Pena-Ness rematch highlights Session II action

With two All-Americans dropping in the pigtail round, the NCAA is once again proving that anything is possible in March. There are always plenty of great matchups in the second round, but most fall with the No. 8 vs. No. 9 matchups, as well as the No. 7 vs. No. 10. Even when not listed, be sure to keep an eye on those matchups!

Here's what to watch for in Session II:

125: On paper the highlight of the next round could be Penn State's No. 3 seed Nico Megaludis and No. 14 Eddie Klimara of Oklahoma State. It's a nice matchup, but as Mega was working hard for all seven minutes to find a technical fall, Klimara was ridden and limped his way into a 6-4 win. On the bottom side of the bracket, keep an eye on No. 15 Anthony Zanetta (Pitt) and No. 2 Nahshon Garrett (Cornell). The Big Red wrestler should be OK, but Zanetta can frustrate opponents on top.

133: Iowa's Tony Ramos struggled a bit with Pitt's Shelton Mack, but look for him to cruise past No. 14 Zane Rishards (Illinois). No. 6 Mason Beckman (Lehigh) and No. 11 Ryan Mango (Stanford) will battle for the right to meet Ramos in the quarterfinals, and should add form to an interesting half of the bracket.

141: Look for No. 9 Evan Henderson (UNC) and No. 8 Luke Vaith, (Hofstra) to put on a great second round matchup. The winner gets Port, and if that's 2013 NCAA All-American Henderson the matchup has upset potential. Also watch for No. 14 Edgar Bright (Pitt) to give No. 3 Zain Retherford some spats of difficulty. Also, returning All-Americans Undrakhbayar (Citadel) and Nick Lester (Oklahoma) meet in the pigtail wrestlebacks.

149: The most exciting match of the weight will almost certainly come from in-state rivals No. 7 Gus Sako (Virginia) and No. 10 Zach Neibert (Virginia Tech) -- they're both pinners and they love to scrap. Also look for No. 9 Eric Grajales (Michigan) and No. 8 David Habat (Edinboro) to light up the scoreboard.

Pac-12 champion R.J. Pena battles Dylan Ness tonight (Photo/Tony Rotundo,
157: Not sure how No. 8 R.J. Pena (Oregon State) and No. 9 Dylan Ness (Minnesota) could wrestle and not provide fireworks. It'll be the match of the round, and one you won't want to miss it. Pena won by technical fall over Ness at the Southern Scuffle. I like Brain Realbuto of Cornell at the No. 7 seed to put on a nice performance against No. 10 Blaise Butler (Virginia)

165: Citadel's No. 11 seed Turtogtokh and Chattanooga No. 7 seed Corey Mock meet in a rubber match, with the winner looking to face No. 3 Nick Sulzer in the quarterfinals. Also watch for Dan Yates (Michigan) to wrestle well from the No. 13 seed and give No. 4 seed Steven Monk (NDSU) a tough matchup.

174: No. 3 Robert Kokesh (Nebraska) will face his first test in a run for the upset of No. 2 Andrew Howe (Oklahoma) when he faces upset-minded Conor Brennan of Rider. No. 10 Mike Otinger (Central Michigan) and No. 7 Tyler Wilps (Pitt) should also be a good scrap, with Wilps' work on his feet giving him an advantage on the way in.

184: Bracket buster Vic Avery (Edinboro) made his way past No. 5 Ethan Lofthouse and will now face a tough, but beatable No. 12 Ophir Bernstein (Brown). The winner of this match will likely face No. 4 Max Thommusseit (Pitt) in the quarterfinals. No. 7 Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota) will be the tentative favorite against No. 10 Kenny Courts (Ohio State).

197: Tough luck No. 5 Kyven Gadson (Iowa State) has a match with scramble-ready No. 12 Taylor Meeks (Oregon State). Also, No. 6 Richard Perry (Bloomsburg) faces No. 11 Nathan Burak (Iowa) in a match that the Hawkeyes need to win in order to preserve their progression towards an NCAA title.

285: You have to keep an eye on the No. 1 seed Tony Nelson (Minnesota). He's always in a tight match, and after an up-and-down year it's possible that second round opponent Amarveer Dhesi (Oregon State) could give him a scare. At least it'll be a clue on what happens next. All-Americans No. 5 Bobby Telford (Iowa) and No. 12 Spencer Myers (Maryland) also meet up in the second round.


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rick143 (1) about 4 years ago
Hips and Beezer each had loft house in the finals... Ouch he is gone in first round
Andrew Hipps (1) about 4 years ago
I didn't see that one coming, although I did mention Lofthouse-Avery as one of the best first-round matchups in my article. Avery is really good and should have been seeded. I knew it would be a competitive match, but obviously I saw Lofthouse coming out on top. Foley also mentioned Avery as a potential bracket buster.