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Carr & Eierman upset; Penn State leads heading into NCAA quarters
Photo: North Carolina’s Kizhan Clarke (back) controlled Iowa’s Jaydin Eierman and eventually beat the No. 2 seed at 141 pounds during the second round of the 2022 NCAA Division I Championships in Detroit.
By Mike Finn & Tristan Warner
DETROIT, Mich. — Seven of the Top 8 seeds in the 157-pound weight class remain alive as the 2022 NCAA Division I Championships head into Friday morning’s quarterfinal round. The only one missing from that weight class was Iowa State’s defending national champion David Carr, who lost in a 2-1 tiebreaker to Oregon State’s Hunter Willits in the second round at 157 pounds Thursday night in Little Caesars Arena.
It was a big night for the Willits family from Pueblo, Colo., as Hunter clinched his victory over the Cyclone sophomore by first riding out Carr in the first phase of the tie-breaker, then escaped in the second phase of the overtime period. This came after his brother Grant Willits scored a 3-1 tiebreaker victory at 141 pounds over Missouri’s Alan Hart to advance to the quarterfinals, which begin Friday at 11 a.m. (EDT)
Another projected finalist to lose in the second round was Iowa’s Jaydin Eierman, who lost his 141-pound match, 4-2 in sudden victory to North Carolina’s Kizhan Clarke, the No. 15 seed who transferred this year from American University. The second-seeded Hawkeye is a four-time All-American who reached the NCAA finals in 2021 before settling for second place.
In the team race, Penn State maintained its first-round lead with 27.5 points as the Nittany Lions will send six wrestlers to the quarterfinals: defending national champions Roman Bravo-Young (133), Nick Lee (141), Carter Starocci (174) and Aaron Brooks (184) as well as 197-pound Max Dean and heavyweight Greg Kerkvliet.
Arizona State stood in second place with 22 points, followed by NC State (21.5).Michigan (21), and Iowa (20.5).
The Sun Devils have four quarterfinalists, including 2021 national runner-up Brandon Courtney (125) and fellow All-Americans Michael McGee (133), Kyle Parco (141) and Cohlton Schultz (Hwt).
The Wolfpack have four wrestlers in the quarters: Tariq Wilson (149), Ed Scott (157) and the Hidlay brothers, Hayden at 174 and Trent at 184.
Michigan features seven wrestlers in the quarterfinals: Nick Suriano (125), Dylan Ragusin (133), Will Lewan (157), Cameron Amine (165), Logan Massa (174), Myles Amine (184) and Mason Parris (Hwt).
The Hawkeye have six quarterfinalists: Austin DeSanto (133), Max Murin (149), Alex Marinelli (165), Michael Kemerer (174), Jacob Warner (197) and Anthony Cassioppi (Hwt).
Weight-by-weight Round 2 Notes
A #2 seed in last year’s tournament, #24 Sam Latona (Virginia Tech) scored takedowns in the first and third periods advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-2 victory over Caleb Smith (App State).
In a battle of returning All-Americans, #5 Killian Cardinale (WVU) fell in a 6-1 hole in the first minute against #21 Taylor LaMont (Utah Valley) but rallied back for a 10-8 OT comeback thriller.
Oregon State’s #11 Brandon Kaylor scored a six-point takedown and nearfall in the second period and never looked back in an upset victory over returning All-American #6 Eric Barnett (Wisconsin), 9-3
One takedown was the difference as #10 Michael DeAugustino (Northwestern) took down #7 Trevor Mastrogiovanni (Oklahoma State), 3-2.
Virginia’s #25 Brandon Courtney continued his strong tournament with an 8-7 victory over Penn’s #9 Michael Colaiocco, who led 5-1 in the second period before the Cavalier took the Quaker to his back to lead 7-6 after two periods.
Iowa’s Austin DeSanto scored takedowns in the second and third periods to beat Pitt’s Micky Phillippi, 5-2.
Top-seed Roman Bravo-Young was leading 4–0 when he pinned Navy’s Kodehandt in 4:46. The Nittany Lion has given his team three bonus points after two rounds.
Oklahoma State’s Daton Fix scored two takedowns, the second coming with seven seconds left in the second period for the victory over NC State’s Kai Orine, who cut the margin to 5-4 on a takedown with 19 seconds left.
In a wild set of 141 round of 16 matches, five matches were decided in overtime, including a major upset when #15 Kizhan Clarke (UNC) locked up a tight double leg and took down #2 Jaydin Eierman (Iowa) with authority in sudden victory to land a 4-2 OT upset. Officials took at least five minutes to review a challenge by Iowa before confirming the winning points.
There was also a controversial finish that saw #3 Sebastian Rivera (Rutgers) outlast upset-minded #19 Chad Red in a back-and-forth battle that ended on an out-of-bounds stall point.
