During this live broadcast from Pittsburgh, Ben Askren and Matt Dernlan breakdown the semi finals of the NCAA Wrestling Championships. They start at 125 lbs Sebastian Rivera vs Jack Mueller. Mueller beat the No. 1 seed Rivera in an 8-2 decision. Askren wasn’t surprised with the Mueller win but he was shocked at how dominant the win was. In the other semi final, Spencer Lee beat Nick Piccininni 11-4. Dernlan says this match came down to who was going to execute and convert their takedowns.
133 lbs (6:53)
The two semi final matches at 133 were high level but Askren and Dernlan agree that there weren’t any “get out of your seat” moments. Nick Suriano beat Stevan Micic 4-1. In the past, Suriano’s criticism was that he wouldn’t commit and pull the trigger in big matches. He relied on his counter offense to defend and score. In the Micic match, Suriano committed to a leg attack and that difference earned him the win. In the consolation bracket, Austin DeSanto beats Ethan Lizak 4-2. He’ll face Luke Pletcher next.
141 lbs (13:27)
Yianni Diakomihalis beats Jaydin Eierman in a close match of 6-5. Although he fell short, Dernlan gives props to Eierman for going toe to toe with Diakomihalis. Eierman wrestled aggressively which most likely surprised Diakomihalis. On the bottom half, Joey McKenna beats Nick Lee 4-3. Askren and Dernlan agree for such a close score, McKenna looked very dominant. In the consolation bracket, Chad Red beat Max Murin. Askren talks about the great performance by Red throughout the month of March. From an outside perspective, looking at how well Red performed at Big Tens and NCAAs compared to the regular season, he seemed unprepared. Next year, hopefully Red will be just as fierce during the regular season as he was in March.
149 lbs (20:01)
Anthony Ashnault is heading to the finals as he beats Matthew Kolodzik 2-0. Dernlan speaks on how Ashnault was not threatened by Kolodzik at any point. Micah Jordan gets a 4-7 victory in his match vs Austin O’Connor. Dernlan sticks with Jordan to beat Ashnault. Askren says Ashnault beats Jordan for the third time.
157 lbs (22:35)
Jason Nolf wins his match vs Hayden Hidlay 3-2. This was an extremely close and surprising match for Nolf. He will face Tyler Berger in the finals. Askren and Dernlan believe after Nolf’s semi final performance he’s going to turn up the heat in the finals.
165 lbs (26:46)
Mekhi Lewis is heading to finals after he beats Evan Wick 5-2. Askren and Dernlan debate Wick’s decision in choosing top down 2-1. Dernlan says as a coach he would trust and go with wherever the wrestler is most confident. Josh Shields dropped to Vincenzo Joseph 3-2. Lewis vs Vincenzo should be an extremely exciting match. In the wrestle backs, Chance Marsteller beats Alex Marinelli 9-6.
174 lbs (32:57)
Mark Hall found a way to beat Myles Amine 2-1. Askren talks about how impressive and crazy it is for Hall to have about 5 wins in a row over Amine by 1 point. Zahid Valencia will go against Hall in the finals.
184 lbs (35:40)
Max Dean gets the 5-4 decision over Myles Martin. After Martin majored Dean 17-7 at the Las Vegas Invitational and then beat him 13-6 at the Ohio State vs Cornell dual, no one would expect Martin to lose. All year long behind Nolf and Nickal, Martin was the most dominant wrestler in the country. Askren and Dernlan aren’t sure what exactly happened to Martin. Drew Foster will face Dean in the finals.
197 lbs (42:48)
Kollin Moore dominates Preston Weigel in a 12-4 major decision. Bo Nickal pins Pat Brucki in the 2nd period. It will be interesting to see how Moore approaches and gameplans for Nickal.
Heavy Weight (45:25)
Anthony Cassar wins a controversial decision of Gable Steveson 3-4. Steveson took a 2-0 lead in the third period after two stalling calls on Cassar and an escape. Cassar got an escape and then got a takedown for a 3-2 lead and rode Steveson. Steveson escaped to tie it up at 3 and nearly got a takedown in the closing seconds. Cassar ended up with 1 minute and 1 second of riding time and got the win. Dernlan talks about how Steveson’s dominance may have worked against him. Since Steveson hasn’t been in close matches, he may not be use to figuring out how to win in tough situations. Derek White beats Jordan Wood on the top side of the bracket 3-1 and will face Cassar in the finals.
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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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