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Rutgers Wrestling: It's time for NCAA at MSG in NYC

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It's St. Patrick's Day in New York City. And what else would you want to be doin' on that joyous occasion in that glorious city but to watch college wrestling!

Roy DeBoer - used with permission

L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L--L-Let's get ready to rumbl-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-l-le!

Ten for ten.

Of the 72 teams competing this weekend, only three schools in the country can say that.  And, yes, Rutgers is one of them.

When the 2016 NCAA Wrestling Championships begin on Thursday at MSG, all ten Knights will be on the mats.  And they will be there to win.

"You go into the Big Ten Tournament....and you don't want to see any of your athletes lose," said head coach Scott Goodale.  "You don't want any of them to lose....Next thing you know, you have this great round on Saturday night where you go 15-3 as a program and you start punching guys through and they're in the national tournament...For him (McCabe) to get in and have ten guys,  then you sit back and you say, wow, we're one of three programs...It's a cool thing, but that's all it is.  Ten guys qualifying. But how do you do when you get there?"

Having all ten competitors in the tournament is a great achievement.  But being there says very little if you don't come away with titles or placewinners.  Bringing home All Americans is the statement that defines your program.

In 2014, Anthony Perrotti became the first RU All American since Tom Tanis in 2002.  Last year in St. Louis, Anthony Ashnault became the tenth one in program history, the first back-to-back All Americans at Rutgers ever.  In 1952, Rutgers had two AAs, but never in consecutive years.  To bring home at least one to make it three years running will say something.

The focus and preparation are there. As you read this, the team is already in New York.  They will practice Wednesday morning and again that night, acclimating themselves to the arena. Commented Goodale, "It's a tunnel vision type atmosphere right now. We're certainly concentrating on ourselves individually but having all ten guys here, and having all the workout partners here it's kind of like a football team making a bowl game.  You get the whole team in being able to work out, training.  So, it's about as normal as possible."

As normal as battling for a national championship can be.

Goodale meets the media on Monday

Updates and Brackets

Full NCAA brackets available here.

Live scoring avalailble hhere.

Rutgers first round pairings

125 Sean McCabe, 14-14 vs. No. 16 Elijah Oliver (IND) 31-8

133 No. 16 Anthony Giraldo, 17-14 vs. Nathan Kraisser (CAMP) 33-7

141 No. 4 Anthony Ashnault, 29-3 vs. Jamel Hudson (HOFS) 20-8

149 Tyson Dippery, 18-13 vs. No. 16 Patricio Lugo (EDIN) 29-7

157 No. 9 Richie Lewis, 26-5 vs. Andrew Atkinson (UVA) 24-9

165 No. 7 Anthony Perrotti, 21-3 vs. Forrest Przybysz (APP) 21-11

174 Phil Bakuckas, 18-13 vs. No. 6 Bryce Hammond (CSUB) 19-3

184 No. 15 Nicholas Gravina, 21-9 vs. Jordamn Ellingwood (CMU) 28-12

197 Hayden Hrymack, 17-14 vs. No. 2 J'Den Cox (MIZZ) 17-14

285 No. 12 Billy Smith, 27-8 vs. Ross Larson (OU) 19-11

2016 NCAA Wrestling Championships Format and Times

Thursday, March 17
11 a.m. Doors Open- Madison Square Garden
Noon First Session- Eight Mat Configuration, Pigtails and First-Round Competition
6 p.m. Doors Open- Madison Square Garden
7 p.m.

Second Session- Eight Mat Configuration,
Preliminaries: Wrestle-Back Prelims (pigtail matches) as needed; Wrestle-Back First Round. 
Followed by Championship Round, Second Round and Consolation Round

Friday, March 18
10 a.m. Doors Open- Madison Square Garden
11 a.m. Third Session- Eight Mat Configuration, *Quarterfinals on middle four mats; Wrestle-Back Second and Third Rounds on outside mats.
7 p.m. Doors Open- Madison Square Garden
8  p.m Fourth Session- Six Mat Configuration, *Semifinals on inside two mats (one weight at a time) and Wrestle-back Fourth Round on outside four mats.
Followed by Wrestle-Back fifth rounds on all six mats.
Saturday, March 19
10 a.m. Doors Open, Madison Square Garden
11 a.m. Fifth Session- Three Mats, *Wrestle-Back Semifinals on all three mats followed by third, fifth and seventh place medal round matches.
2:30 p.m. Doors Open- Theater at Madison Square Garden
3 - 4 p.m. Championship Preview Show/Weigh In, Theater at Madison Square Garden
4 p.m. AT&T Autograph Session, Theater at Madison Square Garden
7 p.m. Doors Open, Madison Square Garden
7:35- 7:50 p.m. Grand March Parade of All-Americans.
8p.m. Sixth Session, One Mat, Individual weight class awards. Championship Finals.