March 21, 2014
NCAA Championships Bracket IV
Tsirtsis Post Match Quotes
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - It took overtime. It took a cut to the eye leaving a bloody gash spilling to his chin.
With it, Jason Tsirtsis became the first freshman wrester in Northwestern school to reach the NCAA Title final.
One second. Tied at 1-1 in overtime, Tsirtsis escaped away from top-seeded Drake Houdashelt (Missouri), getting the point with just one second remaining in the tiebreaker to register a 2-1 decision and advance to the NCAA championship.
It was Tsirtsis' (31-3) second consecutive tie-breaker win after he defeated No. 4 seed Kendric Maple of Oklahoma 2-1 in overtime as well in the NCAA quarterfinals.
After locking in an All-American spot in the morning session, Tsirtis was joined by teammates Pierce Harger (165) and Mike McMullan tabbed as All-Americans as well.
After the second day, the Wildcats have posted 35.5 points and sit tied at No. 11 with Iowa State, Missouri and Northern Iowa.
"[I felt] real confident and treated it like another tournament," Tsirtsis said. "And with that escape, the last couple of seconds, we do those type of things in the room
to where we've got 10, 15 seconds to get an escape. And I was comfortable with nine seconds left. I've gone out from a lot of people with nine seconds left.
In the 149 lbs. final, Tsirtsis will face Oklahoma State's No. 11 seed Joshua Kindig (24-8) live on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. CT Saturday at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla. Kindig defeated No. 15 seed from Lehigh Mitchell Minotti in his semifinal match.
"I know he's a real talented wrestler," Tsirtsis said of Kindig, "Real athletic, real smooth."
Also for the Wildcats, Harger (165) and McMullan (285) won on Friday to stamp themselves with All-American status. Harger will wrestle in the 7th place match and McMullan advanced to fight in the bracket one win away for 3rd place match.
No. 7 seed Harger recorded a 4-0 decision over Big Ten rival Indiana's Ryan LeBlanc. He will face No. 15 seed Daniel Zilverberg of Minnesota Saturday in the 7th place match.
Heavyweight and three-time All-American No. 6 seed McMullan defeated Wisconsin's Connor Medbery and Ohio's Jeremy Johnson to remain alive and wrestle Saturday. McMullan will face No. 3 seed Adam Chalfant of Indiana and the winner advances to the 3rd place match.
Session V of the 2014 NCAA Championships begin at 10:00 a.m. CT live on ESPNU.
Session IV Results
149: No. 5 Jason Tsirtsis (NU) dec. (TB1) No. 1 Drake Houdashelt (MIZZ), 2-1 (TB1)
165: No. 7 Pierce Harger (NU) dec. Ryan LeBlanc (IND), 4-0
165: No. 11 Turtogto Luvsandorj (CIT) dec. (SV1) No. 7 Pierce Harger (NU), 3-1
285: No. 6 Mike McMullan (NU) dec. No. 9 Connor Medbery (WIS), 3-2
285: No. 6 Mike McMullan (NU) dec. No. 10 Jeremy Johnson (OHIO), 6-2
149: No. 5 Jason Tsirtsis (NU) vs. No. 11 Joshua Kindig (OKST)
7th Place Match
165: No. 7 Pierce Harger (NU) vs. No. 15 seed Daniel Zilverberg (MINN)
Wrestlebacks (Winner Reaches 3rd Place Match)
285: No. 6 Mike McMullan (NU) vs. No. 3 Adam Chalfant (IND)
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