March 21, 2008
Brackets (After Session Three)
Team Standings (After Session Three)
ST. LOUIS -- Top-seeded heavyweight Dustin Fox advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Championships Friday with a 2-1 decision over Central Michigan's eighth-seeded Bubba Gritter. Fox has clinched his second-career All-American finish, while eighth-seeded Brandon Precin and third-seeded Mike Tamillow need wins Friday night to seal top-eight finishes.
Seniors Nick Hayes and Ryan Lang have been eliminated from the tournament and wrestled their last matches as Northwestern Wildcats. In his first national tournament, redshirt freshman Keith Sulzer was eliminated after posting a 1-2 record in his first championships. Mike Tamillow remains alive in the consolation bracket, needing one win to come back and secure an All-American finish.
Session Four begins at 6:00 p.m. Friday evening and will be televised by ESPNU and ESPN360. As a team, Northwestern sits in 15th.
Fox continued his march through the championship bracket with a 2-1 decision over eighth-seeded Bubba Gritter of Central Michigan. The first period ended with no score after a full three minutes of posturing and walking headlocks to the edge of the mat.
The top-seeded heavyweight started down in the second period and got his escape to go up 1-0. Although Fox's matches in the postseason have been high scoring, this one was a typical low-scoring heavyweight affair. The wrestlers stayed neutral for the rest of the period and Fox took a 1-0 lead into the third.
On top to start the final period, Fox accumulated the critical one minute of riding time by keeping Gritter down on the mat. The Chippewa came close to escapes near the edge of the mat, but could not even the score. Every time Gritter got to his feet, Fox lifted the heavyweight off the ground and planted him back into the mat.
Gritter eventually got his escape to even the score at 1-1, but Fox had the riding time advantage to take the decision, 2-1. The top-seeded Fox will face Oklahoma State's Jared Rosholt in the semifinals Friday night. The fifth-seeded Rosholt upset Iowa's fourth-seeded Matt Fields in the quarterfinals.
Fox has already secured his second-career All-America finish by virtue of advancing past the quarterfinals.
The eighth-seeded Precin went the distance with top-seeded Angel Escobedo of Indiana, and despite wrestling a spectacular match against the Big Ten and Midlands Champion, he could not pull of the upset and clinch his first All-American finish.
The first period ended scoreless with Precin using solid defense to fend off several of Escobedo's attacks. Escobedo started down in the second and although Precin gave a tough ride, Escobedo took a 1-0 lead with a late escape.
With Precin down to start the third, he got an escape to force the wrestlers back to neutral. Precin came within seconds of scoring a critical reversal, and despite vehement protests by the NU coaching staff, the Wildcat had to settle for the one-point escape.
The sophomore got in on a double-leg shot, but could not convert and fended off another advance before the end of regulation.
After a scoreless first sudden victory period, the match went to tiebreakers with Indiana down to start things off. Precin rode out the first tiebreaker to put himself in a position where an escape would win the match.
The escape did not come for Precin and the match went to a second sudden victory period where at the end of the second set of tiebreakers, the match would be determined by riding time in the extra session. Hayes fell victim to this in his quarterfinal match against Steve Luke of Michigan at the Big Ten Championships.
Precin started down in the second tiebreaker, and even though he escaped, it took him close to 20 seconds to do so. He needed to keep Escobedo down for long enough to erase the riding time advantage. He could not keep the top-seeded Hoosier down and his upset bid fell short. Precin faces Bloomsburg's seventh-seeded Michael Sees for All-America status Friday night.
Tamillow was the lone Wildcat to win a match in consolation action during Friday's first session, defeating Army's Richard Starks by 12-1 major decision. Tamillow got on top early with a takedown. Starks had Tamillow on one foot, but the third-seeded senior found a way to turn that position to his advantage and get on top, 2-0. Tamillow turned Starks for a two-point near fall and led 4-0 after one period with plenty of riding time.
Tamillow added an escape and takedown in the second, and two more takedowns in the third, to take the 12-1 major decision with riding time.
To stay alive in the consolation bracket, Tamillow handled Rider's 11th-seeded TJ Morrison, 8-1. Tamillow started early with a takedown and continued to put up points. He gave up an escape late, but won the match 8-1. The third-seeded Tamillow faces fifth-seeded Max Askren of Missouri Friday evening. The winner clinches All-American status.
