DI NCAA News And Notes: Week 5

Good evening, wrestling fans! Again no Nomad to nourish you with Division I news, notes, nuggets, nibblers, and general wrestling tidings. 

But I will faithfully fulfill his duties as the one they call Nomad is flying over our nation’s heartland on his way to Northeast Ohio to cover the 2017 Walsh Jesuit Ironman. Also, sorry to be tardy to the party but CKLV chaos (more on that in a bit) and the annual Flo Holiday Get-Together unavoidably delayed the completion of this report. 

So let’s cut the chitchat and get to it!

The Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational Was Bonkers

Creating a Lovecraftian nightmare for humble rankers across the nation, 101 top 20 wrestlers entered the brackets in Vegas and 29 were upset in the championship bracket on the first day alone

The insanity continued on day two. By the end of the carnival of carnage, five top five wrestlers had taken an "L," two of them at the hands of unranked opponents. Nomad has already done the heavy lifting in researching the top 16 upsets of the weekend, all but one of which occurred at the CKLV. 

As an example of the ridiculous depth of this year’s edition of the Cliff Keen Invitational, at least three All-Americans didn’t make the podium: Ryan Millhof, Kevin Beazley, and Brandon Womack. Logan Massa and Ethan Ramos also failed to place, but those two medically forfeited their consolation bouts after falling in the championship round.

From the smoking bracket wreckage emerged 10 champions, who survived what was essentially a half-strength NCAA tournament and deserve a special mention. 

125: Taylor LaMont, Utah Valley

One of the biggest surprises of the tournament, the redshirt freshman from Utah fights his way into All-American contention.


133: Luke Pletcher, Ohio State

The first of three Buckeyes champs, Pletcher wins a weight class harder to figure out then an AP calculus exam.


141: Yianni Diakomihalis, Cornell

Cornell’s cadet freestyle world champ showed why he was such a coveted recruit when he beat Bryce Meredith in the finals.


149: Justin Oliver, Central Michigan

The Chippewas get fired up by Oliver, who swallowed the competition whole with his praying mantis-like body.


157: Alec Pantaleo, Michigan

Pantaleo returns to form, running through a loaded bracket after losing his last six folkstyle matches.


165: David McFadden, Virginia Tech

If you are not pumped about this weight class, you are not paying attention. McFadden fends off upstart Evan Wick to capture a title.


174: Zahid Valencia, Arizona State

Beat BoJo for the second time this season, though it was a closer match this time around.


184: Myles Martin, Ohio State

The 2016 174-pound NCAA champ looked as good as ever at 184 pounds. The weight class has been put on notice.


197: Kollin Moore, Ohio State

The Mountain Man shook off some early round rust and pinned Jared Haught in the finals in a recreation of their third-place match at last season’s NCAAs. 


285: Adam Coon, Michigan

The future astrophysicist of astronomical proportions survived an OT scare in the finals from Tanner Hall to remain undefeated on the year. 


And finally, here's me at the CKLV, directing Te'Shan Campbell and Isaiah White to the official scorekeeper after they tried to check in with me, merely the humble announcer.

Yeah, There Were Also Some Duals This Weekend

Iowa 18, Illinois 17

The Hawkeyes needed a pin from Sam Stoll in the final match secure a victory at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Luckily, Stoll did his job, sending Terry Brands into the stands for a Hawkeye Hop. You know, like the Lambeau Leap? No? OK, forget Hawkeye Hop then, but anyway, Brands freaked out and it was cool. 

Lock Haven 22, Rutgers 16

Scarlet Knight head coach Scott Goodale lost to his alma mater as the Bald Eagles pulled off a big upset in front of 2,357 fans in a sold-out Thomas Fieldhouse in Lock Haven, PA.

Rider 19, Penn 15

Lehigh 25, Princeton 13

Pennsylvania and New Jersey split matches in the battle for East Coast private school supremacy. 

