Upsets continue and tighten NCAA team race heading into quarterfinals

Updated: March 19, 2015

ST. LOUIS, Mo. — How much does a seed really help a wrestler at the NCAA Division I Championships? Very little according to the 16 wrestlers, who scored second-round upsets over wrestlers who were ranked as high as eighth in their weight class on Thursday night in the Scottrade Center.

And because of the growing number of upsets in this year’s tournament, which saw 34 seeded wrestlers upset in the first round on Thursday, the team race remains as close as what many expected.

NCAA Brackets after Round 2

Heading into Friday’s quarterfinals, which begins at 10 a.m. in the Scottrade Center, Ohio State remains No. 1 in the standings with 23 points and will send five to the quarterfinals, including three-time Logan Stieber who pinned West Virginia’s Mike Morales in 2:10. But the Buckeyes also saw a pair of highly seeded wrestlers lose their second round bout: Johnni DiJulius (4th at 133) and Josh Demas (6th at 157).

All the number one seeds prevailed, including Missouri’s trio of top-ranked wrestlers: Alan Waters at 125, Drake Houdashelt at 149 and J’den Cox. But they were the only Tigers to reach the quarterfinals as Missouri saw four wrestlers lose in the second round, including No. 3 seed Lavion Mayes, who was upset 3-1 in overtime by Oklahoma State’s No. 14 seed Dean Heil.

Overall, the Tigers — ranked No. 1 before the start of the NCAAs — are in fifth place with 18 points and are in a group of Top 10 teams that are separated by eight points … and many saw highly-seeded wrestlers also get upset.

That included Iowa, which is in second place with 21 points and will send five to the quarters but also watched No. 4 seed Brandon Sorenson lose to Penn’s No. 13 seed C.J. Cobb, 4-3, at 149 pounds.

Penn State’s Matt McCutcheon defeated No. 3 Blake Stauffer (Arizona State) to reach the semis at 184. Overall, Penn State is 12-2 after two rounds. (Ashley De Jager photo)

Meanwhile, both Oklahoma State and Penn State, which were not considered strong candidates to win the team title, stand in third and fourth place with 19.5 and 18.5 points, respectively. Both schools will also send five wrestlers apiece to the quarters. For OSU, that Heil and Kyle Crutchmer, the No. 12 seed at 174 pounds, who upset Virginia’s No. 5 seed Blaise Butler, while Penn State got a spark form No. 14 seed Matt McCutcheon, who defeated No. 3 Blake Stauffer of Arizona State, 3-1, in sudden victory.

Tied with Missouri was Nebraska, which was let by top-seed Robert Kokesh, who dominated Purdue’s Chad Welch, 11-0, at 174 pounds.

Virginia had a particularly tough second round as Northern Iowa’s Cooper Moore flattened the No. 4 seed Nick Sulzer at 165 pounds in a defensive fall in 2:19.

“I didn’t know it would happen,” said Cooper, who was seeded No. 13. “I was happy to stack him up and that’s what ended up happening. My coaches did a good job of getting me mentally ready for this tournament. I want to find myself any place on that podium. I want on top of the podium and believe in myself.”

Perhaps the biggest upset came at 125 pounds, where West Virginia’s Zeke Moisey used a first-period takedown and two-point nearfall to upset Cornell’s second-ranked Nahshon Garrett, 5-2. The Big Red junior finished second last year.

“The last time I wrestled him, I could not get to his legs,” said Moisey, who was unseeded before the NCAAs. “Tonight I wanted to get to his legs and I accomplished that. I was able to get a turn off the first takedown. After that I knew he was going to break.”

Nebraska’s Robert Kokesh (top) defeated Purdue’s Chad Welch 11-0 at 174 pounds and has not allowed a point in the tournament. The Husker and remaining top seeds have won all their bouts. (Tim Tushla photo)

This also guaranteed that the 125-pound class would have two new finalists as Illinois’ Jesse Delgado, the two-time champ, was defeated by David Terao of American, 4-2.

The following is a list of Top 8 wrestlers who lost second round matches:

125 – #12 Kory Mines (Edinboro) dec. #5 Sean Boyle (Michigan), 12-9
US Zeke Moisey (West Virginia) dec. #2 Nahshon Garrett (Cornell), 5-3
133 – #12 George DiCamillo (Virginia) dec. #5 Zane Richards (Illinois), 6-4 sv
#13 Cody Brewer (Oklahoma) major dec. #4 Johnni DiJulius (Ohio State), 9-1
141 – #14 Dean Heil (Oklahoma State) dec. #3 Lavion Mayes (Missouri), 3-1 sv
#11 Chris Mecate (Old Dominion) dec. #6 Nick Dardanes (Minnesota), 9-4
149 – #13 C.J. Cobb (Penn) dec. #4 Brandon Sorensen (Iowa), 4-3
157 – US Nick Brascetta (Virginia Tech) dec. #8 John Boyle (American U.), 3-2
#11 Brian Murphy (Michigan) dec. #6 Josh Demas (Ohio State), 4-3
165 – #9 Jackson Morse (Illinois) dec. Peyton Walsh (Navy), 7-2
#13 Cooper Moore (Northern Iowa) pinned #4 Nick Sulzer (Virginia), 2:19
174 – #12 Kyle Crutchmer (Oklahoma State) dec. #5 Blaise Butler (Virginia), 5-2
184- #9 Sam Brooks (Iowa) dec. #8 Dominic Abounader (Michigan), 4-2
#13 Victor Avery (Edinboro) dec. #4 Jack Dechow (Old Dominion), 3-3 rt
#14 Matt McCutcheon (Penn St.) dec. #3 Blake Stauffer (Arizona St.), 3-1 sv
197 – #10 Conner Hartmann (Duke) dec. #7 Abram Ayala (Princeton), 5-2


