NCAA Wrestling Championships Summary 2015

Ohio State became the 6th Big Ten Team to win a NCAA Wrestling Championship; a Big Ten team has won the team title the past 9 seasons

First Round Summary

The 2015 NCAA Championships started in great fashion with 10 returning All-Americans defeated in the first round as Ohio State went out to an early team lead with 13.5 points winning 7 of 10 bouts. Penn State won all 7 bouts to earn 2nd place with 11.5 points, Cornell won 6 of 9 bouts to finish in a tie for 3rd with the host, Missouri Tigers, who were 8 of 10 for 11 points. Both Michigan and Iowa won 6 of 10 bouts to finish in a tie for 5th with Nebraska 10 points as the Cornhuskers won 6 of 9 bouts. Oklahoma State and Virginia Tech tied for 8th with 9 points as the Cowpokes took 6 of 9 and the Hokies won 6 of 8 bouts. Illinois and Minnesota each won 6 bouts to finish in 10th and 11 places respectively. Unseeded Scott Patrick of Davidson upset #11 Brett Pfarr of Minnesota, 8-6, giving the Wildcats their first win at this tournament since 1968. The highest seed to go down was #2 Michael Moreno of Iowa State who lost to Jim Wilson of Stanford, 7-5; Wilson placed 8th at 165 lbs. #3 Bobby Telford of Iowa, a returning All-American in 2014, lost to Spencer Myers of Maryland, an All-American, in 2013, 7-5. Unseeded Joe Latham of Oregon State edged #4 John Eblen of Missouri, 6-4. Unseeded Kevin Jack of North Carolina State upset #6 Josh Dziewa of Iowa, 6-3; Jack placed 5th at 141 lbs. Unseeded Lou Mascola of Maryland stunned #5 Cody Pack of South Dakota State, 10-9. Unseeded Garrett Shaner of Stanford astonished #6 Alec Pantaleo of Michigan, 11-10. Iowa State had three seeded wrestlers defeated in the first round, Gabe and Mike Moreno plus Tanner Weatherman. In all, My first round picks were: 14-2 at 125, 11-5 at 133, 14-2 at 141, 10-6 at 149, 13-3 at 157 and 13-3 at 165, 12-4 at 174, 11-5 at 184, a paltry 9-7 at 197 and 15-1 at 285. Overall, my pick were 122 of 160 for 76.25% in an absolutely wild first round.

Second Round Summary

Ohio State maintained a slim two point lead, 23 to 21, over their Big Ten Co-Champion, Iowa, as both teams placed 5 wrestlers each into the quarterfinals. Oklahoma State was 3rd and Penn State 4th with 19.5 and 18.5 points as both teams also had 5 quarterfinalists. Missouri and Nebraska tied for 5th with 18 points each and 3 quarterfinalists. Cornell was only a half point behind also with 3 quarterfinalists. Illinois earned 4 quarterfinalists, but sat in 8th with 16 points. Michigan and Virginia Tech were tied for 9th place with 15 points was the Hokes had 5 quarterfinalist compared to the Wolverines three. Unseeded Zeke Moisey of West Virginia scored the biggest upset of the round with a 5-2 decision over #2 Nashon Garrett of Cornell, a returning NCAA Runner-Up. Two #14 seeds, Dean Heil of Oklahoma State and Matt McCutcheon of Penn State, defeated #3 seeds, Lavion Mayes of Missouri and Blake Stauffer of Arizona State, 3-1, in sudden victory overtime bouts at 141 lbs. and 184 lbs. #13 Cooper Moore of Northern Iowa pinned #4 Nick Sulzer of Virginia at 2:19, and #13 Victor Avery of Edinboro won on tiebreaker over #4 Jack Dechow of Old Dominion. #13 Cody Brewer of Oklahoma won a major decision over #4 Johnni DiJulius of Ohio State, 9-1, and #13 C.J. Cobb of Penn stunned #4 Brandon Sorenson of Iowa, 4-3. David Terao of American bested Two-Time NCAA Champion, Jesse Delgado, 4-2. Nick Brascetta of Virginia Tech took out his second seeded wrestler, #8 John Boyle of American, after disposing of #9 Joey LaVallee of Missouri, 5-2, in the first round; Brascetta gained . Overall, my second round picks were 58 of 80 for 72.5%.

