Session 2

During this live broadcast Thursday night at 10:30PM EST from Pittsburgh, PA, Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan breakdown Session 2 of the NCAA Wrestling Championships. In a lot of ways, it felt like the tournament really started in round 2. It was almost impossible to keep up with all the big-time matchups. Askren jumps into the 133 lbs weight class regarding Austin DeSanto vs Roman Bravo-Young. DeSanto gets the win 7-2. The round of 16 was big for Iowa at all weight classes as they advance 7 wrestlers to the quarters.

125 lbs (3:40)

Once again Spencer Lee wins big 10-1 but doesn’t look like his typical energetic self. Dernlan’s number 1 match during the quarterfinals is No. 1 Sebastian Rivera vs No. 8 Vitali Arujau. Another match to watch is Jack Mueller vs Ronnie Bresser. This weight class will have one of the most exciting semifinals overall.

133 lbs (7:37)

Watching 133 lbs was close to impossible with so many great matches all happening at the same time. In a low scoring win, Micky Phillippi beats Austin Gomez 1-0. Askren was really impressed with the composure and defense of Phillippi. Ethan Lizak beat Tariq Wilson 6-4 in a close match. This bracket broke down true to seed with 1 through 8 all heading into the quarterfinals. Both Askren and Dernlan had heard prior to NCAAs that Stevan Micic was hurt. They say if he is hurt he is the best looking hurt wrestler they’ve ever seen. With this new knowledge of how Micic is wrestling, it’s hard to say DeSanto has what it takes to beat him.

141 lbs (12:38)

Dernlan wasn’t surprised Cameron Kelly gave Jaydin Eierman a close match losing 10-8. No. 13, Lock Haven’s Kyle Shoop beat No. 4 Josh Alber 19-10. Overall, Lock Haven is having a great showing at NCAAs. Askren still believes Eierman beats Shoop and moves on to the semis vs Yianni Diakomihalis.

149 lbs (15:30)

This was one of the first times Dernlan witnessed Matthew Kolodzik initiating his attack and not just waiting for the last 30 seconds. He won his match against Brady Berge 8-5. No. 10 Pat Lugo almost dropped in overtime to Ryan Blees but secured a 4-2 win.

157 lbs (17:28)

Askren asks Dernlan what his take is on the semifinal matchup Hayden Hidlay vs Alec Pantaleo. Dernlan thinks when Pantaleo is at his best he’s the No. 2 guy in this weight class. Dernlan thought Ryan Deakin looked great during his 9-0 win over Griffin Parriott.

165 lbs (19:15)

This is Askren’s second favorite weight class during this tournament. Northern Iowa’s Bryce Steiert upsets Michigan’s Logan Massa 2-1. Massa didn’t have an answer for Steiret once he was on bottom. Dernlan doesn’t think as good as Mekhi Lewis is that he can beat Alex Marinelli. Dernlan and Askren thought they would see more of the hands-to-the-face call. The pressure tomorrow ramps up not only for the wrestlers but for the officials as well.

174 lbs (23:27)

No. 22 Ben Harvey beats No. 6 David McFadden which makes him the 2nd lowest seed to make it to the quarterfinals. Michael Labriola also upsets Jacobe Smith 8-4. Askren expresses his frustration he’s had with the Oklahoma State lineup changes. Labriola will take on Daniel lewis in the quarterfinals.

184 lbs (25:46)

Round 2 of 184 lived up to the hype. Askren and Dernlan breakdown the Maxwell Dean vs Cash Wilcke match. Probably the biggest upset of the tournament was Chip Ness beating Shakur Rasheed 8-6. Dernlan believes Rasheed has been battling injury. That would show why Rasheed sat out against a lot of top wrestlers this season.

197 lbs (30:07)

Bo Nickal reminds Dernlan of another Penn State great Quentin Wright. Nickal has such freedom in the biggest matches. Not reckless abandon but pure freedom. Askren is not surprised by the Thomas Lane win over Jacob Warner. Tom Sleigh wins and will go on to compete against Kollin Moore in the semis. Dernlan thinks Moore will physically dominate Sleigh. This brings up the Ohio State conversation. All of Ohio State’s main wrestlers showed up and performed this round.

Heavy Weight (34:37)

The “re-birth” of Sam Stoll. Stoll wins over Conan Jennings 1-0 via ride-out. Stoll will face Jordan Wood in the quarterfinals. Wood is who Stoll was originally matched up against. Gable Steveson looked good in his win over Brian Andrews and Amar Dhesi looked good in his win over Thomas Haines. That being said, Dernlan doesn’t believe Dhesi has enough to beat Steveson in the quarterfinals.


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Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan host the RUDIS Wrestling Podcast. Askren, World Champion, and Olympic Wrestler joins in official partnership as a content provider for all things RUDIS. Matt Dernlan joins from years of experience in D1 college coaching at Binghamton, Clarion, and Penn State University.

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