Iowa has virtually no chance of finishing higher than 4th after an unimpressive second session. Iowa knew they would have to wrestle above their seeds to defend their Big Ten Championship. Unfortunately they are on pace to wrestle at their seeds.
Charlie Falck started the 2nd session losing in the consolations to Colin Cudd from Wisconsin. When these two met in the dual meet earlier in the year Falck was able to escape with an overtime victory. There was no chance of this match going to overtime as the freshman Cudd threw Falck to his back right away and had a 9-2 lead after one period. Falck did a good job avoiding the pin but the tone was set and Cudd cruised to a 19-4 victory. The loss ended a disappointing tournament for Falck as he got outscored 37-7 in his two matches.
Mario Galanakis lost a tight battle to #1 seed Mark Jayne from Illinois. After a scoreless 1st period the two grapplers got into a few good scrambles. The partisan Iowa crowd was none too happy with the officiating in this match. Galanakis had a good chance at scoring in a scramble situation but the referee called a stalemate, albeit much too soon in the opinion of the Iowa fans. This was Mario's best chance at a takedown as he never really had Jayne in trouble again. Mario has guaranteed at least a place in the 5th place match and with one more win will be wrestling for 3rd.
Alex Tsirtsis had a bye in the first round of consolations. In the 2nd round he wrestled Tommy Owen from Minnesota. Tsirtsis beat Owen earlier in the season 11-1 and this match was much the same. Alex had Owen on his back in the first period and controlled the match for the major decision. Tsirtsis now has a chance to avenge his 10-4 loss to Ryan Lang in the Northwestern dual. If Tsirtsis can beat Lang he will be going for third place.
Ty Eustice went back to his old ways of being very conservative against the freshman Henning from Wisconsin. There was not a lot of scoring as the two headed to overtime with the score 2-2. Eustice was in on a single shortly after the whistle but Henning somehow ended up behind Eustice and got the overtime takedown and victory. Eustice wrestles Osborn from Minnesota next and with a victory over him will be going for third place.
There will be two freshman in the 149 pound finals as Henning will wrestle Tannenbaum from Michigan. There have not been many upsets in this tournament. The biggest have probably been at this weight class where the #6 seed Henning beat #3 Doug Withstandley and #2 Eustice. The #4 seed Dietzen from Illinois will not place and Withstandley, who lost to Cliff Moore in the finals last year at 141, will be going for 7th place and a spot in St. Louis.
Joe Johnston lost a tough match to Alex Tirapelle from Illinois 9-5. This was a fun match to watch with lots of action. Both wrestlers were very active and if Johnston could somehow figure out how to finish his shots quicker he might be able to beat Tirapelle. Johnston was able to get Tirapelle's leg on a few occasions but he takes too long to finish and Tirapelle always finds a way to wriggle out. Johnston now faces the unseeded Colton Salazar from Purdue who upset the 4th seed Nathan Galloway from Penn State in the consolations. Like many other Hawkeyes, Johnston can get to the third place match with a win over Salazar.
Mark Perry will be Iowa's lone finalist as he beat Matt Nagel from Minnesota 8- 4. Perry jumped out to a 6-0 lead behind a takedown and some back points. Perry appeared to put it in cruise control from there and didn't really attack. Perry had close to two minutes of riding time entering the 2nd period but allowed Nagel to erase all of it as he spent period two on the bottom. Nagel got a couple takedowns in the third period to make it closer than what it should have been. Perry now faces Churella in the finals. In the dual meet Perry and Churella were tied at 2 when Churella got a 5 point move on Perry that decided the match.
Luke Lofthouse lost an 8-4 match to the #8 seed James Yonushonis from Penn State to end his tournament and season. Luke was never a threat to score on the Penn State wrestler as all of his points came on escapes.
Paul Bradley came out on fire in his first round consolation match. He took down Alex Picazo from Ohio State with a double leg, put the half in, turned him to his back and before a minute was gone in the period had the fall. In Bradley's second consolation match of the night he had 6 takedowns against Andy Rios from Indiana and was on his way to a major decision until giving up a late reversal to make the score 14-8. This match never seemed as close as the score was. Bradley now faces Roger Kish from Minnesota and with a win will move on to the 3rd place match.
Fellers had a bye in the first round of consolations and then lost a close match to Ryan Flaherty from Wisconsin 4-0. Fellers always seems to give maximum effort and lately has been able to keep the scores close enough that he has a chance at the end. With the loss to Flaherty he drops down to the 7th place match against Matt Koz from Minnesota. Fellers beat Koz in the dual meet with an overtime takedown. Fellers will need a repeat of that victory or else his season will be over barring an unlikely wild card selection.
Matt Fields won a couple solid decisions in the second session. His first match was mostly takedowns as he defeated Jake O'Brien from Purdue 7-1. In his second match he defeated Joel Edwards from Penn State for the second time this year, winning a 5-3 decision. Fields will have to face #2 seed Greg Wagner in the consolations as Wagner was upset in the semifinals by Pat DeGain from Indiana. If he can get by Wagner he will wrestle for 3rd place.
Iowa had to wrestle above their seeds to have any chance of winning this tournament but it hasn't happened. Iowa is wrestling about what they are seeded which is why they sit in a 4th place tie with Indiana. I suppose it's possible for Iowa to overtake Minnesota with a nearly perfect final session. Iowa has at least 3 match ups with Minnesota, possibly four if things fall into place.
Instead of trying to overtake anybody I think Iowa would be better to focus on getting as many third place finishes as possible. The best case scenario would be for one first place finish, six third place finishes, and one seventh. If that were to happen I would consider this tournament a monumental success, regardless what place we finish.