Penn State had a very strong third session at the NCAA Wrestling Championships. The Nittany Lions won all six quarterfinal bouts and will send that same number to tonight's semifinals. The Blue and White secured two bonus point victories with Jason Nolf's technical fall and Bo Nickal's major decision.
The quarterfinals could not have gone much better for Penn State, as they were able to separate themselves from the field a bit. The Nittany Lions have six All-Americans and that total could rise as high as seven depending on the result of Roman Bravo-Young's bloodround match. However, two losses late in Session 3 from Brady Berge and Shakur Rasheed have ended their tournaments.
Penn State leads the field with six semifinalists. Nick Lee got things started with a 4-1 win over No. 22 Max Murin (Iowa). Murin wrestled a very tough match, but Lee was able to get a takedown and rideout in the third period for the win. Lee will face No. 2 Joey McKenna (Ohio State) in a rematch from the Big Ten Tournament.
Jason Nolf got a 23-6 technical fall win over Christian Pagdilao, and Nolf nearly had him pinned late before Pagdilao was saved by the timer. Nolf will have a rematch from his 2018 final in No. 5 Hayden Hidlay (North Carolina State).
Vincenzo Joseph had a heart attack-inducing match against No. 7 Isaiah White (Nebraska). Joseph won 3-1 in sudden victory with an inside trip. White was able to miraculously evade a double leg at the end of the first, and White's athleticism made things tough for Joseph yet again. Joseph will have a rematch with No. 3 Josh Shields (Arizona State) in the semifinals.
Mark Hall wrestled a fairly comfortable 5-3 decision over No. 8 Taylor Lujan (Northern Iowa). He will wrestle familiar foe No. 4 Myles Amine (Michigan) in the semifinals. Do not expect anything other than another tight contest between these two. Amine has kept his matches with Hall to one-point decisions.
Bo Nickal advanced with a 14-4 major decision over No. 8 Nathan Traxler (Stanford). Nickal was in control and looked to be close to potentially getting pins, but Traxler was able to hang on and just take a major. Nickal could have a tough semifinal matchup with No. 4 Patrick Brucki (Princeton).
No. 2 Anthony Cassar won a 4-0 decision over No. 7 Trent Hillger (Wisconsin). Cassar was never really threatened at any point by Hillger. He got a late first period takedown, and that was essentially all he needed in this one. Cassar got a third period ride out when he needed it. He will have a rematch of the Big Ten final with No. 3 Gable Steveson (Minnesota).
Roman Bravo-Young has increased his stay at the NCAA Tournament. He navigated a very difficult morning of consolation matches against tough competition. He beat No. 9 Chaz Tucker (Cornell) in a 6-3 decision. Bravo-Young then went on to get revenge on No. 15 Ben Thornton (Purdue) in a 3-1 decision. Despite not adding any bonus points, he was able to preserve his chances at becoming an All-American. His bloodround match will be against No. 4 Mickey Phillipi (Pittsburgh).
Brady Berge went 1-1 in Session 3, ending his NCAA Tournament. He had a solid win against No. 27 Tejan Anthony (George Mason). However, he lost in sudden victory to No. 20 Tommy Thorn (Minnesota) to end his chances of becoming an All-American.
No. 2 Shakur Rasheed's NCAA Tournament has come to a disappointing end. He wrestled with a huge knee brace and went 1-1 in action today. He got a 9-1 major decision over Andrew McNally (Kent State). However, a late takedown due to the danger rule from No. 26 Dakota Geer (Oklahoma State) ended Rasheed's tournament.
Session 4 Semifinal Matches
- 141 pounds - No. 3 Nick Lee vs. No. 2 Joey McKenna (Ohio State)
- 157 pounds - No. 1 Jason Nolf vs. No. 5 Hayden Hidlay (North Carolina State)
- 165 pounds - No. 2 Vincenzo Joseph vs. No. 3 Josh Shields (Arizona State)
- 174 pounds - No. 1 Mark Hall vs. No. 4 Myles Amine (Michigan)
- 197 pounds - No. 1 Bo Nickal vs. No. 4 Patrick Brucki (Princeton)
- 285 pounds - No. 2 Anthony Cassar vs. No. 3 Gable Steveson (Minnesota)
Session 4 Bloodround Match
- 133 pounds - No. 10 Roman Bravo-Young vs. No. 4 Mickey Phillipi (Pittsburgh)
- 133 pounds - (if Bravo-Young beats Phillipi) No. 10 Roman Bravo-Young vs. winner of No. 11 Tariq Wilson (North Carolina State) or No. 8 John Erneste (Missouri)