Third and Quarterfinal Round Summary

The Ohio State Buckeyes gained 5 Semi-Finalist and a 17 point team lead over the Iowa Hawkeyes, 64.5 to 47.5, after a rugged quarterfinal round. Missouri was 2.5 points behind Iowa matching the Hawkeyes with 3 Semi-Finalists. Cornell wrestled to 4th with 41.5 points with 2 in the Semis, and Edinbori was a point behind with 3 Semi-Finalists. Nebraska earned 36.5 points, and Oklahoma State was in 7th with 36 points; the Cornhuskers only had one Semi-Finalist left, but the Cowpokes earned 2 Semi-Finalists. Penn State earned 33.5 points, and Minnesota was 9th with 29.5 points; both earned 2 Semi-Finalists. Michigan and Illinois were tied for 10th with 26.5 points and one Semi-Finalist.

The biggest controversy of the tournament erupted in this round after the wild 3rd period of the quarterfinal bout between #2 Brian Realbuto of Cornell and #6 Ian Miller of Kent State. Miller led 2-1 after the first period, and 4-3 after the second period; he built an 8-4 lead with a reversal and his third takedown of the bout with 56 seconds to go. An escape and takedown by Realbuto narrowed the gap to 8-7 with 24 seconds to go. Realbuto cut Miller to make the score 9-7, and then got a takedown to tie the bout up as time expired, 9-9. The bout was immediately rushed into overtime, but neither the scoring table nor the referees checked the score to recognize the 1:33 in riding time that Miller earned for a 10-9 win. Realbuto won in sudden victory overtime, 11-9, in 13 seconds. After the controversy, the NCAA issued a statement stating that coaches needed to be responsible to challenge any scoring errors in a bout.

Upsets continued with Unseeded Zeke Moisey of West Virginia defeating Eddie Klimara of Oklahoma State, 5-2. Unseeded Kevin Jack of North Carolina State upsetting #4 Devin Carter of Virginia Tech, 10-8. #1 Robert Kokesh of Nebraska was edged, 3-2, by #8 Tyler Wilps of Pittsburgh. #2 Max Thomusseti of the Panthers was stunned, 7-4, by #7 Nate Brown of Lehigh after beating him twice during the season. Unseeded Kenny Courts of Ohio State boosted the Buckeye title hopes with a sudden overtime victory, 7-5, over #14 Matt McCutcheon of Penn State. #15 Ethan Ramos of North Carolina was leading #7 Pierce Harger of Northwestern, 8-3, when the bout ended on a medical forfeit. In the consolation round, #4 John Eblen of Missouri lost to Zach Brunson of Illinois on a head butt after defeating him in the bout.

Fourth and Semi-Final Round Summary

Ohio State was in position for the team title as they ended Friday evening with a 13.5 point advantage of Iowa, 86.5 to 73; the Buckeyes moved three into the finals, Tomasello, Stieber and Snyder, compared to only one wrestler for the Hawkeyes, Cory Clark. Cornell and Edinboro came through with two finalists each, and 66.5 and 64.5 points respectively. Missouri placed 5th and Penn State 6th with one finalist each, 60 and 58 points. Michigan moved into 8th with 51 points, and one finalist. Minnesota and Nebraska tied for 9th, but neither squad had a finalist.

