It's Friday, you ain't got – well, this show is pretty much safe for work, so while I could throw lines from the movie Friday at you for hours on end, we'll just stick to the scores and more from a great night of wrestling. That's right folks, you can only quote Friday if you've seen it, and I seen it! I even have it on VHS. What's that got to do with wrestling? Nothing, but here's your rundown from January 19, 2018 — I'm Hall of Fame wrestling writer, broadcaster and announcer Jason Bryant — and this is how you start off your Saturday morning.
Top-ranked Penn State blitzed No. 24 Purdue in front of another sellout Rec Hall crowd on Friday. Purdue got up early after Penn State had a rare forfeit at 125 pounds. PSU sports info reported that both eligible 125-pounders were sick and weren't in any shape to compete. That'd be the only W Purdue would get. The murderer's row of five NCAA champions swept 149 through 184 with three falls, a technical fall and a major. It might not be a stretch to say this might be the best 1-2-3-4-5 punch in the history of college wrestling — and I don't subscribe to hyperbole. We all know this — they're so freaking fun to watch.
Missouri improved to 15-0 overall and 6-0 in the MAC with a 29-6 win over No. 17 Central Michigan. The win clinched the regular season title in the MAC for the Tigers, who won eight out of 10 including an upset win by Canten Marriott over Jordan Ellingwood at 184. Grant Leeth upended All-American Justin Oliver 3-1 at 149 pounds — quite the recovery from a guy who many thought might not wrestle again after continued injuries.
Couple matches of note in fifth-ranked Oklahoma State's 29-6 Big 12 win over West Virginia — Nick Piccininni topped Zeke Moisey 4-0 at 125 pounds while 197-pound All-American Preston Weigel beat the ageless Jake Smith 5-2 at 197 pounds. Jake Smith – been wrestling at West Virginia since Millard Fillmore was President.
Sixth-ranked NC State opened up ACC competition beating host Duke 32-6. Best result there was at 157 pounds where Hayden Hidlay topped Mitch Finesilver 10-5. Overall, Duke's tandem twins combined to go 2-2. Yes, there are four Finesilvers in the lineup and they are two different sets of twins — and yes, they're brothers. The People's Champ Jacob Kasper beat Malik McDonald at heavyweight 8-6 for one of Duke's two wins.
No. 8 Michigan topped Wisconsin 29-10, but that one had a couple of head-scratchers — the biggest at 157 where Andrew Crone of Wisconsin knocked off All-American Alec Pantaleo 3-0. This was coming off Malik Amine's big fall over Cole Martin at 149. Hunter Ritter picked off All-American Kevin Beazely 3-2 at 197 pounds. No Logan Massa, but we did see Evan Wick tech Justin Hughes at 165. Adam Coon spent 41 seconds on the mat.
No. 12 Cornell took advantage of two missing Lehigh starters and picked off the No. 7 Mountain Hawks 23-14. Individually, Cornell was powered by Yianni Diakomihalis, who earned an 8-0 major decision over Luke Karam at 141 and Ben Darmstadt, who pinned Jake Jakobsen at 2:36 of the first period. Lehigh still without Scotty Parker and Ryan Preisch, but you wrestle with who you got.
No. 16 Rutgers picked up a 37-9 victory in the RAC over Hofstra. The Scarlet Knights improved to 5-3 on the season and picked up seven bonus victories in front of 3,139. Hofstra heavyweight Michael Hughes picked up his weight-class leading 13th fall of the season.
Taylor Venz victory at 184 was enough to give Nebraska a 18-17 criteria victory at Northwestern.
No. 25 North Carolina opened up ACC competition by rallying past Virginia 24-15. The Cavaliers jumped ahead with back-to-back falls at 125 and 133, including Jack Mueller pinning Zach Sherman at 133. The Tar Heels swept the last four weights, including a major decision from Ethan Ramos at 174 pounds over Will Schany. Ramos hadn't been in the lineup since the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational.
Old Dominion won three out of four overtime matches to scrap out a deceptively close 22-9 win over Buffalo in the MAC. Michael McGee, Luke Drugac and Antonio Agee all won matches with takedowns in the extra period.
Michigan State beat Indiana 18-15 in the Big Ten. Moving on.
Northern Colorado heavyweight Robert Winters picked up a win in sudden victory over Spencer Empey to give Troy Nickerson's Bears a 21-20 win over Cal Poly. Northern Colorado won the bonus battle with three majors and a fall compared to just two bonus wins by the Mustangs.
In EIWA action, Bucknell, which is a bit of a walking wounded team right now, wrestled well and picked off Harvard 21-10. Best match there was Tyler Smith's 8-2 win at 141 pounds over A.J. Jaffe. Keeping it in the EIWA, Navy won the last five matches to surge past American 22-9.
In Division II, top-ranked St. Cloud State headed west to Minot and picked up a 32-6 win over Minot State to improve to 13-0 on the season. Notre Dame College thrashed West Liberty 36-7. Out in Colorado, we had a couple of Rocky Mountain duals to take in — Western State Colorado beat Colorado School of Mines — that's MINES, not MIMES. If they were mimes, they wouldn't be yelling from the bench. Anyway, the Mountaineers beat the Orediggers — yup, Orediggers — 34-9 while Colorado State-Pueblo beat Colorado Mesa 24-18 in a dual between schools that used to be known as Southern Colorado and Mesa State. Google it.
Sixth-ranked Upper Iowa got past scrappy Minnesota State 18-12. Big win to help the Peacocks get past the No. 22 Mavericks was Nick Baumler's win over nationally ranked Matt Blome at 197. Minnesota State's Andrew McFall upset Upper Iowa's Maleek Williams 8-1 at 125.
In Division III — Centenary won its first dual of the year, beating Garden State rival TCNJ — that's THE College of New Jersey — 24-15. In case you didn't know, TCNJ used to be known as Trenton State. York — the one in Pennsylvania — beat Johns Hopkins and Elizabethtown beat Gettysburg.
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