Wrestlebacks. You don’t want to be there, but it’s better than the alternative of going home.
It’s the section of the bracket where the mental side of wrestling needs to be strong: you lost, that’s why you’re there, but can you refocus and keep winning?
Wrestlers still in: Scott DelVecchio (133), Anthony Ashnault (141), Ken Theobold (149), John Van Brill (157), Jordan Pagano (174), Nick Gravina (184)
Wrestlers eliminated: Matt Correnti (197)
133 DelVecchio came back in the quarterfinals with a win and bonus points, topping Rico Montoya (18-14) of Northern Colorado. DelVecchio goes up against Princeton’ Pat D’Arcy (17-15) in the next wrestleback. Interestingly, DelVecchio was not in the lineup in November when Rutgers and Princeton met at HPSS. Tyson Dippery took the mat for the Knights and bear D’Arcy, 7-0.
BOOM! DelVecchio moves on in the wrestlebacks with a 12-4 major decision over Rico Montoya (UNCO) pic.twitter.com/aGGZt8MIDs— Rutgers Wrestling (@RUWrestling) March 17, 2017
141 Ashnault did not make it easy. When you beat someone twice previously, hitting the trifecta is always a challenge. Ohio State’s Luke Pletcher (24-7) wanted the upset and took it into the third period before Ashnault scored a takedown to tie the match, 7-7. With 1:02 of riding time, Anthiny Ashnault goes 2-0 on the day and will face an old foe in the quarterfinals, Princeton’s Matt Kolodzik (28-2). Kolodzik, the four-seed at the weight, topped Ashnault in the Battle at the Birthplace in November, 4-3.
BOOM! No. 15 Ken Theobold upsets No. 2 Anthony Collica (OKST), 9-3! pic.twitter.com/EyPUE40wnp— Rutgers Wrestling (@RUWrestling) March 17, 2017
149 Theobold did what you need to do to make things happen: he wrestled above his seed. Going up against Oklahoma State’s second seed, Anthony Collica (21-3), Theobold got a takedown and back points with 25 seconds to go. OSU coach John Smith questioned the call, but after video review, the call - and the KENNY THEOBOLD UPSET - were confirmed. BOOM! indeed. The seven-seed, Max Thomsen (29-5) of Northern Iowa looms tomorrow.
157 You know how you win matches at the NCAA? You score one more point than the other guy. And that’s what John Van Brill did, topping Ryan Moseley (26-12) of Gardner-Webb, 1-0. Virginia Tech’s No. 14 seed Sal Mastriani (17-7) is next up in the wrestlebacks for JVB.
174 Redemption is a big word in wrestling. Jordan Pagano came back to top Boise State’s Austin Dewey, 9-3. Pagano led 6-2 heading into the second period and cruised to the win. Up next, Navy’s Jadaen Bernstein (29-9).
184 It was a 5-0 shutout for Nick Gravina, stopping Stanford’s Zach Nevills. The No. 13 seed, Bryce Carr (26-5) of Chattanooga is on deck for Gravina.
197 Matt Correnti faced Utah Valley’s Tanner Omdorff (20-14) in a wrestleback pigtail. We incorrectly reported he would face Ricky Robertson. Matt lost 11-6 and he is eliminated from the competition.
Penn State leads in the team scoring with 30.5 poinrts followed by OSU, but not the OSU you might have thought. Ohio State moved past Oklahome State into second place (26 points) with the Cowboys in third (25.5).
Rutgers scored 5 points in the second round. The team inched up to 26th place from the tie for 33rd. With six wrestlers still alive, including two in the championship bracket, points are there for the taking. Tomorrow’s first session is key.
The Big Ten is doing well. After Penn State and Ohio State at the top, the conference looks like this:
4. Iowa 24.5
6. Minnesota 19.5
10T. Nebraska 14
12T. Illinois 13.5
15. Wisconsin 11
21. Michigan 9
26. Rutgers 7
34. Maryland 5
39T. Michigan State 3.5
39T. Northwestern 3.5
47T. Indiana 2
47T. Purdue 2
New Jersey Schools
Princeton: 20th place, 9.5 points, six still alive with one in championship bracket
Rider: 15th place tie with two other schools, 11 points, three alive in championship bracket
Session 3: 11:00 am ESPNU
Session 4: 8:00 pm ESPN