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2014 NCAA Championships • 165 pounds
The following is a breakdown of the 165-pound weight class at the 2014 NCAA Division I
All-American Placement Highlights
3rd Place — Steven Monk (North Dakota St.) pinned Nick Sulzer (Virginia), 5:26 — Trailing 6-0 after two periods, the Bison scored a takedown with 1:35 left and quickly caught the Cavalier in a cradle for the fall. Sulzer built his lead with a first-period takedown and second-period reversal.
5th Place — Michael Moreno (Iowa St.) dec. Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (Citadel) 9-3 — The Cyclone turned a second-period reversal into a three-point nearfall and ended with a 2:10 riding time advantage.
7th Place — Daniel Zilverberg (Minnesota) dec. Pierce Harger (Northwestern), 6-2 — The Gopher clinched the victory by riding the Wildcat the entire third period, when he also put Harger on his back for two. The two swapped a takedown and reversal in the second period.
No. 1 David Taylor (Penn State) pinned No. 8 Mike Moreno (Iowa State), 3:19 — Leading just 2-0 after a first-period takedown, the Nittany Lion scored his third fall in as many matches
No. 4 Steven Monk (North Dakota State) pinned Josh Veltre (Bloomsburg), 6:41 — The Bison was leading 4-0 when he caught Veltre in a near-side cradle to score the fall. Monk scored both his points off a takedowns in the first and third periods.
No. 3 Nick Sulzer (Virginia) dec. No. 11 Turtogtokh Luvsandorj (Citadel), 4-3 tb — The Cavalier clinched the overtime victory by first riding out the Bulldog for 30 seconds, then escaping three seconds into the second tiebreaker. Luvsandorj jumped out to a takedown 30 seconds into the match and led 3-2 in the third before before he was penalized for stalling with 49 seconds left.
No. 2 Tyler Caldwell (Oklahoma State) major dec. No. 7 Pierce Harger (Northwestern), 14-2 — The Cowboy turned a decision into a major by scoring a fourth takedown with 15 seconds left, then added a two-point nearfall and a 1:43 riding time advantage.
• Despite the fact that Chattanooga’s No. 6 Corey Mock built up a 1:44 riding time advantage, No. 11 seeded Turtogtokh Luvsandorj of Citadel defeated his Southern Conference rival, 4-3.
• Penn State’s David Taylor built up over five minutes of riding time before he earned his second fall of the tournament, pinning Stanford’s Jim Wilson with five seconds left in the match.
• There will not be a No. 5 vs. No. 12 match-up in the second round of the NCAAs at this weight as both seeded wrestlers lost first-round matches. First, Josh Veltre (Bloomsburg) defeated No. 5 seed Nick Moore of Iowa, 15-7. That was followed by Indiana’s Ryan LeBlanc defeating No. 12 Jackson Morse of Illinois, 5-3. Veltre stood 22-5 on the season before the NCAAs, while the Hoosier was 35-13.
• There were four pins at 165, including two by the top two-seeded wrestlers. First No. 1 David Taylor of Penn State — the three-time finalist and 2012 champion — gave up a takedown to South Dakota State’s Joe Brewster before scoring a fall in 2:59. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State’s No. 2 Tyler Caldwell pinned Utah Valley’s Curtis Cook in 3:36. The other falls came when Northwestern’s Pierce Harger — seeded 7th — pinned Missouri’s Zach Toal in 3:32, while Iowa State’s Mike Moreno — a returning AA who is seeded 8th — who flattened Rider’s Ramon Santiago in 2:31
- David Taylor, Penn State (2nd, 2011; Champion, 2012; 2nd, 2013)
- Tyler Caldwell, Oklahoma State (5th, 2010; 2nd, 2011; 3rd, 2013)
- Nick Moreno, Iowa State (6th, 2013)
- Nick Sulzer, Virginia (8th, 2013)
If there is a prohibitive favorite at any weight class this NCAA, it has to be Penn State’s David Taylor, whose Nationals experience has been bittersweet for the three-time finalist. While the Nittany Lion did win the 2012 championships and also earn the Hodge Trophy, Taylor lost to Arizona State’s Bubba Jenkins in the 2011 final and to Cornell’s Kyle Dake in last year’s championship. This year, Taylor enters the NCAAs with 29-0 record with bonus-point wins in 28 of those bouts.
The only man who was able to keep a match close was Oklahoma State Tyler Caldwell, who lost to Taylor 9-1 in the Southern Scuffle but cut the losing margin to 5-2 later in a dual in State College. This Cowboy, who finished third last March, is a three-time All-American, with two of those honors coming in 2010-11 (including a second-place finish) while wearing an Oklahoma Sooner singlet.
There are only four returning All-Americans at this weight class. One is Virginia’s Nick Sulzer, who enters the NCAAs with a 32-1 record after claiming an ACC championship. The other is Iowa State’s Mike Moreno, who defeated Sulzer in last year’s NCAAs and eventually claimed sixth place.
Iowa’s Nick Moore, who defeated Caldwell during the regular season, is expected to earn his first All-American honor. So too could Chattanooga’s Corey Mock, who transferred last year from his hometown team of North Carolina, where he competed in two NCAAs.
North Dakota State’s Steve Monk should also challenge for a Top-8 finish after he twice reached the Round of 12 the past two NCAAs and captured a Midlands title this winter.