2024 NCAA Semifinal Highlights

Updated: March 23, 2024

Photo: Penn State’s Levi Haines (right) actually trailed Virginia Tech’s Bryce Andonian in their 157-pound semifinal before the Nittany Lion scored a fall. Overall, the Nittany Lions earned another NCAA title and will send six to Saturday night’s finals. (Ginger Robinson photo)

The following are highlights from the 20 semifinal matches that took place Friday night at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Mo., where Penn State clinched a third straight team championship in commanding style.

Updated Brackets

Update Team Scores

Top-10 Teams

Pl. School (Finalists) Pts
1. Penn State (6) 148
2. Michigan (2) 64.5
3. Iowa (1) 60
4t. Arizona State (2) 59.5
4t. Iowa State (1) 59.5
6. Cornell (1) 58.5
7. Ohio State (2) 57
8. Oklahoma State (2) 55
9. Virginia Tech (1) 53
10. Nebraska (0) 48.5

125 pounds

#8 Richard Figueroa (Arizona State) dec. #12 Anthony Noto (Lock Haven) 4-3 — The Sun Devil scored the match’s only takedown in the second period, shortly after Noto opened the frame with an escape.

#3 Drake Ayala (Iowa) dec. #10 Eric Barnett (Wisconsin) 3-2 — The Hawkeye’s only takedown game in the first period, but only after Iowa won a challenge before the first period ended. After a Barnett escape to start the third, the Badger forced action, earning one point stalling on Ayala.

133 pounds

#1 Daton Fix (Oklahoma State) dec. #5 Dylan Ragusin (Michigan) 3-2 tb — Most of the action and excitement happened in overtime, which was created after both men scored escapes in regulation and the remaining points came during the tiebreaker.

The overtime went to the tiebreakers where Ragusin escaped with two seconds left, but Fix was called for stalling. After OSU threw the brick, the challenge was won and stalling was removed. Tiebreaker 2 started with Fix on bottom. Ragusin got called for locked hands 2-2. Ragusin gave Fix and escape with eight seconds left.

#6 Vito Arujau (Cornell) major dec. #2 Ryan Crookham 13-3 — Arujau scored a takedown early, Crookham with an escape. Arujau got deep on a double and lifted Crookham. After taking him to the mat, a scramble ensued before takedown was called. Crookham escaped to start the second. Arujau reattacked a Crookham shot for the score and a 9-2 lead going into the third. Arujau escaped to start the third and followed that up with a takedown for the major decision.

141 pounds

#1 Jesse Mendez (Ohio State) dec. #5 Anthony Echemendia (Iowa State) 6-4 — The Buckeye sophomore scored a takedown midway through the first period, then build his lead to 4-0 on a second-period escape. They Cyclone fought back with a takedown of his own in the third period and had the Buckeye in bear hug but could not score as the match ended.

#2 Beau Bartlett (Penn State) dec. #6 Lachlan McNeil (North Carolina) 5-1 — Down 1-0 heading into the third period, the Nittany Lion opened the frame with a reversal, the scored a three-point near fall with a minute left.

Virginia Tech’s Caleb Henson made his school and his native state Georgia proud with a 1-0 victory over No. 1-seed Ridge Lovett of Nebraska. (Ginger Robinson photo)

149 pounds

#4 Caleb Henson (Virginia Tech) dec. #1 Ridge Lovett (Nebraska) 1-0 — The Hokie avenged an earlier-season loss to the top-ranked Husker by scoring the only point on an escape with 1:14 left in the match.

#6 Austin Gomez (Michigan) dec. #2 Kyle Parco (Arizona State) 11-7 — The Wolverine scored three takedowns, including two in the first period as the second period ended in a flurry. Gomez added a third takedown with 1:23 left.

157 pounds

#1 Levi Haines (Penn State) pinned #12 Bryce Andonian (Virginia Tech), 6:49 — The defending runner-up actually trailed the Hokie 4-0 in the second period before the Nittany Lion scored two takedowns to take an 8-5 lead with 1:14 left. The second take also created a scramble where Andonian got caught and his back and led to the fall.

