The tournament was a bitch. Haha....there's some professional journalism but seriously this thing was a series of awesome match-ups featuring great wrestlers. It seriously may be the toughest tournament on the schedule this season before the Big Ten Conference tournament. One has to wonder about having such a tournament with a 2-day weigh-in this early in the season. I really wonder how the coaches truly feel after this weekend since this tournament made such a jump forward with an incredibly competitive field.
Here are some weight by weight notes and results.
125- Nahshon Garrett (Cornell) won the field that included 11 of the top 20 ranked guys in the country. I mean Josh Martinez (Air Force) took 5th with his losses to Garrett and Nathan Tomasello (Ohio State). While Garrett impressed as the favorite, an unranked kid from Northern Colorado, Trey Andrews, had a great run to 4th after losing his 1st match. He pinned Brancale (Minnesota) in 42 seconds, beat Paul Petrov (Bucknell) 13-5, and beat Zeke Moisey (West Virginia) 6-2. It'll be interesting to see where he will be ranked after an impressive string of victories. It shouldn't matter much that they were in a consolation bracket.
133- This is one of the few brackets that resembled anything that looked like chalk. Chris Dardanes (Minnesota) looked really good down at 133 beating Rossi Bruno (Michigan) who appears to truly be a top ten guy this year.
141- Logan Stieber (Ohio State) was himself. I guess the weight cut wasn't too much for Devin Carter (Virginia Tech) to get ready to wrestle at 141 with an impressive win over Nick Dardanes (Minnesota)
149- Christopher Villalonga (Cornell) won the most wide open weight class of the tournament. He looked really big & strong for the weight. True freshman ,Alec Pantaleo (Michigan), made waves making the finals while not being seeded. He is quick and strong upsetting Sal Mastriani (Virginia Tech) 10-3, Victor Lopez (Bucknell) 6-2, and Cody Ruggirello (Hofstra) 8-7. Mastriani took 8th making you wonder about where the kid really should be ranked. Having your most impressive win be your teammate can't count for too much, but we saw plenty of other good wrestlers have a "bad" tournament this weekend.
157- #1 ranked Dylan Ness (Minnesota) was expected by many people to lose that ranking after this bracket since James Green (Nebraska) wanted revenge for the most remembered move of the 2013-2014 season. Instead, Ness wrestled a complete match and beat Green 4-3. It's such an interesting match-up between these 2 since Ness will use Green's explosiveness (that makes him so great) against him. It was a nice tournament for Justin Staudenmayer (Brown) taking 4th.
165- This was my most interesting bracket, and it was Nick Sulzer (Virginia) who declared himself the legitimate #2 wrestler in the country. It was an impressive run for him and Taylor Walsh (Indiana). How strong is Walsh? He pinned Moreno (Iowa State) in the semis like he was messing with some high school kid.
174- The Big 4 in this weight class have not been on the wrong side of an upset since they were sophomores, but Blaise Butler (Virginia) stormed his own comeback win over #1 Logan Storley (Minnesota). Robert Kokesh (Nebraska) finished off the tournament and will be your new #1.
184- There was a lot of controversy in this weight. First is #1 Gabe Dean (Cornell) human and allowed to compete? Well maybe he is. Brent Pfarr took him to the limit in double OT. In sudden victory they got in to a merkle like situation, but Pfarr had Dean's head and appeared to be coming out. They blew the whistle to award the 2 to Dean, but then waved it off. It was potentially a really tough break for Pfarr who went on to lose when Dean rode him out in OT. In the next match, Taylor Meeks (Oregon State) was able to win a couple scrambles and hand Dean his first loss of the season. Meeks went on to then lost to Blake Stauffer (Arizona State) 5-2 in the finals. Hayden Zillmer (North Dakota State) had a very impressive weekend capped off by beating Dean 8-3 for 3rd. The #2 seed Kenny Courts (Ohio State) and #5 seed Domenic Abounader (Michigan), both guys ranked in the top 10 in all polls, failed to place. Abounader only had one match on the season before this tournament. I guess in long form good luck to the guys doing the rankings to figure this one out.
197- Kyven Gadson (Iowa State) had himself a weekend. He was able to hand phenom Kyle Snyder (Ohio State) his first collegiate loss and then beat his nemesis #1 Scott Schiller (Minnesota) 5-3 in the finals. Gadson's only losses last year were to Schiller. Now Gadson will be deservedly ranked #1 going forward. Another unseeded Northern Colorado wrestler, Trent Noon, was able to place with him getting 6th pulling off some nice wins.
285- Ty Walz (Virginia Tech) was able to pull off the big upset over Adam Coon (Michigan). He won a couple positions for 2 takedowns and then coasted to victory. Walz also challenged defending NCAA champ Nick Gwiazdowski (NC State) in the finals, but the champ prevailed 6-3.
When it came to the staff predictions, using the standard (what we usually do 1 pt for finalists & 2 pts for champs) Tommy defeated Kevin & Rob 24-21-21. It's good to be back on the winning side of things!
