Biggest Upsets Of The 2017 NCAA Tournament
It seems to become harder and harder every year to define the word "upset." But here are some of our choices for the match results that blew our minds the most in St. Louis. Without further ado, here are the biggest upsets of the 2017 NCAA tournament.
Vincenzo Joseph (Penn State) pins Isaiah Martinez (Illinois), 5:26While this doesn't quite fall under "biggest upset of all-time," it certainly counts as a shocker. Martinez was riding the third longest winning streak in the nation, had one career loss and was on a trajectory to become just the fifth man to capture four NCAA titles. Martinez had beaten Joseph 5-2 and 8-5 already this year, but he was trailing 6-5 late in the third. The Illinois junior tried to go upperbody, only to become the victim of another inside trip and set up a very scary next decade for college wrestling.
Gilman's two All American finishes were higher than both of Cruz's, and Gilman walked into this match undefeated. But the Lehigh junior took Gilman down twice and was untouchable on his feet. He had a clutch takedown to send it into OT in which he kept Gilman's foot on the back of his shoulder, and then spun into a takedown to send him to the finals, where he wound up the 125lb national champ.
Darian Cruz (Lehigh) decision Thomas Gilman (Iowa), 4-2 SV-1
Jake Residori (SIUE) decision Kyle Crutchmer (Oklahoma State), 6-5This one lost a bit residually after Crutchmer got his vengeance in the seventh place match, but still. It helped push Residori to becoming SIU Edwardsville's first All American since 1987 and was one of the first dominoes to fall in this crazy national tournament.
Emery Parker (Illinois) decision Myles Martin (Ohio State), 14-9When they met at the dual in January, the defending champ Martin majored Parker. Two months later, Parker put Martin on his back twice. Unfortunately for Illini fans, Parker lost in the bloodround to keep off the podium.
Similar to the second round match mentioned directly above, Dance majored Mueller in the dual. But Mueller came through clutch in the quarters to make the semis on a takedown in sudden victory and become a true freshman All American for UVA.
Jack Mueller (Virginia) decision Joey Dance (Virginia Tech), 4-2 SV-1
Prior to this match, Theobold was just 2-4 at the national tournament. But he caught Collica's knee in an overtime scramble and put him to his back, accelerating Collica into not placing. The senior closed out his career with a pin in the seventh place match to earn his first All American status.
Kenny Theobold (Rutgers) decision Anthony Collica (Oklahoma State), 9-3 SV-1
Tommy Thorn (Minnesota) pins Joey McKenna (Stanford), 7:57When you're a returning third placer coming in as the three seed and ranked No. 2 in the country for most of the year, there are reasonable expectations to make the quarterfinals. Thorn had other ideas though, and stuck McKenna in the second rideout period, and ultimately ended up finishing eighth.
Alex Kocer (South Dakota State) decision Justin Oliver (Central Michigan)Kocer can look back on becoming just the second SDSU wrestler ever (along with finalist Seth Gross) to All American with this second round match. Oliver was seventh last year in New York and seeded ninth coming in. Kocer closes out his career as an All American after walking on to the Jackrabbits. He was a five-time South Dakota state champ who Chris Bono had to convince to wrestler.
Brandon Womack (Cornell) decision Anthony Valencia (Arizona State), 8-7Yes, unseeded guys beat guys seeded to place. Yes, this was a seeded guy over an athlete who had never been on the podium. But Valencia is a junior world team member who was considered one of the best athletes in his graduating class and one with massive potential. It gave Alabama just their second All American ever and was a win for the guys who were overlooked in high school.
Think we forgot any? I'm sure you do, let us hear about it the comments.