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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Ohio State wrestling team recaptured its March magic on Saturday during the first two sessions of the 2017 Big Ten Championships and currently stands in first place with 117.0 points on the strength of six finalists. The Buckeyes won six of seven semifinals matches and are 18.5 points ahead of second-place Penn State.
THE SHORT STORY
Clutch performances by Myles Martin and Micah Jordan in semifinal upsets were backed up by wins from No. 1 seeds Kyle Snyder, Nathan Tomasello and Bo Jordan along with Kollin Moore’s decision that pushed six Buckeyes into tomorrow’s championship round. Still alive on the consolation side of the brackets are Luke Pletcher (141), Jose Rodriguez (125) and Cody Burcher (165).
MARTIN/NICKAL MEET AGAIN
Nearly 12 months after he beat top-seeded Bo Nickal in the 174-lb. NCAA final, Martin added another signature win to his resume when he knocked off the nation’s No. 1-ranked and unbeaten top seed again on Saturday night, 6-4. Trailing 2-1, Martin throw Nickal to his back and go two points for a takedown, giving him a 3-2 lead at the end of the first period. He added a second-period takedown to make the score 5-3, escaped the start the third for a 6-4 lead and then held on from there, punching his ticket for a date with second-seeded Sammy Brooks of Iowa tomorrow afternoon.
MICAH ADVANCES TO FIRST B1G FINAL
The first upset of the semifinals occurred at 149 pounds as M. Jordan finished off a takedown just as time expired in the second period for the decisive points in a 2-1 win over No. 2 seed Brandon Sorensen of Iowa. The win gives Jordan his first-ever berth in the Big Ten finals.
THREE NO. 1 SEEDS ADVANCE
At 133 lbs., Tomasello once against had a tough match against No. 4 seed Steven Micic of Michigan, winning 6-5 with a takedown in each period. Tomasello previously edged Micic at the CKLV finals last December.
B. Jordan advanced to his third straight Big Ten finals by pushing the pace against fourth-seeded Myles Amine of Michigan on his way to a 14-8 decision. Jordan scored eight of his 14 points in the final two minutes and improved to 13-1 on the season.
Snyder got out to an early lead against Michael Kroells of Minnesota in the 285 lb. semifinals, scoring four takedowns in the first five minutes and winning by decision, 14-7. Just as his match was ending, Moore was the sixth Buckeye to advance to the finals as he held on for a 10-8 decision over Nebraska’s Aaron Studebaker. Moore opened up a sizable lead in the third period and never looked back.
BURCHER PULLS SURPRISE AT 165
Cody Burcher, who had wrestled a long list of ranked wrestlers close during the regular season, finally broke through with a signature win in the second round of the consolation bracket at 165, knocking off fifth-seeded Joey Gunther of Iowa, 6-1. Ahead 1-0 in the third, Burcher got Gunther on his back and was awarded a four-point near fall. He later tacked on riding time to complete one of the more notable upsets on Saturday. It also avenged a 3-0 loss to Gunther in the regular season dual at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
SESSION I STANDOUTS
The Buckeyes’ three No. 1 seeds – Tomasello, B. Jordan and Snyder – all received byes directly into the quarterfinals. M. Jordan, Martin and Moore picked up the pace and scored much-needed bonus points. Jordan was first, getting a 19-7 major decision over Minnesota’s Carson Purinton. Martin then followed with a 20-8 major decision against Michigan State’s Shwan Shadaia and Moore easily defeated Jacob Hinz of Indiana, 19-2.
Those bonus points would prove vital, as the quarterfinal round saw several top seeds pushed to the limit. Pletcher and Martin picked up two of the most impressive victories of the session, toppling a pair of Nebraska Cornhuskers in the process. Pletcher, a forfeit winner in the first round, defeated No. 4-seeded Colton McCrystal for the second time in the last three weeks by getting a third period takedown and then fighting off one from McCrystal in the closing seconds.
Martin, meanwhile, earned another win over 2016 NCAA finalist TJ Dudley with a wild six-point sequence in the third period that include a takedown and four-point near fall on his way to a 12-7 decision.
B. Jordan got a tougher-than-expected test in the quarterfinals, falling behind eighth-seeded Devin Skatzka of Indiana 7-4 after two periods. Jordan quickly escaped to start the third, got a takedown to make it 7-7 and then scored the decisive points on another takedown with inside of 1:20 remaining. He rode out the remainder of the period for a 10-8 victory.
MOORE, SNYDER ROLL AT UPPER WEIGHTS
The 1-2 punch of Snyder and Moore had no trouble in their quarterfinal bouts. Snyder won by technical fall for the third time in his last four Big Ten Championship matches (dating back to last season) when he used 11 takedowns and a four points nearfall to finish off a 26-9 technical fall over Rutgers’ Razohnn Gross. Moments later, Moore punched his ticket to the semifinals with a 10-5 decision against Iowa’s Cash Wilcke.
BONUS POINTS PROVE CRITICAL
After winning four matches by bonus points in the championship round, Ohio State picked up a pin and major decision in the consolation round by Jake Ryan and Cody Burcher, respectively. Ryan’s fall came in just 1:37 over Northwestern’s Ben Sullivan and Burcher used a takedown, four point nearfall and over 2:00 of riding time to shut out Dylan Lydy of Purdue. Those points pushed the Buckeyes within two of first-place Penn State at the end of the opening session.