The pin by Zeke Moisey of West Virginia of #6 Thomas Gilman of Iowa in 52 seconds started the session off with a "bang" at 125 lbs. Cody Brewer of Oklahoma earned his third major decision in a row, 15-3, over #1 Chris Dardanes of Minnesota at 133 lbs. #3 David Habat of Edinboro, ruined #2 Jason Tsirtsis chances of a repeat, 3-2, at 149 lbs. Another Gopher, Dylan Ness, 2014 NCAA Runner-Up, was forced to default with as shoulder injury to #2 Brian Realbuto of Cornell at 157 lbs. #6 Adam Coon of Michigan reversed the outcome of his Big Ten Semi-Final loss to #2 Mike McMullan of Northwestern in sudden victory overtime, 3-1, with a scramble that few have seen in the heavyweight class.

In the consolation round, the famous "Round of 12" was wrestled off. Some of the great battles to make All-American and a place on the podium included Michigan's unseeded Conor Youtsey defeating #3 Joey Dance of Virginia Tech in sudden victory overtime, 3-1, after losing to Dance in the same round in 2014 at 125 lbs. At 149 lbs., unseeded Daniel Neff of Lock Haven hit a granby roll to reverse #11 Tywon Claxton of Ohio University, 7-5, in tiebreaker to give the Bald Eagles their first All-American since 2007. Unseeded Willie Miklus of Missouri defeated #5 Tyler Meeks of Oregon State, a returning All-American, 13-7; also, #6 Hayden Zillmer of North Dakota State eliminated #2 Max Thomusseit of Pittsburgh, 7-1, at 184 lbs. #10 Ty Walz of Virginia Tech eliminated #4 Austin Marsden of Oklahoma State, 2-1, at 285 lbs.

Fifth Round Consolation Final Summary

Ohio State clinched the team title after this round with a 94 to 84 lead on Iowa. Edinboro placed 3rd with 75.5 points. Missouri was in 4th ahead of Cornell, 69.5 to 67.5. Penn State was 6th with 63.5, Oklahoma State was 7th with 61, Minnesota moved up to 8th with 59.5, Nebraska was in 9th with 59, and Virginia Tech held on to 10th place with 56 points.

#9 A.J. Schopp of Edinboro gave #1 Chris Dardanes of Minnesota his second defeat of the tournament, 4-3, at 133 lbs. for 3rd place. #15 Freshman B.J. Clagon of Rider defeated #5 Senior Chris Villalonga of Cornell, 6-3, at 149 lbs. for 5th place. #12 Brian Crutcher of Oklahoma State rode out #3 Mike Evans of Iowa in tiebreaker for a 2-1 win at 174 lbs.

Finals Summary

The finals began with a very entertaining bout between old rivals, Nathan Tomasello of Ohio State and Zeke Moisey of West Virginia, both with freshman eligibility; the third period saw Moisey throwing a "cement mixer" to narrow the gap to 6-4, but Tomassello recovered to end it, 9-5. Oklahoma's #13 Cody Brewer was very impressive with 5 takedowns over #3 Cory Clark of Iowa inn a 11-8 win; Brewer sailed to the finals with three major decisions and a pin. Only one bout went overtime, and at 149 #1 Drake Houdashelt edged #3 David Habat of Edinboro with a 3-1 sudden victory. Only one bout was decided by pin, and Iowa State's #3 Kyven Gadson threw #4 Kyle Snyder of Ohio State at 4:24. The highest scoring heavyweight bout since 1988 saw #1 Nick Gwiazdowski of North Carolina State repeat over #6 Adam Coon of Michigan, 7-6. Three bouts were easily decided at 157 lbs., 165 lbs. and 141 lbs. with #1 Isaiah Martinez of Illinois majoring #2 Brian Realbuto of Cornell, 10-2, #1 Alex Dieringer of Oklahoma State easily handling #6 Taylor Walsh of Indiana, 14-7, and #1 Logan Stieber of Ohio State manhandling #2 Mitchell Port of Edinboro, 11-5. The most controversial final was decided by a locked hands violation at 6:59 of the bout between #2 Matt Brown of Penn State over #8 Tyler Wilps of Pittsburgh, 5-4, after two video replay reviews. In the other final, #1 Gabe Dean of Cornell outlasted #7 Nate Brown of Lehigh, 6-2, at 184 lbs.