#2 Jacori Teemer (Arizona State) major dec. #6 Daniel Cardenas (Stanford) 12-2 — After a scoreless first period, the Sun Devil actually trailed his Pac-12 rival 1-0 when a strong double by Teemer with 25 seconds left in the second put Cardenas on his back to take a 7-0 lead. Teamer than added another takedown with one minute left to also give him a riding time point.

165 pounds

Iowa State’s David Carr celebrated after scoring a late takedown to beat Big 12 rival and two-time champ Keegan O’Toole in their 165-pound semifinal. (Ginger Robinson photo)

#4 David Carr (Iowa State) dec. #1 Keegan O’Toole (Missouri), 8-6 — The Cyclone senior avenged a 2023 NCAA final and 2024 Big 12 loss to the two-time NCAA champion when he scored a deciding takedown with 10 seconds left. This came after the Tiger took a 6-4 lead with 53 seconds left. After the match, Carr’s father Nate ran to the mat to give him a hug.

#2 Mitchell Mesenbrink (Penn State) major dec. #6 Michael Caliendo (Iowa) 17-9 — The Nittany Lion fresh actually trailed 3-0 when the Hawkeye score a takedown midway through the first period. But Mesenbrink eventually tied the bout on a takedown with late in the first frame, then added two takedowns in both the second and third periods.

174 pounds

#9 Carter Starocci (Penn State) dec. #4 Shane Griffith (Michigan) 2-0 — In this battle of former champions, the three-timer from PSU scored his points by first riding the Wolverine the entire second period — for an eventual riding time points — then scored an escape 13 seconds in the third period.

#6 Rocco Welsh (Ohio State) dec. #7 Lennox Wolak (Columbia) 4-1 sv — The Buckeye’s true freshman scored the bout’s only takedown 36 second into sudden victory.

184 pounds

#1 Parker Keckeisen (Northern Iowa) major dec. #4 Trey Munoz (Oregon State) 10-2 — The Panther earned the major and a second NCAA final appearance when he scored his final of three takedowns as the third period ended.

#3 Dustin Plott (Oklahoma State) major dec. #2 Isaiah Salazar (Minnesota) 11-2 — The Cowboy set up a third meeting with Keckeisen when he first scored two takedowns in the second period, then added another with 28 seconds left and rode out the Gopher for team bonus points.

197 pounds

#1 Aaron Brooks (Penn State) won by TF over #12 Rocky Elam (Missouri) 17-2 — The three-time defending champ put on a takedown clinic against the Tiger, scoring two takedowns in the first, one in the second and two more in the third; ending the bout with 1:15 left.

#2 Trent Hidlay (NC State) dec. #3 Tanner Sloan (South Dakota State) 4-1 — After a scoreless first, Sloan escaped to start the second before Hidlay scored on a powerful double at the 1:04 mark and rode Sloan out. Hidlay picks neutral to start the third period and the period ended.

Michigan’s Lucas Davison (top) ignored his No. 10 seed to beat No. 3 Wyatt Hendrickson of Air Force in a heavyweight semifinal. (Ginger Robinson photo)


#1 Greg Kerkvliet (Penn State) dec. #4 Cohlton Schultz (Arizona State) 8-1 — The Nittany Lion returned to the NCAA finals when he scored a takedown in both the first and second period against the 2022 NCAA finalist.

#10 Lucas Davison (Michigan) dec. #3 Wyatt Hendrickson (Air Force) 13-7 — The transfer from Northwestern made sure the Wolverines featured a big man NCAA finalist for a second straight year. After the Falcon opened the bout on a quick takedown, the Wolverine came right back to score two takedowns in the final 50 seconds of the first frame, then added another 23 seconds gone in the second and led 11-4 lead heading into the third period, where Hendrickson scored another takedown with 1:24 left.