Penn State arrived in Des Moines as the two time defending national champs. Hawkeye and Cyclone fans hoped the home mat-advantage could spark an upset.
After the first three sessions of the NCAA Wrestling Tournament, it looks like that won’t happen.
It’s been a rough tournament for Iowa State with zero wrestlers left on the championship side. At 174, Tanner Weatherman just couldn’t hang with Penn State’s Matt Brown. Weatherman fell 13-5 in the quarterfinals.
Northern Iowa has 1 wrestler still in it. The unseeded 157 pounder David Bonin, upset Virginia’s Jedd Moore 3-0.
Of our Iowa schools, the Hawkeyes have the best hopes of a championship with two wrestlers on to the semifinals. At 133, Tony Ramos, a 6-1 decision and at 157 Derek St. John, the 2 seed, a 4-0 win. Overall, it’s been disappointing for Iowa. They had 4 losses in the quarterfinals, including 2-time champ Matt McDonough.
The fourth session was much better for the Hawkeyes.
St. John had an exhausting battle with Oklahoma State’s Alex Dieringer. St. John is headed to the finals after hanging on for a 3-2 thrilling overtime win.
Ramos brought the Iowa fans to their loudest roar of the night in overtime against Wisconsin’s Tyler Graff. He too will head to Saturday championship round with a 6-4 win.
Cael Sanderson’s Penn State team is poised to win its third straight national title.
Iowa remains in fourth, Iowa State moves up to 8th.