Jacob Warner, NCAA Finalist? Ok, then. Iowa has had at least one finalist at the national tournament since 1990. After the near total flameout of the past two days and only two guys in semifinals, there was no reason to expect this streak to continue. Coming down to Iowa’s final chance after DeSanto lost his semifinal to RBY by one TD for something like the eleventeenth time, Warner got it done by scoring 4 nearfall to win 6-4.
Now Warner, who has never finished above 3rd in the conference tournament, has a shot at a national title. He’ll have to beat Max Dean of Penn State who...shouldn’t be in the final. He’s won two of his four matches this tournament on what amounts to referee malpractice. His 2nd round opponent wasn’t awarded an obvious 2NF points that would have put Dean in a serious third period hole, and was awarded a phantom takedown after Sanderson challenged a scramble in his quarterfinal match. But here we are.
Marinelli and Wick is a match to keep an eye on if you’re not too depressed from the last two days of poor Iowa wrestling. Both of these guys were high on the list of picks to be champions at 165 and have a long history (Wick was an interconference foe of Marinelli’s from Wisconsin until his transfer this year). Now the highest either can finish is 3rd.
Penn State has the team title wrapped up at this point and the best Iowa can finish is third. Steveson will win the Hodge and every other meaningful accolade this year except the Schalles Award for most pins. Steveson is more of a TF machine. There isn’t really much left to get too excited over. PSU and Michigan have flipped their 1-2 places from the conference tournament. As usual, it’s the Big10, then everyone else in the wrestling world, just don’t think anyone will be chanting “Big10, Big10, Big10” at the conclusion of the day.
IOWA’S NCAA FINALS MATCHUP
197 – #6 Jacob Warner (Iowa) vs. #1 Max Dean (Penn State)
CONSOLATION SEMIFINAL MATCHUPS
133 – #5 Austin DeSanto (Iowa) vs. #7 Lucas Byrd (Illinois)
165 – #3 Alex Marinelli (Iowa) vs. #1 Evan Wick (Cal-Poly)
174 – #5 Michael Kemerer (Iowa) vs. #3 Logan Massa (Michigan)
285 – #3 Tony Cassioppi (Iowa) vs. #12 Christian Lance (Nebraska)
1. Penn State 108.0
2. Michigan 84.5
3. Arizona State 63.5
4. IOWA 62.0
5. Nebraska 54.0
6. Northwestern 49.0
7. Virginia Tech 48.0
8. Cornell 45.0
9. Ohio State 42.0
10. Missouri 42.0
Session V - 10AM God’s Time (Central) // Saturday, March 19th, 2022
Finals, Session VI - 6PM God’s Time (Central) // Saturday, March 19th, 2022
TV: Session IV is available on ESPNU, Session VI will be on ESPN
Streaming: Individual mats for all sessions are available on ESPN3
Location: Little Caesars Arena // Detroit, Michigan