20 upsets highlight first round of NCAAs

Updated: March 21, 2013

The following are notes on the first round of the NCAA Division I Nationals in Des Moines, Iowa, March 21.

NCAA Session-1-Brackets

All-American Vinson among notable first-round upset victims

            If it’s the NCAA national tournament, there are going to be first-round upsets … and the 2013 Nationals were no exception as 20 ranked wrestlers suffered setbacks in their first-round matchups in Wells Fargo Arena, March 21, in Des Moines, Iowa.

            The 157-pound weight class suffered the most losses by seeded wrestlers, including Lehigh’s No. 3 Joey Napoli and Nebraska’s James Green.


Kevin Tao of American University got in deep against No. 3 seed Donnie Vinson of Binghamton and produced a 3-2 tiebreaker win at 149 pounds. (Ginger Robinson image)

Kevin Tao of American University got in deep against No. 3 seed Donnie Vinson of Binghamton and produced a 3-2 tiebreaker win at 149 pounds. (Ginger Robinson image)

          But perhaps the most upset wrestler, literally, was Binghamton’s No. 3 seed Donnie Vinson, who lost to David Tao of American University in a 3-2 tiebreaker at 149 pounds. This marks the second straight year that Vinson lost a first-round match. Last year as a No. 4 seed, the Bearcat lost a first-round match, but came back to win seven straight All-American bouts to earn an All-American third-place finish. The only difference for Vinson in the 2013 NCAAs is that the senior won a pigtail bout, beating Ohio State’s Ian Paddock, 9-5, to set up his match with Tao.

            First-round losers will still have a chance to earn at least third-place but must win at least four wrestlebacks, which begin at 6:30 Thursday night.

Missouri's unseeded Kyle Bradley (left) dropped No. 4 seed James Green of Nebraska into the wrestlebacks with a 6-5 tiebreaker win at 157 pounds

Missouri’s unseeded Kyle Bradley (left) dropped No. 4 seed James Green of Nebraska into the wrestlebacks with a 6-5 tiebreaker win at 157 pounds. (Ashley DeJager image)

The following is a list of all first-round upsets to seeded wrestlers:

125 — Dominic Parisi (Appalachian State) dec. #5 Jarrod Garnett (Virginia Tech), 7-6

            Evan Silver (Stanford) dec. #11 Nikko Triggas (Ohio State), 5-2

            Steve Bonanno (Hofstra) dec.  #10 Josh Martinez (Air Force), 9-2

133 — Vincent Dellafave (Rutgers) dec.  #12 Jordan Conaway (Penn State), 3-1 sv

            Dane Harlowe (Boston U.) dec. George DiCamillo (Virginia), 9-7

141 — Zach Neibert (Virginia Tech) dec. #11 Mike Nevinger (Cornell), 3-1 tb

149 — Kevin Tao (American U.) dec. #3 Donnie Vinson (Binghamton), 3-2 tb

            Drake Houdashelt (Missouri) dec. #11 Andrew Alton (Penn State), 4-1

157 — Zac Cibula (Rider) pinned #9 Frank Hickman (Bloomsburg), 2:14

            Kyle Bradley (Missouri) dec. #4 James Green (Nebraska), 6-5 tb 2

            Taylor Walsh (Indiana) dec. #3 Joey Napoli (Lehigh), 6-0

            Spartak Chino (Ohio) pinned #11 Walter Peppelman (Harvard), 1:05

            Josh Demas (Ohio State) dec. #10 Roger Pena (Oregon State), 7-6

165 — Mike Moreno (Iowa State) dec. Nick Moore (Iowa), 5-3

174 — Hunter Gamble (Gardner Webb) dec. #9 Nathan Brown (Lehigh), 5-3

            John-Martin Cannon (Buffalo) dec. #12 Matthew Miller (Navy), 5-4

            Matt Mougin (Northern Illinois) dec. #11 Blake Stauffner (Arizona State), 7-5

            Tanner Weatherman (Iowa State) dec. #10 Dan Yates (Michigan), 6-4

184 — Max Thomusseit (Pitt) dec. #9 Chris Chionuma (Oklahoma State),             4-1

197 — Jackson Hein (Wisconsin) dec. #12 Brent Haynes (Missouri), 5-3 sv


Penn State uses bonus points to lead field

            At first glance it looked like two-time defending champ Penn State might be in trouble when the Lions lost first-round bouts in three of the first four weight classes as Jordan Conaway (133), Bryan Pearsall (141) and Andrew Alton (149) fell into the wrestlebacks.

