Wrestling starts at 11:00 a.m today at the Garden. The Championship round starts at 8:00 p.m.
What started out with an improbable but glorious placement of ten wrestlers into the 2016 NCAA Wrestling Championships, settled into....well, settling. Rutgers will have two All Americans, a notable achievement.
And sending those ten competitors - one of only three schools to accomplish that - should be celebrated. Yet there is still a sense of what could have been. Five wrestlers started Day 2, still alive for the podium and All American status. Butand Nicholas Gravina lost in their first and last matches of the day. Both wrestlers will return next season.
Wrestling in his first national semifinal, Ashnault came up against the No. 1 seed in Dean Heil of Oklahoma State. "The kid was better tonight. He was better," Scott Goodale said of Dean Heil. "There's history there, they've wrestled for a long time. He's No. 1 in the country for a reason. He's been on top of this weight class all year long and I didn't think Anthony pressured him enough but it's a toss-up type match that the kid just wrestled better tonight. We've got to bounce back and you'll get a good Anthony tomorrow."
Anthony Perrotti wrestled like a man possessed in his first and then overcame a slow start in the nightcap to earn the AA distinction.
Billy Smith fell into a head and arm and planted his opponent in the morning, only to have an up and down close to his very notable career at RU with a heart-breaking loss at night..
How to watch & follow
ESPN will broadcast every match on every mat again this year on ESPN3/WatchESPN, in addition to linear coverage of all six sessions. Friday night and Saturday night are on ESPN, while all other sessions are on ESPNU.
Here's how Rutgers goes into Sessions 5 and 6, the final day of wrestling:
141 No. 4 Anthony Ashnault, 29-3 vs. Jamel Hudson (HOFS) WON Tech Fall 20-8
- Prequarterfinal vs. Gross (SDSU) WON Major Decision 15-2
- Quarterfinals vs. No. 12 Chris Mecate (ODU) WON 5-4
- Semifinals vs No. 1 Dean Heil (OKST) Lost 8-3
- Wrestlebacks vs.Chishko (VT) Won 11-3 W
- Third place consolation vs. No. 2 McKenna (STAN) Lost 7-6 Finishes in 4th - ties for second best in RU wrestling history
165 No. 7 Anthony Perrotti, 21-3 vs. Forrest Przybysz (APP) 21-11 WON Fall 1:18
- Prequarterfinal vs. No. 10 Wilson (NEB) LOST 4-1
- Wrestlebacks vs. Thomas (ORST) Won 15-6
- Wrestlebacks vs. Glass (OU) Won 5-2
- Wrestlebacks vs. Brennan (RID) Won 5-4
- Wrestlebacks vs. McFadden (VT) Lost 10-2
- Wrestleback vs. Wilson (NEB) for 7th place Lost 4-2 Finishes in 8th place
Those who moved into Friday's sessions
157 No. 9, 26-5 vs. Andrew Atkinson (UVA) 24-9 WON 7-3
- Prequarterfinal vs.No. 8 Brascetta (VT) LOST 7-6
- Wrestlebacks vs. Cottrell (WVU) Lost 4-0 Eliminated from competition
184 No. 15 Nicholas Gravina, 21-9 vs. Jordamn Ellingwood (CMU) 28-12 LOST 9-3
- Wrestleback vs. Lampe (CHATT) WON 6-2
- Wrestlebacks vs. Sleigh (BUCK) Lost 6-1 Eliminated from competition
Penn State has extended its lead and they have five wrestlers in the finals. The issue that Rutgers had - not moving wrestlers into and through the wrestlebacks - has not been an issue for Penn State. Oklahoma State made a move on Friday and supplanted Iowa in second; it has two in the finals. Rutgers, on the strength of Smith's early pin, Perrotti moving into medal contention, and Ashnault being in the semis, has held onto a spot in the top 15. They will score no additional points unless they win.
285 No. 12 Billy Smith, 27-8 vs. Ross Larson (OU) 19-11 LOST 8-4
- Wrestleback vs. Solomon (PITT) WON 3-0
- Wrestleback vs. Gillen (UVA WON 9-4
- Wrestlebacks vs. Cornwell (G-W) Won 7-2
- Wrestlebacks vs. Shaw (CSU) Won by fall 1:39
- Wrestlebacjs vs. Wessel (LEH) Lost 3-2 Eliminated from competition