So here's where I'm supposed to break down each weight and say how things went, yes? Unfortunately, it's about 11:15PM, and I've been awake since 5AM, on the road since 5:30. So this is going to be more of a stream-of-consciousness situation.
Matt McDonough. He's like Brent Metcalf minus 25 pounds. He goes out, imposes his will, and wins. I fully expect him to do the same to Precin tomorrow in the finals. If Iowa had 10 Matt McDonough types on this team, mentality-wise? They'd have this closed out by now. This team doesn't lack talent, it lacks the mentality that guys like McD and Metcalf bring to the mat.
Luke Lofthouse. He's not the most gifted wrestler, but he has "want-to" and understands what he has to do in certain spots. At the end of the first period against Logan Brown, he scored a takedown, 3 seconds left in the period. That's what Tom Brands wants to see.
Certain judgements by the mat officials. The most shocking, in my view, would be a late escape not given to Tony Ramos. Graff was still standing inbounds, Tony spun away out of bounds, then Graff stepped out. The official said Ramos did not escape, and Ramos ended up losing in overtime. Painful to watch.
The seeding at heavyweight. The #3 and #4 wrestlers are facing off for the title. The #2 was knocked off by a #7 in the quarterfinals. The #1 seed was completely dominated in the semifinals, a 3-0 win with over 3 minutes of riding time.
Killer instinct (Or lack thereof). Tony Ramos, Montell Marion and Aaron Janssen were all within one point or leading in the last 30 seconds of their matches today, and all failed to advance into the finals.
Luke Lofthouse's mug. That guy's been beat up. He's got a cut above his eyelid. An eye that's been poked and bloodied up. Lips that have been bloodied, bruises and cuts all over his forehead.
A look at tomorrow
Iowa currently sits 1.5 points behind Penn State. Penn State has 5 in the finals and 4 in the wrestlebacks. Iowa has 4 in the finals and 5 in the wrestlebacks. There are two matchups between Iowa and Penn State among those. #1-seeded David Taylor will face Derek St John in the 157-pound finals. Montell Marion will face PSU's Alton in the 141 wrestlebacks. Iowa needs to win at least one, and hopefully both of those matches. That's a double-dip (like when I started Romo and Witten in my fantasy league...).
Iowa will be the favorite at 125 and 285 in the finals, and the underdog at 157 and 197. Personally, I don't think Lofthouse over Brandvold would be an upset, especially considering how few points Brandvold has scored thus far (9-4 combined score in two matches).
Official predictions, I see Iowa with three champions, 125, 197, and 285. Will that be enough to jump back above the Nittany Lions? I have no idea. It's going to come down to the wrestlebacks and bonus points. There are good and bad matchups all up and down the conso bracket. It's going to be right down to the wire, that's for sure.