Download our Mobile App                  

  Search The Site
Top News Stories...
TheMat.com moving to USOC website platform with new look and functionality

This week, TheMat.com will move to the USOC platform, with a new look, new functionality, but with the same favorite features....

Terry Shockley named Chairman of the Board of Governors of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Shockley will succeed long-time chairman Jim Keen. Sr. as Chairman of the Board....

Iowa's Tony Ramos determined to finish career with NCAA title

The Hawkeye senior will battle Virginia Tech's Devin Carter in the NWCA All-Star Classic on Saturday....

NCAA announces finalist cities for its championships for 2014-18, including wrestling at all levels

Cleveland, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Oklahoma City, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia & St. Louis are Div. I finalists. Div. II and III finalists also announced....



5-for-5! No. 1 Hawkeyes hit jackpot in semifinals en route to clinching 23rd national title



Iowa’s Jay Borschel rallied from deficits of 5-0 and 8-2 to beat Virginia’s Chris Henrich 10-9 in the semifinals. Photo by Darren Miller, University of Iowa.

OMAHA, Neb. " It’s the marquee matchup everyone has been talking about since the Big Ten finals.

An NCAA Championships rematch between Iowa's Brent Metcalf and Ohio State’s Lance Palmer at 149 pounds.

That dream matchup will happen after both wrestlers punched their tickets to the finals with semifinal wins on Friday night before a sellout crowd of 15,613 fans at the Qwest Center.

Palmer will look to make it two straight wins over Metcalf when they meet in the finals, set to start at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

Metcalf will have plenty of friendly faces joining him on the elevated platform Saturday night as five Hawkeyes advanced to the finals. No. 1 Iowa, which also picked up an improbable comeback win from Jay Borschel at 174, has clinched its third straight national title and 23rd overall.

The Hawkeyes have piled up 120.5 points, 45.5 more than second-place Cornell. The Big Red have 75 points and two wrestlers in the finals. Iowa State is third with 67 points and three in the finals.

“Last year, we didn’t win any (individual) titles," Iowa coach Tom Brands said. "This year, we have five chances to win titles. When you are 5-for-5 in the semifinals, you might as well be 5-for-5 in the finals. That’s not a prediction. That is a philosophy.”

“It shows you are in control, that you have wrestled well as a team. It doesn’t lessen the urgency of winning five titles and three sevenths tomorrow. It’s flexing your muscles.”

Iowa's five NCAA finalists was the most the Hawkeyes have earned since 1997.

Metcalf had four straight wins over Palmer before the Ohio State senior knocked him off 9-3 in the Big Ten finals 12 days ago in Ann Arbor, Mich. Metcalf won an NCAA title in 2008 and captured the Hodge Trophy. Metcalf was upset by North Carolina State’s Darrion Caldwell in last year’s finals.

“I’m excited,” Metcalf said of the rematch with Palmer. “It’s an opportunity to correct a wrong. I’ve been waiting for the past two weeks to get to this point. I know how to win big matches and it’s time to go do it on the big stage again.”

Palmer has placed fourth, eighth and fourth in three previous trips to the NCAA tournament.

“It’s going to be fun,” Palmer said of the rematch with Metcalf. “He’s a great wrestler. I just have to keep attacking and wrestle the same way that I have been all season. It’s time to see who the best guy in the country is.”

The second-seeded Borschel was taken down and turned to his back early in the match with No. 3 Chris Henrich of Virginia and trailed 5-0. He battled back from an 8-2 deficit.

Borschel tied the match with just under a minute left and then rode Henrich out, picking up a point of riding time to win 10-9 as the pro-Hawkeye crowd erupted.

"Sometimes I get in trouble with my laid back style and approach, and sometimes come out slow," Borschel said. "It’s our mentality as a team that when you go deeper and deeper into the tournament you get stronger. Coach Brands says every session our best wrestling is now and everything else is behind us. I just stayed calm and tried to take them one at a time to get those points back.”

Borschel will battle Cornell’s top-seeded Mack Lewnes in the finals. Both wrestlers are unbeaten.

Iowa also had finalists in Matt McDonough (125), Daniel Dennis (133) and Montell Marion (141).

Dennis downed returning national champion Franklin Gomez of Michigan State in the semifinals. Dennis beat Gomez for the third time this season.

McDonough will meet Iowa State’s Andrew Long in what should be an entertaining battle of stud freshmen. McDonough has won three close, high-scoring matches with Long this season.

Long, whose brother, Dylan, placed second in this event in 2003, knocked off top seed and 2008 NCAA champion Angel Escobedo of Indiana in the semifinals.

“I know I can compete with all these guys, and I know my talent is equal if not better than theirs,” said Long, who grew up in nearby Creston, Iowa. “It’s going to be a big match (against McDonough). We always have close matches that are always entertaining, so it’s going to be fun.”

Returning national champion Jake Varner of Iowa State reached the finals for the fourth straight season. He will meet Nebraska’s Craig Brester in a rematch of last year’s finals.

Varner is 3-0 against Brester this season, but he did lose to Brester in last year’s Big 12 finals. Brester is wrestling just a 90-minute drive from his hometown of Howells, Neb.

Sixth-seeded Max Askren of Missouri, who used to battle Varner and Brester at 197, reached the finals at 184. Askren is trying to join two-time NCAA champion Ben Askren, his brother, by finishing his season atop the medal podium.

Askren shot in on a double and finished to beat Wyoming's Joe LeBlanc 9-7 in overtime.

"I was buried pretty deep on that shot," Askren said. "The semifinals of the NCAA tournament are not a time to let go, get a stalemate and try again. I had that one opportunity, and I wasn't going to give it up. I was going to make the most of it, and things worked out."

Iowa heavyweight Dan Erekson had his singlet on backwards during a late-night wrestleback, but that was one of very few things Iowa did wrong on a magical night in Omaha.

FINALS MATCHUPS

125 Pounds
Andrew Long (Iowa State) vs. Matt McDonough (Iowa)

133 Pounds
Jayson Ness (Minnesota) vs. Daniel Dennis (Iowa)

141 Pounds
Kyle Dake (Cornell) vs. Montell Marion (Iowa)

149 Pounds
Lance Palmer (Ohio State) vs. Brent Metcalf (Iowa)

157 Pounds
J.P. O’Connor (Harvard) vs. Chase Pami (Cal Poly)

165 Pounds
Andrew Howe (Wisconsin) vs. Dan Vallimont (Penn State)

174 Pounds
Mack Lewnes (Cornell) vs. Jay Borschel (Iowa)

184 Pounds
Kirk Smith (Boise State) vs. Max Askren (Missouri)

197 Pounds
Jake Varner (Iowa State) vs. Craig Brester (Nebraska)

285 Pounds
David Zabriskie (Iowa State) vs. Jared Rosholt (Oklahoma State)
Untitled Document
   
© Copyright 2000-2014 USA Wrestling, All rights reserved.
Contents of this site may not used without the expressed written consent of USA Wrestling.