Oklahoma City, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - Thrilling matches and surprising upsets highlighted a highly entertaining second day at the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, leaving the sold out crowd at the Chesapeake Energy Arena eagerly awaiting Saturday's finals.
Three-time defending champion Penn State's quest for a fourth title is in peril as their lead over second place Minnesota is a mere half point. Oklahoma State is in third place behind by only 3.5 points. The Cowboys are in a strong position to gain ground however, placing four wrestlers in the 10 championship matches.
The top five teams after two days of wrestling are as follows: Penn State (91.0 points); Minnesota (90.5 points); Oklahoma State (87.5 points), Iowa (67 points) and Ohio State (52 points).
125 LBS: Jesse Delgado (Illinois) continues his quest to win back-to-back national championships as he advanced to the finals with a 9-6 victory over Dylan Peters (Northern Iowa). Delgado, will face second seed Nahshon Garrett (Cornell) who defeated the number two-seed Nico Megaludis of Penn State 6-4 on Friday.
133 LBS: Tony Ramos (Iowa), used a last second cradle to beat second seeded A.J. Schopp of Edinboro. Ramos will face Wisconsin's Tyler Graff, who upset the number one seed Joe Colon (Northern Iowa) 6-4. The Ramos v. Graff finale will be a rematch of the Big Ten finals, where Ramos beat Graff in a hotly contested match.
141 LBS: As expected, two-time returning national champion Logan Stieber (Ohio State) advanced to the championship match with a 7-3 win over true freshman Zain Retherford (Penn State). Stieber's opponent will be undefeated Devin Carter (Virginia Tech), who dominated the number nine-seed Evan Henderson (North Carolina) 12-3. Carter, who was out most of the season with a torn hamstring, has quickly rounded into form and will provide a stiff test for Steiber.
149 LBS: Freshman sensation and Big Ten Champion Jason Tsirtsis from Northwestern shocked number one-seed Drake Houdashelt (Missouri) in the semis. Tsirtsis will be favored in the finals where he will face eleven-seed Josh Kindig (Oklahoma State). Kindig defeated Lehigh's Mitch Minotti 5-2. Dark horse Eric Grajales (Michigan) earned All-American status with a victory in his first match of the evening session and then followed that with a second victory to earn a top six spot on the podium.
157 LBS: Minnesota's Dylan Ness advanced to the finals from the number nine seed after defeating the favored Ian Miller of Kent State 6-4 on Friday. Ness, who has pinned three of the four opponents he has faced, will square off against Oklahoma's State's Alex Dieringer. Dieringer, the number three-seed, prevailed over a game Brian Realbuto (Cornell) 7-4 to punch his ticket to Saturday's finals.
165 LBS: David "The Magic Man" Taylor continued his destruction of the bracket, earning a major decision over Steven Monk (North Dakota State) 13-5. Taylor, who has three pins in the tournament, will face Oklahoma State's Tyler Caldwell who blanked Virginia's Nick Sulzer 5-0 in the second semifinal. Taylor, a senior, will be wresting in his fourth consecutive NCAA final. As predicted, dark horse David Zilverberg (Minnesota) earned All-American honors from the fifteen seed and will wrestle for seventh place.
174 LBS: Number one seed Chris Perry (Oklahoma State) advanced to the finals after being outwrestled and outworked by Iowa's Mike Evans. Although the Oklahoma State faithful cheered the win, wrestling purists were questioning the result of the bout. Perry will have his hands full in the finals as he faces Oklahoma's Andrew Howe, The Sports Network pick, who defeated Logan Storley (Minnesota) with a workman like 6-3 victory.
184 LBS: After dominating his way to the semifinals, defending 184-pound champion Ed Ruth (Penn State), was tested by freshman Gabe Dean (Cornell). Ruth's 4-3 victory earned him a spot in the finals where he will meet number one-seed Jimmy Sheptock (Maryland), who defeated Old Dominion's Jack Dechow in a 3-2 match. If Ruth wins he will be a three-time national champion. Dark horse Ophir Bernstein of Brown earned All-American honors and will wrestle for seventh place on Saturday.
197 LBS: Missouri's true freshman J'Den Cox advanced to Saturday's final with a 4-1 win over Virginia Tech's Chris Penny. Cox will face the number one-seed Nick Heflin (Ohio State), who beat Minnesota's Scott Schiller 2-1 in overtime.
HWT: Heavyweight Anthony Nelson (Minnesota) survived a late surge by Iowa's Bobby Telford to earn a trip to the final. Nelson, the two-time defending champion, will face Nick Gwiazdowski from NC State, who used a late takedown to upend the number two-seed Adam Chalfant (Indiana) 5-4. Nelson will look to join a select group of three-time NCAA champions.