Five seconds of riding time in the tiebreakers was the difference, as #12 CJ Composto (Penn) upset #5 Andrew Alirez (Northern Colorado) in a match that was stalled for several minutes due to a coaches’ review.
#6 Cole Matthews (Pitt) held on for a 3-2 TB win over #11 Matt Kazimir (Columbia), while #8 Grant Willits (Oregon State) triumphed with a 3-1 OT over #9 Allan Hart (Missouri).
Only two higher-seeded wrestlers lost matches as Appalachian State’s #6 Jon Millner lost a 16-11 shootout with Virginia Tech’s #11 Bryce Andonian. A pair of six-point throws helped the Hokie lead 8-3 after one period and 14-6 after two periods.
The other “upset” came when Nebraska’s #10 Ridge Lovett defeated Campbell’s Josh Heil, 8-1. The Husker scored a reversal and two-point nearfall in the second period.
The first top-seeded wrestler to fall at the 2022 NCAA Championships was #1 David Carr (Iowa State), as the returning national champion was downed by #17 Hunter Willits (Oregon State) in a 2-1 tiebreaker. The Beaver first rode the Cyclone for 30 seconds then escaped with two seconds left in the second phase of the tiebreaker to pull off the upset of the tournament thus far. Willits joins his brother Grant and two other Beavers in the quarterfinals through the first five weights.
The No. 2 and 3 seeds, Ryan Deakin of Northwestern, and Jacori Teemer of Arizona State each scored pins to advance to the quarterfinals
Michigan’s #8 Will Lewan scored a takedown in overtime Thursday, as he won his second consecutive match in the sudden victory period by taking down #9 Kaleb Young (Iowa).
This weight class remained pretty much “chalk” as the top seven seeds all advanced to the quarterfinals. The lone exception saw West Virginia’s #9 Peyton Hall defeated Harvard’s #8 Philip Conigliaro 7-3.
The most explosive of the matches came when Wisconsin’s #4 Dean Hamiti outlasted Cornell’s Julian Ramirez 15-11. The Big Red wrestler led 8-3 after one period after he put the Badger on his back for a four-point nearfall. Hamiti fought back to score three takedowns in the second period, then added another takedown and two-point nearfall for the victory.
Pitt’s Jake Wentzel will not qualify for a second NCAA final when the 2021 runner-up lost 7-1 to Ohio State freshman Carson Kharchla.
No major upsets were witnessed at 174, as all four top seeds advanced. Tomorrow’s top-half quarterfinals will feature all four Pennsylvania natives, as #1 Carter Starocci (Penn State) will battle #9 Mike Labriola (Nebraska), while #5 Mike Kemerer (Iowa) will take on #4 Hayden Hidlay (NC State).
Seven of the Top 8 seeds held up in this weight. The only exception came when Illinois #9 Zach Braunagel pinned Iowa State’s Marcus Coleman after scoring a takedown with 1:13 left in sudden victory.
Also, Michigan’s top seed rode Oklahoma State’s Dakota Geer for 4:09 for the 5-1 victory.
The top three seeds at 197 hung on for narrow victories, as Penn State’s #1 Max Dean maintained top control in a wild third period scramble en route to a 4-2 victory over #17 Jay Aiello (Virginia).
Wyoming’s #2 Stephen Buchanan defeated Princeton freshman #18 Luke Stout, 6-3, and Nebraska’s #3 Eric Schultz clung to a 4-3 lead for the narrow victory over Rutgers’ #14 Greg Bulsak.
#13 Jake Woodley (Oklahoma) will return to the quarters for the second straight season after knocking off #4 Pat Brucki (Michigan), 6-3. The Sooner claimed sixth in 2021 as a No. 26 seed.
#21 Gavin Hoffman (Ohio State) kept the upsets coming, knocking off returning NCAA finalist #5 Nino Bonaccorsi (Pitt), 6-4 OT. Hoffman had previously knocked off #12 Tanner Sloan (SDSU) in this morning’s opening round.
Nebraska’s Christian Lance, one of the eight wrestlers in the tournament who have been wrestling collegiately for at least seven seasons handed Air Force’s Wyatt Hendrickson his first loss of the season as the No. 12 Husker scored two takedowns in the final minute to edge the #5 Falcon, 5-4. Hendrickson was 26-0 on the season.
The top two seeds scored bonus points in their victories: #1 Gable Steveson scored a 23-8 technical fall over Missouri’s Zach Elam, while #2 Arizona State’s Cohlton Schultz pinned Cornell’s Lewis Fernandes in 52 seconds. It was the Sun Devil’s second pin of the tournament.
Northwestern’s #9 Lucas Davison defeated Central Michigan’s five-time MAC champion 9-2.