125 lbs.

There is no doubt that Zeke Moisey was the surprise wrestler of the championships; he was the first unseeded wrestler in the finals since 2003.

Predicted vs. Actual Placewinners

Predicted 125 lbs. Place Team Actual Placewinner Team
Waters, Alan 1st Missouri Tomasello, Nathan Ohio State
Garrett, Nashon 2nd Cornell Moisey, Zeke West Virginia
Dance, Joey 3rd Virginia Tech Waters, Alan Missouri
Klimara, Eddie 4th Oklahoma State Gilman, Thomas Iowa
Delgado, Jesse 5th Illinois Garrett, Nashon Cornell
Boyle, Sean 6th Tenn.Chat. Youtsey, Conor Michigan
Conaway, Jordan 7th Penn State Klimara, Eddie Oklahoma State
Tomasello, Nathan 8th Ohio State Conaway, Jordan Penn State

Nathan Tomasello, NCAA Champion 125 lbs.

133 lbs.


Predicted vs. Actual Placewinners

Predicted 133 lbs. Place Team Actual Placewinner Team
Dardanes, Chris 1st Minnesota Brewer, Cody Oklahoma
Clark, Cory 2nd Iowa Clark, Cory Iowa
Schopp, A.J. 3rd Edinboro Schopp, A.J. Edinboro
Taylor, Brad 4th Wisconsin Dardanes, Chris Minnesota
Beckman, Mason 5th Lehigh Guilbon, Jimmy Penn State
Richards, Zane 6th Illinois Beckman, Mason Lehigh
Guilbon, Jimmy 7th Penn St. Taylor, Brad Wisconsin
Synon, Zach 8th Missouri Bruno, Rossi Michigan

Cody Brewer, NCAA Champion 133 lbs.

141 lbs.


Predicted vs. Actual Placewinners

Predicted 141 lbs. Place Team Actual Placewinner Team
Stieber, Logan 1st Ohio State Stieber, Logan Ohio State
Port, Mitchell 2nd Edinboro Port, Mitchell Edinboro
Carter, Devin 3rd Virginia Tech Carter, Devin Virginia Tech
Dardanes, Nick 4th Minnesota Heil, Dean Oklahoma State
Abidin, Anthony 5th Nebraska Jack, Kevin No. Carolina State
Horan, Zach 6th Central Michigan Mecate, Chris Old Dominion
Mayes, Lavion 7th Missouri Mayes, Lavion Missouri
Ashnault, Anthony 8th Rutgers Ashnault, Anthony Rutgers

Logan Stieber, now is one of four wrestlers to earn a coveted 4th NCAA Title; he was the most dominant wrestler for 2015, and a 2016 Olympic candidate.

149 lbs.


Predicted vs. Actual Placewinners

Predicted 149 lbs. Place Team Actual Placewinner Team
Houdashelt, Drake 1st Missouri Houdashelt, Drake Missouri
Tsirtsis, Jason 2nd Northwestern Habat, David Edinboro
Kindig, Josh 3rd Oklahoma State Tsirtsis, Jason Northwestern
Sorenson, Brandon 4th Iowa Sorenson, Brandon Iowa
Habat, David 5th Edinboro Clagon, B.J. Rider
Villalonga, Chris 6th Cornell Villalonga, Chris Cornell
Moreno, Gabe 7th Iowa State Richardson, Alex Old Dominion
Pantaleo, Alec 8th Michigan Neff, Daniel Lock Haven

Drake Houdashelt, 5th last season, #1 Ranked Two Seasons in a Row.

157 lbs.