Northwestern’s Mike McMullan majored Oklahoma’s Ross Larson, 11-2, at heavyweight. The three-time AA will be one of three quarterfinalists for the Wildcats. (Ginger Robinson photo)

The paid attendance for the second round was 18,414, raising the total attendance after two sessions to 36,797.

The following is a list of the Top 15 schools and how many quarterfinalists each qualified.

Rk School Pts Quarterfinalists
1. Ohio State 23 5
2. Iowa 21 5
3. Oklahoma State 19.5 5
4. Penn State 18.5 5
5. Missouri 18 3
5. Nebraska 18 3
7. Cornell 17.5 3
8. Illinois 16 4
9. Michigan 15 3
10. Virginia Tech 15 1


The following are the quarterfinal matchups for Friday, March 20, starting at 10 a.m. CDT.

125 pounds

#1 Alan Waters (Missouri) vs. US David Terao (American)

#12 Kory Mines (Edinboro) vs. #4 Nathan Tomasello (Ohio State)

#3 Joey Dance (Va. Tech) vs. #6 Thomas Gilman (Iowa)

#7 Eddie Klimara (Oklahoma State) vs. Zeke Moisey (West Virginia)

133 pounds

#1 Chris Dardanes (Minnesota) vs. #8 Kevin Devoy (Drexel)

#12 George DiCamillo (Virginia) vs. #13 Chris Brewer (Oklahoma)

#3 Cory Clark (Iowa) vs. #6 Earl Hall (Iowa State)

#7 James Gulibon (Penn State) vs. #2 Ryan Taylor (Wisconsin)

141 pounds

#1 Logan Stieber (Ohio State) vs. #9 Anthony Abidin (Nebraska)

US Kevin Jack (NC State) vs. #4 Devin Carter (Va. Tech)

#14 Dean Heil (Oklahoma State) vs. #11 Chris Mecate (Old Dominion)

#7 Anthony Ashnault (Rutgers) vs. #2 Mitchell Port (Edinboro)

149 pounds

#1 Drake Houdashelt (Missouri) vs. #8 Alex Richardson (Old Dominion)

#5 Chris Villalonga (Cornell) vs. #13 C.J. Cobb (Penn)

#3 David Habat (Edinboro) vs. #11 Twyan Claxton (Ohio U.)

#7 Sal Mastriani (Va. Tech) vs. #2 Jason Tsirtsis (Northwestern)

157 pounds

#1 Isaiah Martinez (Illinois) vs. US Nick Brascetta (Va. Tech)

#12 Mitch Minotti (Lehigh) vs. #4 James Green (Nebraska)

#3 Dylan Ness (Minnesota) vs. #11 Brian Murphy (Michigan)

#7 Ian Miller (Kent State) vs. l#2 Brian Realbuto (Cornell)

165 pounds

#1 Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State) vs. #9 Jackson Morse (Illinois)

#5 Bo Jordan (Ohio State) vs. #13 Cooper Moore (Northern Iowa)

#3 Isaac Jordan (Wisconsin) vs. #6 Taylor Moore (Indiana)

#7 Pierce Harger (Northwestern) vs. #15 Ethan Ramos (North Carolina)

174 pounds

#1 Robert Kokesh (Nebraska) vs. #8 Tyler Wilps (Pitt)

#12 Kyle Crutchmer (Oklahoma State) vs. US Joe Latham (Oregon State)

#3 Mike Evans (Iowa) vs. #6 Logan Storley (Minnesota)

#7 Zach Epperly (Va. Tech) vs. #2 Matt Brown (Penn State)

18 4 pounds

#1 Gabe Dean (Cornell) vs. #9 Sam Brooks (Iowa)

#5 Taylor Meeks (Oregon State) vs. #13 Victor Avery (Edinboro)

#14 Matt McCutcheon (Penn State) vs. US Kenny Courts (Ohio State)

#7 Nathaniel Brown (Lehigh) vs. #2 Max Thomusseit (Pitt)

197 pounds

#1 J’den Cox (Missouri) vs. #8 Max Huntley (Michigan)

#5 Scott Schiller (Minnesota) vs. #4 Kyle Snyder (Ohio State)

#3 Kyven Gadson (Iowa State) vs. #6 Nathan Burak (Iowa)

#10 Conner Hartmann (Duke) vs. #2 Morgan McIntosh (Penn State)


#1 Nick Gwiazdowski (NC State) vs. #8 James Lawson (Penn State)

#5 Connor Medbery (Wisconsin) vs. #4 Austin Marsden (Oklahoma State)

US Spencer Myers (Maryland) vs. #6 Adam Coon (Michigan)

#7 Blaize Cabell (Northern Iowa) vs. #2 Mike McMullan (Northwestern)


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