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    McMullan, Tsirtsis Lock in Spot to NCAAs, Advance to B1G Semis

    March 8, 2014

    Game Photo
    Northwestern Big Ten Championships •
    Northwestern: 17.0 points, 9th/12 place

    Kohl Center • Madison, Wis.

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    MADISION, Wis. – Northwestern junior Mike McMullan (285) and redshirt freshman Jason Tsirtsis (149) are still fighting for a Big Ten championship after each advanced to the semifinals at their respective weight classes Saturday morning. 

    Both McMullan and Tsirtis earned first round byes to begin the Big Ten Championships and advanced to the semifinals with decision victories in the quarterfinal round.

    Junior Alex Polizzi (197) won a bout during the first session and will wrestle in the consolation round in the evening.

    Session II of the Big Ten Championships begins at 5:00 p.m. CT at the Kohl Center on the campus of the University of Wisconsin. Through the first session, Northwestern ranks ninth in the standings with 17.0 points, ranking ahead of Purdue (13.0 points) and trailing Illinois (21.5).

    Tsirtsis, seeded No. 3 at 149 pounds, earned a first round bye and took on Ohio State’s No. 6 Ian Paddock in the quarterfinals. Tsirtsis jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period with a takedown on Paddock. The Ohio State senior clawed his way back to tie the match at 2-2 before Tsirtsis retook a 3-2 lead and closed out the match. After redshirting last season, it marked Tsirtsis’ first win in the Big Ten Championships. He advanced to the semifinals and will meet Minnesota’s Nick Dardanes, the conference’s No. 2 seed.

    McMullan earned his third consecutive trip to the Big Ten semifinals with a 5-1 decision over Michigan State’s Mike McClure in the quarterfinals after earning a first round bye. McMullan, the heavyweight’s third seed, scored an early point on No. 6 McClure and added three near fall points to build a 4-0 lead before taking the match 5-1. The junior from Easton, Pa. will face Indiana’s No. 2 Adam Chalfant in the semifinals.

    By advancing to the Big Ten semifinals, both McMullan and Tsirtsis earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. The top nine Big Ten heavyweight wrestlers advance to the NCAAs and the top six at 149 pounds earn an automatic bid.

    At 197 lbs., Polizzi, seeded No. 7 defeated No. 10 Caleb Kolb of Nebraska in the first round in a thrilling sudden victory bout which went to double overtime. Kolb appeared to win the match 6-4 in overtime, but after a two-point takedown by Kolb was reversed on replay, it remained 4-4. After each wrestler held off escape attempts, Polizzi took a 6-4 lead with a two-point takedown, which was held up after review as well. No. 2 seed Nick Heflin from Ohio State defeated Polizzi in the quarterfinals. 

    Garrison White (125), No. 10 seed Dominick Malone (133), Pat Greco (141), No. 10 seed Ben Sullivan (157), No. 3 seed Pierce Harger (165), Kevin Bialka (174) and Jacob Berkowtiz (184) dropped their morning matches and will compete in the wrestleback round this evening.

    Pigtails
    125: No. 1 Nico Megaludis (PSU) fall Garrison White (NU), 3:19
    133: No. 7 Jimmy Gulibon (PSU) tech. fall No. 10 Dominick Malone (NU), 5:47
    141: No. 5 Josh Dziewa (IOWA) maj. dec. Pat Greco (NU), 14-2
    157: No. 7 Zach Brunson (ILL) dec. No. 10 Ben Sullivan (NU), 6-2
    174: No. 2 Matt Brown (PSU) injury Kevin Bialka (NU), 0:02
    184: No. 5 Domenic Abounader (MICH) dec. Jacob Berkowitz (NU), 4-2
    197: No. 7 Alex Polizzi (NU) sudden victory (2OT) No. 10 Caleb Kolb (NEB), 6-4 

    Quarterfinals
    149: No. 3 Jason Tsirtsis (NU) dec. No. 6 Ian Paddock (OSU), 3-2
    165: No. 6 Danny Zilverberg (MINN) dec. No. 3 Pierce Harger (NU), 7-1
    197: No. 2 Nick Heflin (OSU) fall No. 7 Alex Polizzi (NU), 1:08
    285: No. 3 Mike McMullan (NU) dec. No. 6 Mike McClure (MSU), 5-1

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