March 8, 2008
Brackets and Team Standings (After Session Two)
MINNEAPOLIS -- Seniors Dustin Fox and Mike Tamillow both enjoyed dominant days and will wrestle for Big Ten titles on Sunday. Nick Hayes and Keith Sulzer sealed bids to the NCAA Championships while Brandon Precin and Ryan Lang remain alive in the consolation bracket. Session Three begins at noon Sunday and the finals will be televised live by the Big Ten Network at 2 p.m.
NU sits in ninth place in the team standings, but has a chance to capture major points on Sunday with six wrestlers in action.
The second-seeded Fox went out against Wisconsin's Kyle Massey looking for revenge. Massey handed Fox his only loss of the season earlier this year, but Fox got his payback with a 12-4 major decision over the third-seeded Badger.
Fox scored two takedowns in the first and led 4-1 after one period. Massey closed to 4-2 with a second-period escape, but Fox put the pedal down in the third. The senior scored three third-period takedowns and had a riding time advantage to take the 12-5 decision.
Fox, not known for his offense, had an offensive day at heavyweight. He earned a pin in his first match, scored 15 points in a technical fall in the quarterfinals and put up 12 in the semifinals.
Fox, hunting for his first Big Ten title, will face top-seeded J.D. Bergman of Ohio State in the finals. Fox beat Bergman earlier this year at the National Duals, and ironically, fellow Wildcat Tamillow earned his first conference title against Bergman last year at 197 lbs.
The top-seeded Tamillow wrestled his kind of match in the semifinals -- solid, but not flashy -- against fourth-seeded Dallas Herbst of Wisconsin, winning by a 4-1 decision. The senior scored his takedown early and accumulated riding time.
He escaped to start the second, and despite giving up an escape to the Badger, took a 4-1 decision with riding time. Tamillow will be looking to defend his Big Ten title against second-seeded Phil Davis of Penn State.
Although Tamillow had his troubles with Davis early in his college career, the senior solved the puzzle with a 6-1 decision over Davis earlier this year at Welsh-Ryan Arena.
Hayes faced a familiar foe in Michigan's top-seeded Steve Luke in the 174-pound semifinal and the match went to the full two tiebreakers. With the neutral start of the match, Hayes found himself in trouble early, but managed to keep his balance on one foot to escape the period unscathed.
The two wrestlers traded escapes in the last two periods to head to overtime. In the first overtime period, Luke got in deep on several shots, but Hayes was again able to survive on one leg to avoid a match-ending takedown.
Each wrestler scored an escape in the first set of tiebreakers to make the score 2-2. Rules get complicated when the match gets passed the first set of tiebreakers. After the second overtime and tiebreakers, the match is determined by riding time accumulated in the extra sessions.
After a scoreless second sudden victory period, the match went to a second set of tiebreakers. Although Hayes escaped while on bottom, it took him close to 30 seconds to do so. Hayes was forced to let Luke escape while on top to try to score a takedown.
The Northwestern senior could not get the two points he needed and will wrestle in the consolation semifinals on Sunday. He faces unseeded Trevor Perry of Indiana.
In the 141-pound semifinal, the seventh-seeded Sulzer faced Minnesota's sixth-seeded Manuel Rivera. After a scoreless first period that saw the Wildcat thwart two deep shots by Rivera, Sulzer scored first with a second-period escape.
The redshirt freshman went to the third period with a 1-0 lead, but Rivera scored a takedown to pull ahead, 2-1. Although Sulzer escaped late, Rivera accumulated enough riding time to take the 3-2 decision.
Sulzer faces Wisconsin's second-seeded Kyle Ruschell in the consolation semifinals on Sunday. The winner will wrestle later in the session for third place.
In his first match of the evening, Precin stayed alive in the tournament with a 9-0 major decision victory over Joel Trombly of Michigan State. Precin scored an early first-period takedown after a scramble and then rode out the remainder of the frame.
