Bonus points give Ohio State small edge over Penn State after NCAA first round

Updated: March 17, 2016

NEW YORK — Top-ranked Penn State saw its nine wrestlers record a nearly-perfect winning percentage but Ohio State used bonus points to lead the Nittany Lions by ½ point following the first round of the 2016 NCAA Division I Championships in Madison Square Garden.


Overall, the Buckeyes scored 16.5 points, including 10.5 that came off four pins — including the first-ever college fall by 2015 World freestyle champion Kyle Snyder — and a technical fall. The other three Ohio State falls were by 133-pound Johnni DiJulius and brothers Micah and Bo Jordan at 141 and 165 pounds, respectively.

Penn State’s Jimmy Gulibon (left) dominated Missouri’s No. 5 Matt Manley 17-2 in their first-round match at 141 pounds. Overall, Penn State went 8-1 Wednesday afternoon. (Ginger Robinson pix)

Penn State’s nine wrestlers won eight bouts Thursday morning and three Nittany Lions tallied bonus points, including a pin by 157-pound Jason Nolf and a pair of technical falls by 141-pound James Gulibon and top-ranked Zain Retherford at 149 pounds. Gulibon, unseeded in the tournament, scored one of the bigger upsets on the day when the Nittany Lion blank No. 5 seed Matt Manley of Missouri, 15-0. Penn State’s other unseeded wrestler Gino Morelli upset North Carolina’s No. 11 seed John Staudemayer, 5-3.



The second round championship bracket and first round of wrestlebacks in the 86th annual national championship begins at 7 p.m (EDT) in Madison Square Garden. The first round of the tournament drew 17,761 fans to the first-ever nationals held in MSG.

Overall, 29 seeded wrestlers suffered setbacks with six of those upsets coming at heavyweight, but the biggest upsets of seeds came at 174 pounds where five ranked wrestlers lost, including three of the top four seeds.

Iowa State’s Lelund Weatherspoon was among those surprise victors when the Cyclone defeated No. 2 seed Brian Realbuto, 7-4, in a match that saw his coaches help the injured Big Red wrestler off the mat. Meanwhile, Oklahoma’s unseeded Matt Reed jumped out to 13-3 first-period lead and held on to beat Missouri’s No. 3 Blaise Butler, 16-9; and Navy’s Jadaen Bernstein knocked North Carolina’s No. 4 Ethan Ramos out of the championship bracket.

Another high seed to lose was Edinboro’s No. 3 Vic Avery, who lost 7-5 to Buffalo’s Joe Ariola at 184 pounds.

A near upset came at 141 pounds where No. 2 Joey McKenna of Stanford appeared to give up a late takedown to Central Michigan’s Zach Horan with three seconds left in regulation that would have given the Chippewa a 3-1 victory. Instead a video review erased that takedown and forced overtime where the Cardinal freshman rode out Horan in a tiebreaker for a 2-1 victory.

Ohio State’s Jake Ryan (top) led 8-5 before Oklahoma State’s Joe Smith scored a late takedown and benefitted from a stalling point against Ryan to win in overtime. (Ginger Robinson photo)

Among the other notable matches that took place Wednesday afternoon saw Oklahoma State’s Joe Smith defeat Ohio State’s Jake Ryan, 11-9, in sudden victory. Smith is the son of Oklahoma State head coach John Smith, while Ryan is the son of Buckeye head coach Tom Ryan.

The Cowboy jumped scored the first takedown before giving up three takedowns to Ryan, who led 8-5 before Smith forced OT by scoring a late takedown and earning a stalling point against the Buckeye freshman.

Top 10 Team Breakdown after Round 1 of NCAAs

Pl. School (Entries) W-L Bonus Total
1. Ohio State (8) 6-2 10.5 16.5
2. Penn State (9) 8-1 8 16
3. Nebraska (10) 9-2 4 13
4. Iowa (9) 6-3 5 11
5t. Michigan (7) 7-1 3 10
5t. Missouri (9) 5-4 5 10
5t. Oklahoma State (10) 7-3 3 10
8t. NC State (8) 6-2 3 9
8t. Virginia Tech (8) 7-1 2 9
10t. Illinois (6) 5-1 1.5 6.5
10t. Rutgers (10) 3-7 3.5 6.5


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