After Session 3: Thoughts/Analysis

Ryan Morningstar and Brent Metcalf advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Wrestling Championships on Friday. Read how they got there, along with a weight-by-weight rundown of the third session and a look ahead to the fourth in this premium analysis piece.

125 - Charlie started the day off with a very VERY scary match with Brendan Byrne of Maryland. After falling behind early on, Falck caught Byrne in a body lock in the third period, took him straight to his back and immediately pinned him. Time will tell, but that may end up being a HUGE pair of team points. In his next match, he was the agressor for the majority of the contest, but was only able to finish two shorts for a 5-1 win over Brandon Zoetwey of Cal State-Bakersfield. Up next is #11-seed Zach Sanders of Minnesota, who beat Falck in the dual meet 5-4. Falck returned the favor at Big Tens with a 5-4 win. Falck is going to need to come out ready to go, as Sanders is a very, very active wrestler. Falck would then face either #7 seed Joey Fio of Oklahoma or unseeded Nicholas Bedelyon of Kent State.

133 - I was unable to decipher exactly what happened in Daniel Dennis' match with Hochstrasser. There were some reversals, some penalties, some bench warnings, but unfortuantely, no escape. Dennis lost 9-8, dropping down into the consolations. Up next he's got Mike Grey of Cornell, who has majored his last two opponents in this tournament. The only time they'ved wrestled was at National Duals, when Grey won 4-3. If Dennis wins this match, he'll face either #3-seed Jimmy Kennedy (who Dennis is 2-1 against this year) or #9 Lou Ruggirello of HOfstra.

141 - Alex Tsirtsis took a chance late in a match, when he had a lead, and it bit him. The match was sent to overtime, and Tsirtsis gave up a takedown. His career at Iowa is over.

149 - For the first time in the tournament, Brent Metcalf did not pin his opponent. Up next is Lance Palmer of Ohio State. Needless to say, this will be a huge match for team standings. Palmer and Metcalf have wrestled twice in their careers. In a 2008 dual, Metcalf won 5-3. A last year's NCAA Championships, Metcalf won 3-2, in the closest thing to a 7-minute match Metcalf has ever had to wrestle. A win puts Metcalf in the finals against either Darion Caldwell or Bryce Saddis of Navy.

165 - In the final 90 seconds or so of Ryan Morningstar's quarterfinal match, Ryan was called for stalling three times, much to the shock of anyone in black and gold. Those two stall points sent the match into overtime. Morningstar worked into a shot during sudden victory to score the must-have win over Colt Sponseller of Ohio State. That turned out to be nearly a 20-point swing in team points, and kept Ryan alive in the championship side of the bracket. Up next he has Andrew Howe of Wisconsin, who he has taken to TB2 twice this season, losing by 1 both times. This is another huge match for the Hawkeyes, as the other half of the semifinal bracket has the #8 seed Jon Reader of Iowa State and #12-seed Jarrod King of Edinboro. Morningstar is 2-0 against Reader, but has not faced King.

174 - Jay Borschel was hit early with a hard double-leg takedown, something opponents have likely seen on film at this point, and never really got going after that. Borschel had the chance to finish a few shots, some scramble situations, but couldn't find the handle inbounds and lost 3-2. Up next is Steve Anceravage of Cornell. Last year at the NCAA Tournament, Jay Borschel pinned Anceravage. This year, Borschel won 7-3. With a win, Borschel would face either John Dergo of Illinois, who Borschel has majored three times and pinned twice, or Christopher Henrich of Virginia, who he has never faced.

184 - Phil Keddy's match against Doug Umbehauer of Rider looked very similar to his bout against Flynn from Oklahoma. An early takedown by Keddy, tons of riding in the first period, and then it just stopped. Keddy had difficulty getting out in the tiebreak, and was unable to secure a takedown in time, giving up another 2 in the scramble. Phil has the opportunity to do some real damage tonioght. First up he has unseeded Alex Dolly from UNI, who he has never wrestled, and with a win, he'd wrestle either Louis Caputo of Harvard or A.J. Kissel of Purdue. Both of those matches are ones that Keddy coudl score bonus points in. He'll also be rooting for a win by Umbehauer against Pucillo.

197 - Chad Beatty fought into a third overtime against Luke Feist of Stanford, but repeated yanking on his injured knee gave Feist the win, and Beatty is eliminated from the tournament.

285 - Mark Ellis of Missouri came out and scored a quick takedown on Erekson, and seemed to surprise him a little. After that, he seemed tentative and unwilling to shoot on his bigger opponent until late in thge second period. Erekson was able to tie it up late with a takedown, but couldn't keep a hold of Ellis, giving up a very late escape and losing the match 6-5. He'll need to be careful in the next round, as he has Joe Fendone of Edinboro, who after being knocked out in his first match of the tournament, has pinned his way through the consolation bracket. With a win there, Erekson would face either Zachery Ray of Lehigh or Zach Sheaffer of Pittsburgh, who beat Erekson 5-3 at Midlands.

Overall: It seemed much bleaker when watching Hawkeyes losing left and right in the quarterfinals, but after having a moment to look at the team scores and brackets, Iowa isn't out of it yet. Yes, the team has ground to make up, but Iowa has 5 wrestlers alive in the consolation bracket. They should be favored in all of their initial matches tonight, and with a win, will have a second match before the night is out. This gives the Hawkeyes a chance to rack up team points and bonus points, using the extra match. The three teams ahead of Iowa in the standings have 1, 3, and 0 wrestlers alive in the consolation bracket heading into tonight. Iowa can make up the 8-point difference very quickly, especially if guys like Keddy and Borschel return to their offensive-minded ways.


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