Big Ten Tournament Day 1 Recap

By Rob Dougherty on March 8, 2020 at 11:25 am
Roman Bravo-Young will wrestle for a Big Ten title on Sunday.
Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
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Penn State had an eventful day at the Big Ten Tournament, and they have wrestled about as well as anyone could have expected. The Nittany Lions will put five wrestlers in tomorrow's finals, with one wrestler alive for third place. The current top-five at the Big Ten Tournament are:

  1. Iowa - 121.5 points
  2. Nebraska - 102.5 points
  3. Ohio State - 94 points
  4. Penn State - 93.5 points
  5. Purdue - 77.5 points
125 pounds - No. 14 Brandon Meredith - 1-3 on the day, did not qualify for NCAAs
1st Round No. 14 Brandon Meredith def. No. 3 Pat McKee (Minnesota) Dec. 3-2
Quarterfinals No. 6 Michael DeAugustino (Northwestern) def. No. 14 Brandon Meredith Dec. 8-2
Round of 12 No. 12 Logan Griffin (Michigan State) def. No. 14 Brandon Meredith Dec. 5-1
9th Place Bracket No. 8 Nic Aguilar (Rutgers) def. No. 14 Brandon Meredith  Dec. 4-3

Brandon Meredith picked up his best win of the season against No. 3 Pat McKee in the first round. He was one win away from qualifying for NCAAs, but ultimately lost to No. 6 Michael DeAugustino and No. 12 Logan Griffin. Even still, it was great to see Meredith so competitive at Big Tens given the season he has had. 

133 pounds - No. 2 Roman Bravo-Young - 2-0 on the day, qualified for NCAAs
Quarterfinals No. 2 Roman Bravo-Young def. No. 7 Sammy Alvarez (Rutgers) Dec. 5-2
Semifinals No. 2 Roman Bravo-Young def. No. 3 Austin Desanto (Iowa) Dec. 3-2

Roman Bravo-Young had a great first day of the Big Ten Tournament, and is into the finals against No. 5 Sebastian Rivera (Northwestern). He defeated No. 7 Sammy Alvarez in the quarterfinals in an entertaining matchup. He then picked up a huge win against No. 3 Austin Desanto while Iowa fans complained. It was a fantastic first day of the tournament for Bravo-Young as he will look to win his first Big Ten title on Sunday. 

141 pounds - No. 1 Nick Lee - 2-0 on the day, qualified for NCAAs
Quarterfinals No. 1 Nick Lee def. No. 8 Parker FIlius (Purdue) Fall (:37)
Semifinals No. 1 Nick Lee def. No. 4 Chad Red (Nebraska) Dec. 7-5

Nick Lee is into the finals and has a rematch with No. 2 Luke Pletcher (Ohio State). Lee got off to a fast start with a 37 second fall in his quarterfinal match with No. 8 Parker Filius. He got off to a quick start against No. 4 Chad Red as well, and led 5-0 in the second period. However, Red was able to finish a couple of takedowns to hold Lee to a 7-5 decision. 

149 pounds - No. 8 Jarod Verkleeren - 0-2 on the day, could qualify for NCAAs
First Round No. 9 Yahya Thomas (Northwestern) def. No. 8 Jarod Verkleeren Dec. 6-3
Round of 12 No. 7 Collin Purinton (Nebraska) def. No. 8 Jarod Verkleeren Dec. 5-2

Since the Big Ten has 10 allocation places, Jarod Verkleeren could still qualify for NCAAs on Sunday. However, Verkleeren did not have a great first day at Big Tens. He lost to No. 9 Yahya Thomas in the first round, then lost to No. 7 Collin Purinton in the bloodround. He will face No. 9 Yahya Thomas on Sunday, the winner will qualify for NCAAs. 

157 pounds - No. 13 Bo Pipher - 0-2 on the day, did not qualify for NCAAs
First Round No. 4 Will Lewan (Michigan) def. No. 13 Bo Pipher SV-1 5-3
Round of 16 No. 12 Garrett Model (Wisconsin) def. No. 13 Bo Pipher TF 18-1

Bo Pipher's season ended with an 0-2 mark, though he pushed No. 4 Will Lewan to the absolute brink before Lewan scored the match-winning takedown. Against No. 12 Garrett Model, Pipher just could not get out from bottom and Model was able to dominate the match there. 

165 pounds - No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph - 2-0 on the day, qualified for NCAAs
Quarterfinals No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph def. No. 9 Drew Hughes (Michigan State) MD 16-5
Semifinals No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph def. No. 4 Isaiah White (Nebraska) Dec. 6-3

Vincenzo Joseph will wrestle No. 2 Alex Marinelli (Iowa) in the finals on Sunday. Joseph was dominant, as expected, in the first day. Joseph started out with a major decision win over No. 9 Drew Hughes, and then extended his winning streak over No. 4 Isaiah White with a comfortable 6-3 decision. 

174 pounds - No. 2 Mark Hall - 2-0 on the day, qualified for NCAAs
Quarterfinals No. 2 Mark Hall def. No. 7 Joey Gunther (Illinois) TF 16-0
Semifinals No. 2 Mark Hall def. No. 3 Dylan Lydy (Purdue) Dec. 5-4

Mark Hall will get to take on No. 1 Michael Kemerer (Iowa) in the finals, and Hall performed well on the first day. He dominated No. 7 Joey Gunther in the quarterfinals, and squeaked by No. 3 Dylan Lydy in the semifinals. Lydy's defense was tough to crack, but Hall was able to do just enough to get by. 

184 pounds - No. 1 Aaron Brooks - 2-0 on the day, qualified for NCAAs
Quarterfinals No. 1 Aaron Brooks def. No. 8 Owen Webster (Minnesota) MD 15-4
Semifinals No. 1 Aaron Brooks def. No. 4 Taylor Venz (Nebraska) Fall (4:00)

Aaron Brooks will get a match with No. 2 Cameron Caffey (Michigan State) in the finals on Sunday. Brooks defeated No. 8 Owen Webster with a major decision. In the semifinals, Brooks was trailing 4-3, but got in on a shot and turned it into a cradle against No. 4 Taylor Venz. Even if Brooks did not finish the fall, he would have been up 9-4. 

197 pounds - No. 6 Shakur Rasheed - 2-1 on the day, qualified for NCAAs
First Round No. 6 Shakur Rasheed def. No. 11 Matt Wroblewski (Illinois) Fall (:57)
Quarterfinals No. 6 Shakur Rasheed def. No. 3 Jacob Warner (iowa) Dec. 3-1
Semifinals No. 2 Eric Schultz (Nebraska) def. No. 6 Shakur Rasheed Dec. 4-3

Shakur Rasheed had an excellent first day at Big Tens and qualified himself for NCAAs. He opened the day with a trademark takedown and crossface cradle against No. 11 Matt Wroblewski. The match with No. 3 Jacob Warner was a tight contest, but Rasheed was able to get a late takedown and rideout in the third period to win. He nearly defeated Eric Schultz in the semifinals, but Schultz was able to fight out of a cement mixer attempt as the seconds ran out. 

285 pounds - No. 7 Seth Nevills - 0-1 on the day, did not qualify for NCAAs
First Round No. 10 Alex Esposito (Rutgers) def. No. 7 Seth Nevills MFF

Seth Nevills was forced to medically forfeit out of the Big Ten Tournament, leaving his status for NCAAs in doubt. No. 10 Alex Esposito was in on a shot, and Nevills appeared to injure his knee while defending. 

Live coverage of the finals starts today at 3:30 p.m. EDT on the Big Ten Network.

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