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    Tsirtsis Reaches B1G Finals, Five `Cats Lock in NCAA Bids

    March 8, 2014

    Game Photo
    Northwestern Big Ten Championships
    Northwestern: 44.0 points, 9th/12 place

    Kohl Center • Madison, Wis.

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    MADISON, Wis. - Redshirt freshman Jason Tsirtsis advanced to the Big Ten Finals at 149 lbs., where he will compete for a conference title against No. 1 seed Jake Sueflohn of Nebraska Sunday at 1:00 live on the Big Ten Network. 

    Tsirtsis is one of five Wildcats to earn an automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. Joining the redshirt freshman are Dominick Malone (133), Pierce Harger (165), Alex Polizzi (197) and Mike McMullan (285).

    The Big Ten Championships continue with Session III at 11:00 a.m. Sunday at the Kohl Center. The championships get underway at 1:00 p.m. live on the Big Ten Network. 

    In the 149 lb. semifinals, Tsirtsis matched up against Minnesota's No. 2 seed Nick Dardanes. After spotting Dardanes a 1-0 advantage, Tsirtsis tied the match at 1-1 and took a 3-1 lead with a two-point takedown. Dardanes answered to make it 3-2, but Tsirtsis held off the Gopher the rest of the match to advance to his first Big Ten Championship.

    Tsirtsis will take on the 149 lb. top seeded Jake Sueflohn of Nebraska. Sueflohn advanced to the championship with a 8-6 decision over Michigan's No. 5 Eric Grajales.

    Harger, Polizzi and McMullan will compete in the Session III consolation round looking to advance to the third place matches in their respective weight classes.

    In the 285 lbs. semifinal between No. 3 Mike McMullan and Indiana's No. 2 Adam Chalfant, the Hoosier defeated McMullan for the second time this year. Chalfant jumped out to a 2-0 lead before McMullan answered to make it 2-1. After exchanging points, McMullan could not make up a 3-2 deficit and Chalfant held off the three-time NCAA qualifier.

    McMullan will face Iowa's Bobby Telford, the conference's No. 4 seed. McMullan defeated Telford during the `Cats dual season at Welsh-Ryan Arena, knocking off the Hawkeye when he was ranked the No. 1 heavyweight in the nation.

    After Saturday's first two sessions, Northwestern is ranked No. 9 with 44.0 points. The `Cats lead Indiana (34.0 points) and trail No. 8 Michigan, who has tallied 49.5 points.

    At 133 lbs., Dominick Malone defeated No. 8 Rossi Bruno of Nebraska in the second round of the consolation bracket before falling to Zane Richards of Illinois, the No. 5 seed by a 10-3 decision. Malone will compete in the seventh place match in a rematch between Penn State's No. 7 Gulibon, who defeated Malone by tech. fall in the first round.

    After falling in his first match of Session I, No. 3 seed Pierce Harger came back in Session II with a furious start, recording a pair of 9-0 major decision wins. Harger first took down No. 12 Ben Cox of Wisconsin and then scored another shutout against No. 7 Ryan LeBlanc (IND). Harger advances to face No. 5 Jackson Morse (ILL) and the winner will go to the Big Ten third place match.

    Polizzi broke a 2-2 tie with No. 6 Mario Gonzalez with a reversal and two back points. After an injury slowed Gonzalez, Polizzi defeated the Illini wrestler 8-3. Polizzi will face Iowa's No. 5 seed Nathan Burak Sunday, with the winner advancing to the Big Ten third place match.

    Semifinals
    149: No. 3 Jason Tsirtsis (NU) dec. No. 2 Nick Dardanes (MINN), 4-2
    285: No. 2 Adam Chalfant (IND) dec. No. 3 Mike McMullan (NU), 3-2 

    Consolation Matches
    125: No. 7 Camden Eppert (PUR) maj. dec. Garrison White (NU), 8-0
    133: No. 10 Dominick Malone (NU) dec. No. 8 Rossi Bruno (No. 8), 6-5
    133: No. 5 Zane Richards (ILL) dec. No. 10 Dominick Malone (NU), 10-3
    141: No. 6 Danny Sabatello (PUR) dec. Pat Greco (NU), 3-2
    157: No. 8 Brian Murphy (MICH) dec. No. 10 Ben Sullivan (NU), 4-0
    157: No. 11 Randall Languis (OSU) dec. No. 10 Ben Sullivan (NU), 7-4 (extra match)
    165: No. 3 Pierce Harger (NU) maj. dec. No. 12 Ben Cox (WIS), 9-0
    165: No. 3 Pierce Harger (NU) maj. dec. No. 7 Ryan LeBlanc (IND), 9-0
    174: No. 8 Colin Zeerip (MICH) injury Kevin Bialka (NU), 3:23
    184: No. 6 Kenny Courts (OSU) maj. dec. Jacob Berkowitz (NU), 10-2
    197: No. 7 Alex Polizzi (NU) dec. No. 9 Nick McDiarmid (MSU), 9-2
    197: No. 7 Alex Polizzi (NU) dec. No. 6 Mario Gonzalez (ILL), 8-3

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