Predicted vs. Actual Placewinners

Predicted 157 lbs. Place Team Actual Placewinner Team
Martinez, Isaiah 1st Illinois Martinez, Isaiah Illinois
Realbuto, Brian 2nd Cornell Realbuto, Brian Cornell
Ness, Dylan 3rd Minnesota Green, James Nebraska
Green, James 4th Nebraska Brascetta, Nick Virginia Tech
Miller, Ian 5th Kent St. Miller, Ian Kent State
Minotti, Mitch 6th Lehigh Ness, Dylan Minnesota
Murphy, Brian 7th Michigan Murphy, Brian Michigan
LaVallee, Joey 8th Missouri Minotti, Mitch Lehigh

Isaiah Martinez, undefeated as a Redshirt Freshman and 2015 Big Ten Champion

165 lbs.


Predicted vs. Actual Placewinners

Predicted 165 lbs. Place Team Actual Placewinner Team
Dieringer, Alex 1st Oklahoma State Dieringer, Alex Oklahoma State
Jordan, Isaac 2nd Wisconsin Walsh, Taylor Indiana
Jordan, Bo 3rd Ohio State Jordan, Bo Ohio State
Sulzer, Nick 4th Virginia Morse, Jackson Illinois
Walsh, Taylor 5th Indiana Sulzer, Nick Virginia
Moreno, Michael 6th Iowa State Ramos, Ethan North Carolina
Harger, Pierce 7th Northwestern Jordan, Isaac Wisconsin
Morse, Jackson 8th Illinois Wilson, Jim Stanford

Alex Dieringer goes for his 2nd NCAA Championship

174 lbs.


Predicted vs. Actual Placewinners

Predicted 174 lbs. Place Team Actual Placewinner Team
Kokesh, Robert 1st Nebraska Brown, Matt Penn State
Brown, Matt 2nd Penn State Wilps, Tyler Pittsburgh
Storley, Logan 3rd Minnesota Kokesh, Robert Nebraska
Evans, Michael 4th Iowa Storley, Logan Minnesota
Eblen, John 5th Missouri Evans, Michael Iowa
Wilps, Tyler 6th Pittsburgh Crutchmer, Kyle Oklahoma State
Butler, Blaise 7th Virginia Epperly, Zach Virginia Tech
Weatherman, Tanner 8th Iowa State Julson, Kurtis No. Dakota State

Matt Brown

184 lbs.


Predicted vs. Actual Placewinners

Predicted 184 lbs. Place Team Actual Placewinner Team
Dean, Gabe 1st Cornell Dean, Gabe Cornell
Thomusseit, Max 2nd Pittsburgh Brown, Nate Lehigh
Dechow, Jack 3rd Old Dominion Avery, Victor Edinboro
Abounader, Domenic 4th Michigan Stauffer, Blake Arizona State
Thomas, Lorenzo 5th Penn Courts, Kenny Ohio State
Stauffer, Blake 6th Arizona State Zillmer, Hayden No. Dakota State
Brown, Nate 7th Lehigh Miklus, Willie Missouri
Miklus, Willie 8th Missouri Dudley, Tim Nebraska

Sophomore Gabe Dean, a Lowell, Michigan Native is a Two-Time EIWA Champion and returning All-American

197 lbs.


Predicted vs. Actual Placewinners

Predicted 197 lbs. Place Team Actual Placewinner Team
Cox, J'Den 1st Missouri Gadson, Kyven Iowa State
McIntosh, Morgan 2nd Penn St. Snyder, Kyle Ohio State
Schiller, Scott 3rd Minnesota McIntosh, Morgan Penn State
Snyder, Kyle 4th Ohio St. Schiller, Scott Minnesota
Gadson, Kyven 5th Iowa St. Cox, J'Den Missouri
Burak, Nathan 6th Iowa Hartmann, Conner Duke
Huntley, Max 7th Michigan Burak, Nathan Iowa
Beazley, Kevin 8th Old Dominion Huntley, Max Michigan

Kyven Gadson

285 lbs.


