Des Moines, IA (Sports Network) - Several thrilling matches highlighted a highly entertaining second day at the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships, leaving the more than 32,000 fans in attendance at the Wells Fargo Arena eagerly awaiting Saturday's finals.
With Penn State holding a 20.5 point lead over second place Oklahoma State and placing five of its wrestlers in tomorrow evening's 10 championship matches, the Nittany Lions appear to have the team title secured. Barring a collapse, the Nittany Lions look to wrap up their third consecutive NCAA team title. Behind the Nittany Lions are: Oklahoma State (94 points), Minnesota (86 points), Iowa (68 points), and Cornell (51 points).
125 LBS: Jesse Delgado (Illinois) continues to impress the sold-out Wells Fargo Arena as he advanced to the championship match with a 10-5 victory over true freshman Nashon Garrett (Cornell). Delgado, who makes his first trip to the finals, will face Nico Megaludis (Penn State) who defeated the number one seed Alan Waters (Missouri). Megaludis, who returns to the championship match for the second straight year, beat Waters in overtime by accumulating an 18- second riding time advantage in an otherwise even match. Jarrod Garnett (VA Tech), our darkhorse pick, won four matches on the day and secured a top six finish.
133 LBS: Our pick to win, Logan Stieber (Ohio State), looked impressive in dominating A.J. Schopp (Edinboro), winning by technical fall in the semifinals. Stieber will face Tony Ramos (Iowa) in the championship match. Ramos defeated third seed Tyler Graff (Wisconsin) in double overtime. The finals will be a rematch of the Big Ten conference championship, which Stieber won in overtime.
141 LBS: As expected, Kendric Maple (Oklahoma) advanced to the championship match with a 4-0 win over Undrahkbayar Khishignyam (Citadel) in the semis. Maple's opponent will be Mitchell Port (Edinboro), who defeated the number one seed Hunter Stieber (Ohio State) 7-6. Mike Nevinger (Cornell), our darkhorse, became an All-American and will compete for a top six finish with two victories in the evening session.
149 LBS: Despite moving up two weight classes, four-time All-American Jordan Oliver (Oklahoma State) still advanced to the finals, outclassing Steve Santos (Columbia) 14-3. His opponent will be the number two seed, Jason Chamberlain (Boise State), who defeated unseeded Drake Houdashelt (Missouri). Based on their performance at the tournament, Chamberlain should give Oliver all he can handle. Darkhorse Scott Sakaguchi (Oregon State) earned All-American status with a victory in his first match of the evening session and followed that with a second victory to earn a top six spot on the podium.
157 LBS: Big Ten champion and number one seed Jason Welch (Northwestern) advanced to the finals with a 7-1 victory over David Bonin (Northern Iowa). He will meet our pick to win it all, Derek St. John (Iowa), who won in double overtime against freshman Alex Dieringer (Oklahoma State).
165 LBS: The much anticipated matchup between Kyle Dake (Cornell) and David Taylor (Penn State) became a reality as both wrestled their way into the finals. Taylor continued his destruction of the bracket, notching his fourth fall in as many matches, while Dake continued his assault on the record books advancing to the finals without giving up a single point the entire tournament. In a change of format this season, Saturday's finals will begin at 174 pounds, saving the Dake/Taylor match for last.
174 LBS: Despite a game effort by our pick Logan Storley (Minnesota), the Golden Gopher ran into one of the tournament's hottest wrestlers in two-seed Matt Brown (Penn State) and dropped a 3-2 decision. Brown will face number one seed Chris Perry (Oklahoma State), who upended Robert Kokesh (Nebraska) in sudden victory in the semifinals. Nick Heflin (Ohio State), our dark horse, became a two-time All-American, defeating unseeded Matt Mougin (Northern Illinois) and Jordan Blanton (Illinois) in the evening session.
184 LBS: After dominating his way to the semifinals, defending 174-pound champion Ed Ruth (Penn State), was tested by fellow returning national champion Steve Bosak (Cornell). Ruth's 4-1 victory earned him a spot in Saturday's final where he will meet Robert Hamlin (Lehigh), who defeated number two seed Ben Bennett (Central Michigan) in a 3-2 match.
197 LBS: Number one seed Dustin Kilgore (Kent State) returned to the finals for the second time with an 8-6 win over fifth seed Taylor Meeks (Oregon State). Quentin Wright (Penn State) earned his third trip to the finals by virtue of a four-second riding time advantage after two overtimes over a strong Matt Wilps (Pitt), setting up a showdown between former national champs.
HWT: Heavyweight Anthony Nelson (Minnesota), our pick to win, got a late takedown to turn a one-point deficit into a victory and a trip to the finals. Nelson, the returning champion, will face Mike McMullen (Northwestern), who upended the number one seed Dom Bradley (Missouri) in sudden victory. After losing in the quarterfinals, darkhorse Jarod Trice (Central Michigan) won both of his consolation matches to ensure himself a top-six spot on the podium.