            But the Lions, who qualified all ten weights, would win six first-round matches, and benefitted by pins by 165-pound David Taylor (2:52) and 184-pound Ed Ruth (in 28 seconds), while 125-pound Nico Megaludis won by technical fall and both 157-pound Dylan Alton (who won two matches) and Matt Brown collected major decisions.

            Meanwhile of the other four teams that qualified ten wrestlers for the Nationals: Oklahoma State stood in second place, just ahead of Minnesota. Meanwhile, Missouri was tied for eighth place and Virginia Tech was xxx.

            The Cowboys won seven matches, including an 18-second fall by heavyweight Alan Gelogaev and major decisions by Jon Morrison (133), Jordan Oliver (149), Alex Dieringer (157) and Tyler Caldwell. Top-seed Chris Perry (174) also won his first-round match, but barely held on to edge Oregon State’s Cody Weishoff, 5-4, after the Beaver recorded two reversals.

            Eight Gophers won first-round matches but only picked up three bonus points on major decisions by Nick Dardanes (141), Kevin Steinhaus (184) and Scott Schiller (197). 149-pound Dylan Ness, a defending national runner-up, needed a late takedown to beat Daniel Young of Army, 4-2.

            Missouri, which only had four wrestlers seeded, got upset wins by 149-pound Blake Houdashelt (a 4-1 win over Penn State’s Andrew Alton) and 157-pound Kyle Bradley (a 6-5 tiebreaker win over Nebraska’s No. 4 seed James Green) en route to claiming seven wins. Another unseeded Tiger also almost provided an upset at 141 pounds before Nick Hucke lost in sudden victory to Oregon State’s No. 3 seed Mike Mangrum, 6-4,  in at match that featured two video reviews.

Virginia Tech saw just four of its ten wrestlers reach the second round, including Zach Neibert, who earned an overtime win over 2012 All-American Mike Nevinger of Cornell. The other wins came from 149-pound Nick Brascetta over Wyoming’s Brandon Richardson, 157-pound Jesse Dong, an 8-0 major decision over Central Michgan’s Luke Smith and Peter Yates’ 5-3 win over Buffalo’s Mark Lewandowski.

Among the Hokies’ key losses came at 125 pounds where fifth-seed Jarrod Garnett gave up two first-period takedowns and lost 7-6 to Appalachian State’s Dominic Parisi.


The following are the Top 15 teams

1.  Penn State 


2.  Oklahoma St. 


3.  Minnesota 


4.  Iowa 


5.  Iowa St. 


5.  Northern Iowa 


5.  Oregon St. 


8.  Missouri 


8.  North Carolina 


10.  Oklahoma 


11.  Illinois 


12.  Boise State 


12.  Nebraska 


12.  Ohio 


12.  Ohio St. 




Home state advantage

            While Iowa was expected to contend for the national title and saw seven of nine wrestlers win first-round matches — led by a 1:56 pin by Tony Ramos at 133 and a major decision by two-time champ Matt McDonough at 125 — it was the other instate schools — Iowa State and Northern Iowa — that were nearly as impressive.

            Iowa State, which is the official host for the 2013 Nationals, seven seven to Des Moines, and four remained in the championship bracket as 165-pound Mike Moreno scored a 5-3 upset of Iowa’s Nick Moore and 197-pound Kyven Gadson pinned Illinois’ Mario Gonzales in 1:42. Also staying alive in the championship bracket were 174-pound Tanner Weatherman, who upset Michigan’s No. 10 seed Dan Yate and heavyweight Matt Gibson, who won both a pigtail (via a major decision) and first-round match.

            Northern Iowa, with only four wrestlers in the tournament, went a combined 5-0 with Levi Wolfensperger pinning Davidson’s Anthony Elias in 1:39 and Joey Lazor majoring Penn State’s Bryan Pearsall, 12-4, after earlier winning a pigtail bout.