Sulzer's first NCAA Championships came to an end Friday morning as he fell to 12th-seeded Garrett Scott of Penn State in the consolation bracket. Sulzer struck first in the match with a takedown in the first period. Scott was able to get free to close to 2-1 after the first.
The wrestlers started neutral in the second and the period was filled with several confusing scrambles. However, all the rolling on the mat did not result in any points and Sulzer went to the third with a 2-1 lead.
Scott started down in the third and was able to reverse the Wildcat to take a 3-2 lead. Sulzer could not get the equalizing escape and was ridden out for the period. With riding time, Scott took the match 4-2 to end Sulzer's season.
At 149 lbs., the 11th-seeded Lang's tournament came to an end as he fell to Oklahoma's William Rowe by an 18-10 major decision.
At late rush by the 12th-seeded Hayes was not enough to top sixth-seeded Alton Lucas of Hofstra in the consolation bracket. Hayes' fell 8-4 to end his tournament and NU career.
After a scoreless first, Hayes got an escape early in the second to lead 1-0. Lucas got a takedown and near fall points near the edge of the mat to take a 4-1 lead after the second. Lucas escaped to go ahead 5-1 in the third and then Hayes began his comeback. He got his first takedown of the match and then forced a stalling call on Lucas, but he could not complete the comeback.
For complete brackets, results and live scoring, visit NCAA.com
Northwestern Results and Play-by-Play
125: #1 Angel Escobedo (IU) dec, #8 Precin (NU), 3-2 TB2
1: Neutral, No Score
2: IU Down, 1 ESC (IU)
3: NU Down, 1 ESC (NU)
SV1: No Score
TB: IU Down, No Score
TB: NU Down, No Score
SV 2: No Score
TB2: 1 ESC (NU)
TB2: 1 ESC (IU)
Riding Time (IU)
285: #1 Fox (NU) dec. #8 Bubba Gritter (CMU), 2-1
1: Neutral, No Score
2: NU Down, 1 ESC (NU)
3: CMU Down, 1 ESC (CMU)
Riding Time (NU)
141: #12 Garrett Scott (PSU) dec. #11 Sulzer (NU), 4-2
1: 2 TD (NU), 1 ESC (PSU)
3: PSU Down, 2 REV (PSU)
149: William Rowe (Oklahoma) maj dec. #11 Lang (NU), 18-10
1: 2 TD (OU), 1 ESC (NU), 2 TD (OU), 1 ESC (NU), 2 TD (OU), 1 ESC (NU), 2 TD (OU), 1 ESC (NU)
2: 2 TD (OU), 1 ESC (NU), 2 TD (NU), 1 ESC (NU), 2 TD (OU)
3: 1 ESC (NU), 2 TD (OU), 1 ESC (NU), 2 TD (NU), 1 ESC (OU)
Riding Time (OU)
174: #6 Alton Lucas (Hofstra) dec. #12 Hayes (NU), 8-4
1: Neutral, No Score
2: NU Down, 1 ESC (NU), 2 TD (HOF), 2 NF (HOF)
3: HOF Down, 1 ESC (HOF), 2 TD (NU), 1 ESC (HOF), 1 STALL (NU), 2 TD (HOF)
197: #3 Tamillow (NU) maj dec. Richard Starks (Army), 12-1
1: 2 TD (NU), 2 NF (NU)
2: NU Down, 1 ESC (NU), 2 TD (NU)
3: Neutral, 2 TD (NU), 1 ESC (Army), 2 TD (NU)
Riding Time (NU)
197: #3 Tamillow (NU) dec. #11 TJ Morrison (Rider), 8-1
1: 2 TD (NU)
2: 2 TD (NU)
3: 1 ESC (NU), 2 TD (NU), 1 ESC (Rider)
Riding Time (NU)
Session Four Matches
285: #1 Fox (NU) vs. #5 Rosholt (Oklahoma State)
125: #8 Precin (NU) vs. #7 Sees (Bloomsburg)
197: #3 Tamillow (NU) vs. #5 Askren (Missouri)