No surprise that defending national champion and top-seeded 165-pounder Alex Dieringer is leading the way as the Wisconsin native bullied his way through two matches both falls. He needed only 4:48 to dispose of North Carolina State's Max Rohskopf in the second round and he put Connor McMahon of Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on his back in 4:43 in the opening round.
Dieringer is the high scoring wrestler so far in the tournament. That has helped Oklahoma State stay close in the team race as Ohio State leads with 22.5 points and defending team champion Penn State is second at 18.5 points. Oklahoma State is third with 18 points and Iowa is fourth at 17 points.
So far the Cowboys have only lost 149-pounder Josh Kindig for the tournament. Kindig was injured late in the season and tried to get ready but was not himself in two straight losses in the first round and in a pigtail match in the consolations.
The 12th seed at 184 pounds in Nolan Boyd has fallen into the consolations after losing his second-round match to 5th seed Taylor Meeks of Oregon State. The match was tied in the second period when Meeks finished with three points to take a 5-2 decision.
Freshman and unseeded Gary Wayne Harding lost his first match of the day and he is also wrestling in the consolations later on Thursday night. Anthony Collica lost by technical fall 17-0 at 5:47 in his second round match to third seed Brian Realbuto of Cornell, so Collica also drops into the consolations.
That leaves the four other Cowboys joining Dieringer in the quarterfinals for Friday.
Eddie Klimara at 125 pounds is seeded seventh and he has a real shot following a 9-1 major decision in the second round that took out 10th seed Ronnie Rios of Oregon State. Klimara now faces a Big 12 foe he has beaten in West Virginia's Zeke Moisey.
Dean Heil at 141 pounds scored the biggest upset for a Cowboy and one of the biggest in the tournament when he finished Missouri's third seeded Lavion Mayes in a sudden victory 1 - 3-1 decision in the second round. Heil will now face 11th seed Chris Mecate of Old Dominion in a Friday quarterfinal.
Kyle Crutcher advanced to the quarterfinals with a 5-2 decision over fifth seed Blaise Butler of Virginia. Crutchmer now has got a good chance at 174 pounds.
Austin Marsden is the four seed at heavyweight (285 pounds) and he won two matches on Thursday with a 12-4 major decision coming in the second round over 13th seed Tyler Deuel of Binghamton. Marsden now wrestles 5th seed Connor Medbery of Wisconsin on Friday for a spot in the semifinals.