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2009 Mar 20
No. 1 seed Jordan Burroughs (157 pounds) and Craig Brester (197) comfortably advanced with easy victories. Brandon Browne (174) and a somewhat surprising entrant, Vince Jones (184), remain in the hunt for a national title.
At 149 pounds, senior Robert Sanders lost his first two matches and is done, while heavyweight Tucker Lane lost his first match to eighth-ranked Kyle Massey of Wisconsin in triple overtime, and it currently in "wrestlebacks," or the loser's bracket, a long arduous gulag of matches that could earn Lane a All-American spot, if he keeps winning. Ditto for 165-pounder Stephen Dwyer, who lost 5-2 to Bucknell's Andrew Rendos.
In the team race, Iowa and Iowa State are tied with 33 points; the Hawkeyes are in slightly better position in the lower weights, while the Cyclones have better contenders Jake Varner (197) and David Zabriskie (Hwt) in the upper weights.
The surprise of the tournament thus far is Ohio State, in third with 30 points. The Buckeyes won all five third-round matches and sent five wrestlers to quarters. OSU doesn't enjoy NU, IU or ISU's top-seeded wrestlers, but the Bucks have already pulled off some impressive upsets.
Burroughs had the biggest day for NU, with a pin and a technical fall. Brester won two major decisions while Jones had a pin and a major decision. Browne won by major decision and decision in his first two matches.
Action continues today in St. Louis with the quarterfinals this morning, and the semifinals, to be televised on ESPN2, later tonight.
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2009 Mar 12
So, the maginificent 7, if you will, and three of them - 197-pounder Craig Brester, 157-pounder Jordan Burroughs and 174-pounder Brandon Browne - have as good a chance of winning the national title as any wrestler in their weight class. At 165 pounds, Stephen Dwyer will have to survive a gulag of studs, but could, while at heavyweight Tucker Lane can feel comfortable knowing he's beaten the No. 3 and No. 1 wrestlers in the nation.
Should be a wild one in St Louis! Iowa State, by the way, placed all ten wrestlers in the NCAA Championships. Iowa placed nine. Those are the two teams Nebraska has to most contend with down there. ISU was the only team to place all ten wrestlers. The Cyclones have also shown a proclivity for choking in big matches, too.
So you'll enjoy all the sour grapes ISU's coaches displayed in this recent article after the Big 12 Championships.
Now, for a moment, we must appreciate that Cys coach, Cael Sanderson, is generally considered the greatest collegiate wrestler in history, and one of greatest collegiate athletes, period. He's up there in Lew Alcindor/Oscar Robertson/Tiger Woods/Dave Winfield/Robin Ventura/Cheryl Miller territory, understand. He never lost in more than 100 matches.Nobody before Sanderson achieved that feat - legendary Iowa coach Dan Gable lost just once - and it could be a century before anybody does it again. So, admittedly, the guy's standards are high.
But we anticipate ISU's general arrogance - and the fact that lot of their wrestlers score very little on the mat - will keep Nebraska fans a little peeved for years to come.
Note: Brester is the new No. 1, according to the NWCA, after beating Iowa State No. 1 Jake Varner at the Big 12 Championships.
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