Penn State started Session 3 on Friday morning with a 3.5 point lead, but a dominating day has opened up their lead to 31.5 points.
At this point, the only teams that can catch Penn State mathematically are Ohio State and Oklahoma State. The Nittany Lions will carry 5 finalists into the finals on Saturday night, while Ohio State has 2 (Kyle Snyder and Bo Jordan) and Oklahoma State has 1 (Dean Heil).
Ohio State and Oklahoma State can rack up a lot of points in Session 5 through the consolation bracket as they seek 3rd place finishes. So, their progress this afternoon is worth monitoring. However, in order to get 3rd place wrestlers, these teams will have to knock off one another. For instance, at 133, Nathan Tomasello and Kaid Brock could meet for 3rd; at 184, Myles Martin and Nolan Boyd could meet for 3rd; at 197, Kollin Moore and Preston Weigel could meet for 3rd. This means these teams will be taking points away from each other.
Additionally, for either to catch Penn State now would mean Penn State has to have a catastrophic showing on Day 3, which seems unlikely given the first two days of the tournament. As a team, the Nittany Lions have scored 28.0 bonus points, which ranks 1st among all other teams in that category (and would place them 17th in team score right now), and they have the top 3 individual point scorers in the tournament in Bo, Zain and Nolf.
Save your finest champagne for this evening folks, and crack it once Penn State clinches up that team title officially.
summary of psu wrestlers
- 141 - Jimmy Gulibon - Gulibon went 2-1 on the day with a major decision win over Timmy Box (Northern Colorado) and a decision victory over No. 12 Luke Pletcher (Ohio State). Jimmy found himself one match away from going out as an All-American, but he lost in the bloodround to No. 2 Kevin Jack. Jimmy finished his final NCAA Tournament 3-2, and contributed 2 bonus point victories along the way. We'll have more on Jimmy's career later this week on Roar Lions Roar, but he was a tone setter for this Penn State team that needed one in the absence of Nick Suriano.
- 149 - Zain Retherford - Zain went 2-0 on the day, and advanced to the finals. It was a typical Zain performance, he picked up a technical fall win in the quarterfinals. However, the highlight of his day was pinning No. 5 Brandon Sorensen in the semifinals, which dealt a crippling blow to Iowa. In his post match interview he said that he likes that bow and arrow move he used to pin Sorensen because it hurts a lot. That's kind of terrifying. Zain will take on Missouri's Lavion Mayes in the final.
- 157 - Jason Nolf - Nolf went 2-0 on the day, and also advanced to the finals. Nolf won with a technical fall in the quarterfinals, and took on familiar foe Tyler Berger of Nebraska in the semifinals. Berger said before the semis that he was going to tire out Nolf and beat him. Nolf picked apart Berger and won 13-5, picking up a major decision. Though, sources can confirm that Nolf did, in fact, fall asleep on Friday night, so maybe Berger was at least half right. Nolf will take on Missouri's Joey Lavallee in the finals.
- 165 - Vincenzo Joseph - Joseph went 2-0 on the day, and also advanced to the finals. Joseph had to gut out a 6-5 win over No. 6 Daniel Lewis of Missouri. Joseph was down 3-0 and Lewis had significant riding time, but Joseph scored 3 takedowns from there and picked up the win. The winning takedown occurred with just 9 seconds remaining in the 3rd period. He then took on No. 2 Logan Massa and it was a closely contested battle. Joseph scored a late takedown to win the match, and will face No. 1 Isaiah Martinez of Illinois in the final.
- 174 - Mark Hall - Hall went 2-0 on the day and will be in the finals tomorrow night. Hall's day begun against No. 4 Zach Epperly, and Hall crushed him, winning by major decision. Controversy reared its head in the semifinals though against No. 1 Zahid Valencia (Arizona State). With the match tied in the final minute of the 3rd period, Zahid went for a single leg but grabbed Hall's head gear as he scored the takedown. Cael challenged the call, and the takedown was reversed, and Hall was granted a point for a technical violation, and had a 2-1 lead. Zahid went to throw Hall for the win, but Hall was able to counter to score the winning takedown. Hall will wrestle No. 3 Bo Jordan of Ohio State in the final.
- 184 - Bo Nickal - Bo went 2-0 on the day, and continues to know wrestling. Bo picked up 2 pins on the day, first over No. 7 TJ Dudley, then over No. 3 Sammy Brooks (again). In the semifinals, Brooks went for a throw, but Bo locked in overhooks and hit an outside trip to put Brooks on his back, which led to the fall. Bo has now pinned 3 of his 4 opponents at NCAAs so far, making him the highest individual point scorer at this point in the tournament. Bo may have saved his best for his last in this tournament, but he'll have the toughest match of his college career against No. 1 Gabe Dean in the final. This will be the main event as well.
- 197 - Matt McCutcheon - McCutcheon went 0-2 and has been eliminated from the tournament. McCutcheon lost to No. 4 Jared Haught in the quarterfinals, then some sloppy wrestling saw him surrender 4 nearfall points twice in the bloodround to No. 7 Aaron Studebaker. McCutcheon still has not secured an All-American place in his career, though he's been close twice. A season of weightlifting and preparation for 197 will do him a world of good.
- 285 - Nick Nevills - Nevills went 2-1 and is in competition for 3rd place tomorrow. Nevills lost a close match to No. 4 Jacob Kasper, though Nevills was not nearly as active in this match as he has been throughout the season. Nevills came back in the bloodround to beat No. 15 Ryan Soloman of Pittsburgh, and in the next round of consolations, Nevills beat No. 6 Michael Kroells of Minnesota. Nevills will take on No. 3 Ty Walz of Virginia Tech for a spot in the 3rd place match. If he loses that, he'll wrestle for 5th.