Predicted vs. Actual Placewinners

Predicted 285 lbs. Place Team Actual Placewinner Team
Coon, Adam 1st Michigan Gwiazdowski, Nick No. Carolina State
Gwiazdowski, Nick 2nd No. Carolina State Coon, Adam Michigan
Marsden, Austin 3rd Oklahoma State McMullan, Mike Northwestern
Medbery, Conor 4th Wisconsin Medbery, Conor Wisconsin
Telford, Bobby 5th Iowa Telford, Bobby Iowa
McMullan, Mike 6th Northwestern Lawson, Jimmy Penn State
Mellon, Devin 7th Missouri Walz, Ty Virginia Tech
Walz, Ty 8th Virginia Tech Kroells, Michael Minnesota

Nick Gwiazdowski



Predicted vs. Actual Team Standings

Predicted Actual
Missouri Ohio State
Minnesota Iowa
Cornell Edinboro
Oklahoma State Missouri
Iowa Cornell
Ohio State Penn State
Michigan Oklahoma State
Illinois Minnesota
Nebraska Nebraska
Penn State Virginia Tech
Wisconsin Michigan
Edinboro Illinois
Virginia Tech Lehigh
Northwestern Iowa State
Iowa State Northwestern
Pittsburgh No. Carolina St.
Lehigh Wisconsin
Old Dominion Oklahoma
Virginia Virginia
No.Carolina St. West Virginia
Indiana Pittsburgh
Penn Old Dominion
Kent State No. Dakota State
Arizona State North Carolina
Tenn.-Chat. Indiana
Central Michigan Kent State
Rutgers Rider

The great performances by Nathan Tomasello, Kyle Snyder, and Kenny Courts lifted the Buckeyes to their first national title. Iowa wrestled not as well as they could have, but still better than I thought they'd do at this event. Edinboro wrestled much better than most thought; everyone knew about Port and Habat, but Avery and Mines also pulled upsets. Penn State was another big surprise as they ended up sixth, but much more competitive than most thought they'd be at this event. Missouri, Cornell, and Minnesota didn't wrestle as well as expected although each team earned five All-Americans. Oklahoma State wrestled well, but not as well as they'd hoped to; still, they finished 7th with great performances by Dieringer, Heil, Crutchmer, and Klimara. Virginia Tech and Michigan both wrestled well, but both coaches and their fans know they could have wrestled much better. Old Dominion impressed many with Chris Mecate and Alex Richardson, but their best wrestler, #4 Jack Dechow, didn't return earn All-American honors as he did in 2014. Pittsburgh has an impressive performance by Tyler Wilps, but Max Thomasseit was also hoping for a finals appearance. There weren't many teams and coaches satisfied with their overall performances other than perhaps Ohio State. There were 113, 013 fans attending the six sessions in St. Louis at the Scottrade Center.

Most Surprising Wrestler Team Place Weight
Moisey, Zeke West Virgina 2nd 125 lbs.
Jack, Kevin North Carolina State 5th 141 lbs.
Youtsey, Conor Michigan 6th 125 lbs.
Julson, Kurtis No. Dakota State 8th 174 lbs.
Wilson, Jim Stanford 8th 165 lbs.
Neff, Daniel Lock Haven 8th  149 lbs.
Clagon, B.J.  Rider 5th 149 lbs.
Ramos, Ethan North Carolina 6th 174 lbs.
Avery, Victor Edinboro 3rd 184 lbs.
Crutchmer, Kyle Oklahoma State 6th 174 lbs.
Brewer, Cody Oklahoma 1st 133 lbs.
Miklus, Willie Missouri 7th 184 lbs.
Richardson, Alex Old Dominion 7th 149 lbs.

2015 Conference Champions

Conference 2015 Conference Champion(s)
Big Ten #5 Ohio State/#2 Iowa
Big 12 #6 Oklahoma State
ACC #18 Virginia
EIWA #3 Cornell
MAC #1 Missouri, National Team Duals Champion
EWL #13 Edinboro State
PAC-12 #19 Oregon State
WWC #20 North Dakota State
Southern Tennessee-Chattanooga

By Dave Taylor, Big Ten and Michigan Wrestling Historian

Final NCAA Wrestling Championship Brackets