech
Oklahoma State and Nebraska are both ahead of Iowa for now, but that may change by the end of the quarterfinal round. Both had strong performances yesterday, but have difficult match-ups in the quarterfinals. Between them, they placed 12 wrestlers into the quarters -- but just three guys (all for Oklahoma State) are favored to win those bouts. Meanwhile, as noted above, Iowa has five into the quarterfinals and, at least in terms of seeding, all five will be favored to win. Unfortunately, Penn State has six quarterfinalists (five favored to win) and Ohio State has five quarterfinalists (all favored to win), so catching them is still an issue.
ROUND ONE RESULTS
|125||#4 Thomas Gilman||TECH FALL (24-8, 5:37)||UN Brent Fleetwood, Central Michigan|
|133||#2 Cory Clark||MAJ DEC (8-0)||UN Jade Rauser, Utah Valley|
|149||#2 Brandon Sorensen||MAJ DEC (9-1)||UN Nick Barber, Eastern Michigan|
|157||#13 Edwin Cooper, Jr.||DEC (8-3)||UN Tyler Berger, Nebraska|
|165||#13 Jim Wilson, Stanford||DEC (12-7)||UN Patrick Rhoads|
|174||UN Gordon Wolf, Lehigh||DEC (10-9)||#13 Alex Meyer|
|184||#2 Sammy Brooks||TECH FALL (23-8, 6:30)||UN John Lampe, Chattanooga|
|197||#4 Nathan Burak||DEC (4-2 SV2)||UN Trent Noon, Northern Colorado|
|285||UN Boyce Cornwell, Gardner Webb||WIN VIA INJ DEF||#11 Sam Stoll|
I covered the round one results briefly in this post yesterday.
ROUND TWO RESULTS
|125||#4 Thomas Gilman||MAJ DEC (12-4)||#13 Tim Lambert, Nebraska|
|133||#2 Cory Clark||DEC (6-2)||#15 Josh Albert, UNI|
|149||#2 Brandon Sorensen||DEC (3-1)||UN Victor Lopez, Bucknell|
|157||#4 Ian Miller, Kent State||FALL (1:11)||#4 Edwin Cooper, Jr.|
|184||#2 Sammy Brooks||DEC (10-8)||UN Jordan Ellingwood, Central Michigan|
|197||#4 Nathan Burak||DEC (8-2)||#13 Jacob A Smith, West Virginia|
Iowa handled business well in the second round, winning five of six matches and all of the bouts they were favored in. Gilman got things rolling early with a major decision and Clark had a very solid win at 133. Sorensen struggled to get to his offense from neutral against Lopez, but did well on the mat and picked up a win to advance. Cooper did not fare as well -- Ian Miller's health was a question mark entering this event, but he, uh, looks pretty healthy so far -- and got dispatched easily. Brooks struggled early against Ellingwood, but used a high tempo and relentless offense to eventually wear him down and grind out a win. Meanwhile, Burak finally got his offense on track in the second and third periods against Smith and cruised to a win.
CONSOLATION ROUND RESULTS
|165||UN Casey Fuller, Edinboro||DEC (6-3)||UN Patrick Rhoads|
|174||#13 Alex Meyer||DEC (6-2)||#4 Ethan Ramos, North Carolina|
|285||#6 Denzel Dejournette, Appalachian State||WIN VIA INJ DEF||#11 Sam Stoll|
Iowa went 1-2 in the consolation round last night, with Rhoads dropping a tight match -- he was in position to score a go-ahead takedown in the third period, but ended up getting taken down himself. Sigh. As we expected, Stoll injury defaulted in his match with Dejournette -- his knee just isn't in any shape to compete right now. It's an unfortunate end to an overall strong freshman season for Stoll. Meanwhile, Alex Meyer avoided the ignominy of an 0-2 NCAA Tournament run by grinding out a 6-2 decision win over #4 seed Ramos. Meyer fought off several Ramos shot attempts in the first period, got an escape in the second, and then used a hard ride in the third, culminating in a 4-point nearfall move, to rack up enough points to win. It was a strong performance from Meyer and a much-needed win that helped erase some of the bad taste from his first round defeat.
Coming up today...
|125||#4 Thomas Gilman||vs||#5 Ryan Millhof, Oklahoma|
|133||#2 Cory Clark||vs||#7 Eric Montoya, Nebraska|
|149||#2 Brandon Sorensen||vs||#7 Jake Sueflohn, Nebraska|
|184||#2 Sammy Brooks||vs||#7 T.J. Dudley, Nebraska|
|197||#4 Nathan Burak||vs||#5 Conner Hartmann, Duke|
As you can see, there's a definite Iowa-Nebraska flavor to the quarterfinals, with the Hawkeyes and Huskers battling at 133, 149, and 184. Clark beat Montoya in a tight 2-0 match earlier this season; hopefully he can open up the difference on Montoya in this match. Sorensen is 3-0 against Seueflohn this year, beating him at Midlands (7-4), the dual meet (6-5), and the Big Ten Tournament (5-2). He's had success finishing shots against Sueflohn this year -- he just needs to do the same again today. Brooks is 1-1 against Dudley this year, losing to him via first period pin at the dual this year, but beating him 6-4 in the Big Ten Tournament final a few weeks ago. Just do what you did in that match, Sammy. Gilman has never wrestled Millhof before, while Burak hasn't wrestled Hartmann since a 4-2 loss in overtime at the NCAA Tournament two years ago. Just survive and advance, guys. Survive and advance.
CONSOLATION ROUND MATCHES
|157||#13 Edwin Cooper, Jr.||vs||#14 Austin Matthews, Edinboro|
|174||#13 Alex Meyer||vs||#14 Nick Kee, Appalachian State|
The same applies to the Iowa wrestlers in the consolation bracket, too -- just keep winning matches and stay alive. The good news is that both Cooper and Meyer should be slight favorites to win their first consolation matches today -- they're against the #14 seeds at their respective weights.
|Oklahoma State||7 (141, 149, 157, 165, 174, 184, 285)||3 (141, 165, 285)|
|Penn State||6 (125, 133, 149, 157, 174, 197)||5 (125, 149, 157, 174, 197)|
|Iowa||5 (125, 133, 149, 184, 197)||5 (125, 133, 149, 184, 197)|
|Ohio State||5 (125, 141, 165, 174, 285)||5 (125, 141, 165, 174, 285)|
|Nebraska||5 (133, 149, 165, 184, 197)||none|
|Virginia Tech||4 (141, 157, 184, 285)||2 (184, 285)|
|Missouri||4 (149, 165, 184, 197)||3 (149, 165, 197)|
We covered this up at the top a bit, but here it is broken down for you. According to seeds, the quarterfinal round should be good to Iowa, Penn State, and Ohio State. Time will tell if that holds true or not.