After an incredible morning session today (March 16, 2012) at the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo., the semifinals took place this evening, setting the stage for an intense final day tomorrow.
MMAMania.com is bringing you coverage of the tournament until the final pin has been recorded -- see Session 1, Day 1 results here, Session 2, Day 1 results here and Session 1, Day 2 results here -- so here is everything you need to know from Friday's action.
Remember that you can catch all the action live on ESPN 3 and you can follow along with the live results here.
Penn State University (PSU) had a small lead after day one, holding a 5.5 point advantage over Minnesota University. The defending champion Nittany Lions stretched its lead to 18.5 points after this morning's quarterfinals and things only got better in the afternoon, bumping up its lead heading into the final day to a commanding 22.5 points. The battle for second has been a game of musical chairs with Minnesota, Cornell and now Minnesota again occupying the runner up position.
1st. Penn State - 124 points, 5 finalists
2nd. Minnesota - 101.5 points, 2 finalists
3rd. Iowa - 93 points, 3 finalists
4th. Cornell - 86 points, 3 finalists
5th. Ohio State - 60 points, 1 finalists
Guys to Google:
I've been following 15 exceptional talents throughout the tournament, and 14 of the 15 advanced through to the semifinals, which of course brought a few up against each other in the semifinals. Here are the results of those matches:
133, Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State) won by decision (8-2) over Bernard Futrell (Illinois)
174, Nick Amuchastegui (Stanford) won by decision (6-3) over Chris Perry (Oklahoma State)
As for the rest of the "Guys to Google:"
125, Matt McDonough (Iowa) -- Advanced to Finals. Major Decision
133, Logan Stieber (Ohio State) - Advanced to Finals. Decision
149, Frank Molinaro (Penn State) -- Advanced to Finals. Decision
157, Kyle Dake (Cornell) -- Advanced to Finals. Decision
165, David Taylor (Penn State) -- Advanced to Finals, Pin (100% Pin ratio)
174, Edward Ruth (Penn State) -- Advanced to Finals, Technical Fall
Ryan Flores (American) - LOST to Zachary Rey, Decision
Heavyweight, Anthony Nelson (Minnesota) - Advanced to Finals, Decision
Here are the complete semi final results:
1st: Matt McDonough (Iowa) won by major decision (15-7) over 5th: Nicholas Bedelyon (Kent State)
10th: Nicholas Megaludis (Penn State) won in overtime (3-2) over 6th: Frank Perrelli (Cornell)
1st: Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State) won by decision (8-2) over 4th: Bernard Futrell (Illinois)
2nd: Logan Stieber (Ohio State) won by decision (4-2) over Tony Ramos (Iowa)
1st: Kellen Russell (Michigan) 32-1 won by decision (5-2) over 5th: Hunter Stieber (Ohio State)
3rd: Montell Marion (Iowa) won in overtime (3-1) over 2nd: Kendric Maple (Oklahoma)
1st: Frank Molinaro (Penn State) won by decision (5-0) over Justin Accordino (Hofstra)
7th: Dylan Ness (Minnesota) won by decision (8-5) over 6th: Tyler Nauman (Pittsburgh)
1st: Kyle Dake (Cornell) won by decision (4-0) over 5th: Ganbayar Sanjaa (American)
2nd: Derek St. John (Iowa) won by decision (5-1) over 3rd: Jason Welch (Northwestern)
1st: David Taylor (Penn State) won by pin (4:44) over 4th: Bekzod Abdurakhmonov (Clarion)
11th: Brandon Hatchett (Lehigh) won by decision (5-4) over 7th: Josh Asper (Maryland)
1st: Edward Ruth (Penn State) won by tech fall (17-1) over 4th: Logan Storley (Minnesota)
3rd: Nick Amuchastegui (Stanford) won by decision (6-3) over 2nd: Chris Perry (Oklahoma State)
4th: Steve Bosak (Cornell) won in overtime (4-2) over 9th: Austin Trotman (Appalachian State)
6th: Quentin Wright (Penn State) won by decision (3-2) over 2nd: Robert Hamlin (Lehigh)
1st: Cam Simaz (Cornell) won by decision (6-3) over 5th: Cayle Byers (Oklahoma State)
2nd: Christopher Honeycutt (Edinboro) won in overtime (6-3) over 3rd: Matthew Wilps (Pittsburgh)
4th: Zachery Rey (Lehigh) won by decision (6-2) over 1st: Ryan Flores (American)
2nd: Anthony Nelson (Minnesota) won by decision (6-2) 3rd: Clayton Jack (Oregon State)
Running through the notable semifinal matches, 10th seeded Nicholas Megaludis from Penn State had the day of his athletic career, beating the 2nd and 6th seed in the quarters and semis, respectively, to advance to the 125-pound final. He'll go up against Matt McDonough of Iowa in the finals, making it three straight matches with team championship implications for Megaludis. Penn State has all but wrapped up the title but still, what an impressive run it would be if Megaludis can complete the hat trick.
The 133- and 157-pound divisions will feature the top two seeds squaring off in the finals, with top seeded Jordan Oliver of Oklahoma State University battling Logan Stieber of Ohio State University in the 133-pound class, while Cornell's undefeated Kyle Dake meets Derek St. John out of Iowa in the 157-pound class.
In what could be the most lopsided final, top seed David Taylor of Penn State, who has pinned his way through the 165-pound division in a total time of just 8:46, meets 11th seed Brandon Hatchett of Lehigh.
The only divisions that didn't see the top seed advancing to the finals was the 184-pound class and the heavyweight class. Lehigh heavyweight Zachery Rey pulled off an incredible upset in the semis by taking a decision over Ryan Flores. Considering how Flores had rolled through the rest of the field, what might not be the upset of the tournament on paper certainly was very impressive. Rey will meet Minnesota's Anthony Nelson, who has given up just two points in the tournament so far.
Make sure to check out Mania tomorrow, where we'll have a preview of the finals and live play by play as the championships are decided.
The finals get underway at 7:30 pm Eastern time tomorrow. They can be seen live on ESPN and ESPN 3.