Penn State 23, Lehigh 19

Lehigh continues to impress as the defending champs needed a victory in the final bout of the evening to escape a sold-out PPL Center with a win. The crowd of 9,896 was a record for a Lehigh “home” dual; however, the match was hosted about 6 miles to the west of campus in neighboring Allentown, PA.

And In Not-Quite-NCAA-DI News

The UWW Womens World Cup went down in Cheboksary, Russia, located on the Volga River in the Chuvash Republic. And what is the Chuvash Republic? Chebok-sorry I asked. 

The Americans took fourth, beating the hometown Russian squad in pool play but falling to eventual champs Japan in the semifinals and to Mongolia in the third-place match.

Many of the athletes from the recently completed World Cup stuck around Cheboksary to participate in Russia Cup on Monday and Tuesday. Victoria Anthony and Mallory Velte led the way in the traditional individual tournament with two gold medals to go with five other American placers.

Thanks to the lateness of these week's roundup, we're only a day away from a whole new weekend of wrestling goodness.  Stay tuned for the soon-to-be-published What 2 Watch 4 coming your way shortly. 

Add Back & Grip Strength To Help Pull In That Single

Extra Circuit Work For Bo Jordan

When you’ve got a guy by the ankle and he’s trying to kick out you’ll never been so thankful for having a strong back to pull him back in and the grip strength to hold on. 

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Frank Molinaro Moving On From Virginia Tech

70kg Semifinal: Frank Molinaro, Titan Mercury vs Alec Pantaleo, MichiganRTC

Frank Molinaro is leaving his position as assistant coach of Virginia Tech. He will be focusing the next few months on his freestyle training as he tries to make a run at the 2019 world team.

Pre-Match Breakdown: NC State vs Nebraska

174 lbs Mikey Labriola, Nebraska vs Hayden Hastings, Wyoming

#7 Nebraska Cornhuskers travel to Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, North Carolina to take on the #5 Wolfpack of NC State this Sunday.  

NCAA Wrestling Will Grow To 80 Division 1 Programs By 2022

184lbs 5th Place: Colton Wolfe (Nebraska) vs Lukas Poloncic (Augustana)

Augustana University is slated to become the next program to join the ranks of Division I, as part of, "its strategic vision for the future of the institution."

What 2 Watch 4: Yule Love These Matches

149 lbs Quarters - Anthony Ashnault, Rutgers vs Alec Opsal, Air Force

It's a relatively light schedule for this mid-December weekend. But there are still a good number of worthy dual meets taking place that yule be sure to enjoy. I simply cannot wait to describe them to you! All times Eastern and a tip of the hat to SHP for the schedules. 

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Mason Smith Transferring To Campbell

141 lbs Consi of 8 #1 - Mason Smith, CMU vs Nikko Villarreal, ASU

Former Midlands champ Mason Smith is transferring to Campbell to finish out this season.

The Race For Second Place At NCAAs

141 lbs Rd Of 32 - Joseph McKenna, Ohio State vs Garrett Lambert, Hofstra

During NBA All-Star weekend in 1988, Larry Bird came into the locker room before the 3-point contest and said out loud, “So who’s finishing second?”

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Yianni D's Return & Why You Must Watch UNI vs Cornell

184 lbs - Max Dean, Cornell vs Drew Foster, UNI

Raise your hand if you miss seeing Yianni Diakomihalis on the mat. Yes, us too. Thankfully we won’t have to wait very much longer.

Live This Week: December 14-16, 2018

Finals week has arrived for many D1 schools which makes for a light slate of action across the country. 

#1 Zahid Valencia vs #2 Mark Hall Is Going Down In Rec Hall

174lbs Dual: Mark Hall, Penn State vs Dylan Barreiro, Kent State

The best current rivalry in college wrestling gets renewed on Friday night in Happy Valley as Arizona State has made their way East to to face #1 Penn State.

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