NCAA Wrestling Day 2: Semifinals Open Thread

By RossWB on March 17, 2017 at 6:27p
Let's go.

ESPN

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WHAT: 2017 NCAA Wrestling Championships -- Quarterfinals
WHEN: Friday, March 17, 2017
WHERE: St. Louis, MO
START: 7 PM CT
TV: ESPN
ONLINE: WatchESPN
RADIO: Hawkeye All-Access ($); KXIC

Here are the brackets for the 2017 NCAA Wrestling Tournament. And here's the best live scoring for the team race

SEMIFINALS

WEIGHT IOWA VS OPPONENT
125 #1 Thomas Gilman vs #4 Darian Cruz (Lehigh)
133 #4 Cory Clark vs #1 Nathan Tomasello (Ohio State)
149 #5 Brandon Sorensen vs #1 Zain Retherford (Penn State)
184 #3 Sammy Brooks vs #2 Bo Nickal (Penn State)

Some tough match-ups here. Gilman is 1-0 against Cruz (he beat him 6-2 as a redshirt freshman back in 2014), but that first match was years ago. Still, he has the most favorable match-up of the four Iowa wrestlers in the semis. Clark lost to Tomasello at the Big Ten Tournament finals, 5-4. Sorensen is 0-3 lifetime against Retherford, although he did wrestle him very tightly at the dual this year, losing 9-8 after multiple overtimes. Brooks was pinned in under a minute by Nickal at the dual this year. Let's hope for some Hawkeye revenge in some of these rematches.

CONSOLATION ROUNDS

WEIGHT IOWA VS OPPONENT
157 #2 Michael Kemerer vs May Bethea (Penn)
174 #11 Alex Meyer vs #7 Kyle Crutchmer (Oklahoma State)
197 Cash Wilcke vs #10 Kevin Beazley (Old Dominion)

This a big round of consolations as the winners guarantee All-American status for themselves.  The losers, meanwhile, go home having come up just short of being All-Americans, which can be heartbreaking. Kemerer and Wilcke have new opponents, while Meyer has an opponent he's faced many times in the past. Unfortunately he doesn't have a very good record against Crutchmer -- he's 1-3, losing the most recent bouts 11-10 and 5-2. No time like the present to turn things around, though!

As far as the team race... 

TEAM SCORE

RANK PTS TEAM CHAMP CONSO ELIM
1 74.0 Penn State 5 3 1
2 59.0 Ohio State 4 2 3
3 58.0 Iowa 4 3 2
4 47.5 Oklahoma State 3 5 2
5 47.0 Cornell 3 1 2

Unfortunately, the team race is not looking good for anyone except those of a Penn State persuasion. That 15-point lead (16 points on Iowa) is pretty significant, especially with them still having five wrestlers active in the semifinals. Iowa probably needed a perfect quarterfinal round in order to be able to really challenge for the team title; they didn't quite get that.  They definitely need a perfect semifinal round in order to retain any hope of winning a team title tomorrow. Iowa still has a mathematical chance at the title, but practically speaking, it doesn't seem like anyone but Penn State is winning this thing unless they get locked in their hotel.

I'll post results and observations in the comments below; feel free to join me! 

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