SESSION I/II NOTES
• Ohio State wrestlers went 14-3 in the first session of the championships with six bonus point wins (three major decisions, one fall, two technical falls).
• On the day, the Buckeyes won 23 of 30 matches.
• The six finalists in the most the Buckeyes ever had in their Big Ten Championships history. The previous record was four in 2015.
HOW IT SETS UP TOMORROW
All 10 championship matches can be seen live on BTN beginning at 3 p.m. They will start at 125 lbs. and end at 285. Ohio State’s finals matches are:
• 133: No. 1 Nathan Tomasello vs. No. 2 Cory Clark (Iowa)
• 149: No. 3 Micah Jordan vs. No. 1 Zain Retherford (Penn State)
• 174: No. 1 Bo Jordan vs. No. 2 Mark Hall (Penn State)
• 184: No. 4 Myles Martin vs. No. 2 Sammy Brooks (Iowa)
• 197: No. 2 Kollin Moore vs. No. 1 Brett Pfarr (Minnesota)
• 285: No. 1 Kyle Snyder vs. No. 2 Connor Medbery (Wisconsin)
Additionally, Pletcher will wrestle in the 141 consolation round against Ryan Diehl of Maryland in the morning session. Rodriguez will go for seventh place against Ben Thornton of Purdue; Cody Burcher wrestles in the 165 lb. seventh-place match against Johnny Sebastian and Jake Ryan goes for ninth place – and an automatic NCAA Championships bid – at 157 lbs.
OHIO STATE WRESTLING
2017 Big Ten Championships | Assembly Hall | Bloomington, Ind,
Day One Individual Results
125 lbs. No. 8 seed Jose Rodriguez (14-10)
First Round: Rodriguez decision over Logan Griffin (Michigan St.) 5-3
Quarterfinals: No. 1 Thomas Gilman (Iowa) fall over Rodriguez 5:37
Consolation Rd. Two: Rodriguez decision over Michael Beck (Maryland) 9-2
Consolation Rd. Three: Ethan Lizak (Minnesota) technical fall over Rodriguez 16-0
133 lbs. No. 1 seed Nathan Tomasello (18-0)
Quarterfinals: Tomasello decision over Scott DelVecchio (Rutgers) 6-4
Semifinals: Tomasello decision over No. 5 Sevan Micic (Michigan) 6-5
141 lbs. No. 5 seed Luke Pletcher (25-6)
First Round: Pletcher won by forfeit over Kyle Ayersman (Purdue)
Quarterfinals: Pletcher decision over No. 4 Colton McCrystal (Nebraska) 6-4
Semifinals: No. 1 Anthony Ashnault (Rutgers) decision over Pletcher 5-1
149 lbs. No. 3 seed Micah Jordan (28-2)
First Round: Jordan major decision over Carson Purinton (Minnesota) 19-7
Quarterfinals: Jordan decision over No. 6 Andrew Crone (Wisconsin) 3-1
Semifinals: Jordan decision over No. 2 Brandon Sorensen (Iowa) 2-1
157 lbs. No. 11 seed Jake Ryan (12-10)
First Round: No. 5 Brian Murphy (UM) injury default over Ryan
Consolation Rd. One: Ryan fall over Ben Sullivan (Northwestern) 1:48
Consolation Rd. Two: Kyle Langenderfer (Illinois) decision over Ryan 3-1 SV-1
Ninth Place Semifinals: Ryan decision over TJ Ruschell (Wisconsin) 8-6
165 lbs. Cody Burcher (17-14)
First Round: No. 6 Nick Wanzek (Minnesota) decision over Burcher 5-1
Consolation Rd. One: Burcher major decision over Dylan Lydy (Purdue) 8-0
Consolation Rd. Two: Burcher decision over No. 5 Joseph Gunther (Iowa) 6-1
Consolation Rd. Three: No. 8 Drew Hughes (Michigan St.) decision over Burcher 1-0
174 lbs. No. 1 seed Bo Jordan (13-1)
Quarterfinals: Jordan decision over Devin Skatzka (Indiana) 10-8
Semifinals: Jordan decision over No. 4 Myles Amine (Michigan) 14-8
184 lbs. No. 4 seed Myles Martin (28-7)
First Round: Martin major decision over Shwan Shadaia (Michigan St.) 20-8
Quarterfinals: Martin decision over No. 5 TJ Dudley (Nebraska) 12-7
Semifinals: Martin decision over No. 1 Bo Nickal (Penn State) 6-4
197 lbs. No. 2 seed Kollin Moore (29-3)
First Round: Moore technical fall over Jacob Hinz (Indiana) 19-2
Quarterfinals: Moore decision over No. 7 Cash Wilcke (Iowa) 10-5
Semifinals: Moore decision over No. 3 Aaron Studebaker (Nebraska) 10-8
285 lbs. No. 1 seed Kyle Snyder (11-0)
Quarterfinals: Snyder technical fall over Razohnn Gross (Rutgers) 26-9
Semifinals: Snyder decision over No. 4 Michael Kroells (Minnesota) 14-7
1. Ohio State - 117.0
2. Penn State - 98.5
3. Iowa - 95.0
4. Minnesota - 81.0
5. Nebraska - 79.5
6. Illinois - 71.0
7. Michigan - 60.5
8. Wisconsin - 59.0
9. Rutgers - 55.5
10. Michigan State - 37.5
11. Maryland - 29.0
12. Purdue - 25.0
13. Indiana - 23.5
14. Northwestern - 16.0