1st: No. 2 Nahshon Garrett (Cornell) dec. No. 5 Joey Dance (Virginia Tech), 6-4
3rd: No. 9 Nathan Tomasello (Ohio State) dec. Trey Andrews (Northern Colorado), 11-4
5th: No. 7 Josh Martinez (Air Force) by medical forfeit over No. 6 Dylan Peters (Northern Iowa)
7th: Ronnie Bresser (Oregon State) dec. No. 20 Zeke Moisey (West Virginia), 12-6
1st: No. 2 Chris Dardanes (Minnesota) dec. No. 9 Rossi Bruno (Michigan), 8-3
3rd: No. 8 Johnni DiJulius (Ohio State) maj. dec. No. 13 Earl Hall (Iowa State), 9-0
5th: Daniel DeShazer (Nebraska-Kearney) pinned No. 10 George DiCamillo (Virginia), 3:00
7th: No. 18 Kevin Norstrem (Virginia Tech) dec. Ian Nickell (CSU Bakersfield), 7-5 SV
1st: No. 1 Logan Stieber (Ohio State) maj. dec. No. 3 Devin Carter (Virginia Tech), 12-3
3rd: No. 4 Nick Dardanes (Minnesota) dec. No. 16 Anthony Ashnault (Rutgers), 6-3
5th: Geo Martinez (Air Force) dec. Mike Morales (West Virginia), 8-4
7th: No. 9 Joe Spisak (Virginia) dec. Mitch Bengtson (North Dakota State), 5-2
1st: No. 6 Chris Villalonga (Cornell) dec. Alec Pantaleo (Michigan), 4-0
3rd: Gabe Moreno (Iowa State) dec. Justin Arthur (Nebraska), 6-1
5th: No. 15 Cody Ruggirello (Hofstra) pinned Matt Frisch (The Citadel), 0:43
7th: Abraham Rodriguez (Oregon State) dec. No. 9 Sal Mastriani (Virginia Tech), 8-3
1st: No. 1 Dylan Ness (Minnesota) dec. No. 2 James Green (Nebraska), 4-3
3rd: No. 8 Anthony Perrotti (Rutgers) dec. No. 20 Justin Staudenmayer (Brown), 3-1
5th: Russell Parsons (Army) by medical forfeit over Steven Hernandez (Boise State)
7th: Joel Smith (Arizona State) maj. dec. Alex Elder (Oregon State)
1st: No. 2 Nick Sulzer (Virginia) dec. No. 7 Taylor Walsh (Indiana), 4-2
3rd: No. 3 Mike Moreno (Iowa State) pinned No. 12 Cooper Moore (Northern Iowa), 2:46
5th: Peyton Walsh (Navy) dec. Adam Fierro (CSU Bakersfield), 10-5
7th: Max Rohskopf (North Carolina State) dec. No. 16 Jesse Stafford (Air Force), 4-2
1st: No. 2 Robert Kokesh (Nebraska) dec. No. 9 Blaise Butler (Virginia), 6-2
3rd: No. 6 Tanner Weatherman (Iowa State) by medical forfeit over No. 1 Logan Storley (Minnesota)
5th: No. 10 Zach Epperly (Virginia Tech) by medical forfeit over No. 14 Davonte Mahomes (Michigan)
7th: No. 12 Mark Martin (Ohio State) pinned No. 17 Pete Renda (North Carolina State), 6:40
1st: No. 7 Blake Stauffer (Arizona State) dec. No. 8 Taylor Meeks (Oregon State), 5-2
3rd: No. 14 Hayden Zillmer (North Dakota State) dec. No. 1 Gabe Dean (Cornell), 8-3
5th: No. 15 Brett Pfarr (Minnesota) dec. No. 12 Ophir Bernstein (Brown), 8-3
7th: No. 17 T.J. Dudley (Nebraska) pinned Austin Gabel (Virginia Tech), 4:41
1st: No. 3 Kyven Gadson (Iowa State) dec. No. 1 Scott Schiller (Minnesota), 5-3
3rd: No. 7 Kyle Snyder (Ohio State) maj. dec. No. 18 Jace Bennett (Cornell), 14-5
5th: Jared Haught (Virginia Tech) dec. Trent Noon (Northern Colorado), 7-5
7th: Lucas Sheridan (Indiana) pinned Jake Smith (West Virginia), 1:06
1st: No. 1 Nick Gwiazdowski (North Carolina State) dec. No. 9 Ty Walz (Virginia Tech), 6-3
3rd: No. 4 Adam Coon (Michigan) dec. Michael Kroells (Minnesota), 3-2
5th: No. 11 Nick Tavanello (Ohio State) pinned Joe Stofli (Bucknell), 0:43
7th: No. 10 Evan Knutson (North Dakota State) dec. No. 15 Blaize Cabell (Northern Iowa), 4-1