The sophomore started down in the second and got on the board with an escape and a takedown. After a stalling point was awarded, Precin picked up two more points with a near fall. The Wildcat accumulated over four minutes of riding time in the match.
In his second match of the session, Precin fell to eighth-seeded Colin Cudd of Wisconsin by 4-3 decision. After a scoreless first period, Precin got on the board first with an escape in the second. Business picked up in the third when Cudd scored a takedown and Precin responded with an escape.
Cudd scored a second third-period takedown and Precin escaped, but could not seize the match with a late takedown.
Precin will face Penn State's sixth-seeded Mark McKnight in the seventh-place match. Precin must win on Saturday to clinch a spot in the NCAA Championships field. The Wildcat won their match during the dual season.
After a disappointing first session, Lang did not even need a full period to advance in the consolation bracket. The seventh-seeded senior pinned Illinois' eighth-seeded Grant Paswall at 2:07. Lang scored a takedown after several vicious scrambles and was able to hook the leg and get the fall.
In his second match, Lang had another overtime match and again came out on the losing end. Despite several mad scrambles, the first period ended scoreless between the seventh-seeded Lang and the fifth-seeded Lance Palmer of Ohio State.
Palmer reversed early in the second, but Lang closed to 2-1 with an escape. Lang started down in the third and reversed to take a 3-2 lead. Despite his best efforts, Lang could not keep Palmer at bay for the rest of the period and the Buckeye evened the score at 3-3 with an escape.
Lang took a shot in the opening seconds of the sudden victory period, but Palmer countered and scored the takedown to seize the 5-3 win. Lang will wrestle for seventh place on Sunday against Indiana's Kurt Kinser who defeated the Wildcat in overtime in the first round.
At 133, Eric Metzler fell to seventh-seeded Reece Humphrey of Ohio State to close his 2007-08 campaign.
At 157, seventh-seeded Ryan Morningstar of Iowa eliminated Andrew Nadhir from the tournament by 11-0 major decision. At 165, Dominic Marella gave the fans a show in the first period, surviving a mad scramble with third-seeded Tyler Safratowich of Minnesota.
The first period ended in a 4-4 tie, but the Gopher scored a fall in the third to end Marella's season. Eighth-seeded A.J. Kissel of Purdue scored a second-period fall to top Adil Kolovic and eliminate him from the tournament.
Session Three begins at noon Sunday. The consolation semifinals and the seventh-place matches will proceed the finals. The finals will commence at approximately 2 p.m. and will be televised live by the Big Ten Network.
141: #6 Rivera (MINN) dec. #7 Sulzer (NU), 3-2
174: #1 Luke (MICH) dec. #4 Hayes, 3-2 (TB2)
197: #1 Tamillow (NU) dec. #4 Herbst (WIS), 4-1
285: #2 Fox (NU) MD #3 Massey (WIS), 12-4
125: #4 Precin (NU) MD Trombly (MSU), 9-0
125: #8 Cudd (WIS) dec. #4 Precin, 4-3
133: #7 Humphrey (OSU) MD Metzler (NU), 11-2
149: #7 Lang (NU) pinned #8 Paswall (ILL), 2:07
149: #5 Palmer (OSU) dec. #7 Lang (NU), 5-3 SV1
157: #7 Morningstar (Iowa) MD Nadhir (NU), 11-0
165: #3 Safratowich (Minn) pinned Marella (5:48)
184: #8 Kissel (PUR) pinned Kolovic (4:35)
Northwestern Sunday Matches
197: #1 Tamillow (NU) vs. #2 Davis (PSU)
285: #2 Fox (NU) vs. #1 Bergman (OSU)
141: #7 Sulzer (NU) vs. #2 Ruschell (WIS)
174: #4 Hayes (NU) vs. Perry (IU)
Seventh Place Matches
125: #4 Precin (NU) vs. #6 McKnight (PSU)
149: #7 Lang (NU) vs. Kinser (IU)