2021 Big Ten runner-up Ridge Lovett (Photo Courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)
During the third week of college wrestling action, one of the most common themes was the amount of highly ranked competitors that were defeated on the week. That trend started with the North Carolina/Nebraska dual meet on Wednesday. During this competition, top-ten wrestlers went down in three straight matches. It continued on Friday as there was a stunning result from Iowa City that made me check my phone multiple times, to confirm I saw precisely what I saw. Once the smoke cleared Sunday evening, a pair of NCAA finalists from the same weight were both knocked off.
Here are the wrestlers that entered the week in the top ten nationally, but lost to someone ranked lower during the last seven days.
#5 Patrick McKee (Minnesota) - Lost to #19 Trevor Mastrogiovanni (Oklahoma State) 10-6
This upset looks more impressive on paper, seeing as Patrick McKee was the third-place finisher at the 2021 NCAA Championships, hence his top-five billing this year. But, looking at the big picture from 2021, McKee entered the tournament as the 15th seed, just six spots higher than Mastrogiovanni. At the 2021 Big Ten Championships, McKee suffered losses to Dylan Shawver (Rutgers), Michael DeAugustino (Northwestern), and Dylan Ragusin (Michigan). Mastrogiovanni was a true freshman that was thrust into the Cowboy lineup last season and scuffled, at times, going 15-6, overall. With a full offseason in the OSU room, it shouldn't come as a surprise if he jumps levels this year. Mastrogiovanni's win over McKee was the most complete college performance of his brief career. He was masterful at getting to McKee's legs and was able to finish, more often than not.
#6 Brody Teske (Northern Iowa) - Lost to NR Corey Cabanban (Iowa State) 4-3
The 2021-22 debut for Brody Teske wasn't ideal as he fell to Iowa State's backup 125 lber Corey Cabanban in the Daktronics Open semifinals. Later in the tournament, he'd need to rally to get back Minnesota's Jager Eisch, 14-8. The win over Teske put Cabanban in the finals opposite teammate Kysen Terukina; coincidentally, both are natives of Hawaii. The 2021 NCAA qualifier Terukina prevailed 3-1 for his second open title in as many weeks. In both instances, he came out on top in a close bout with Cabanban. Those are the only two losses of the year for Cabanban, while Terukina is a perfect 8-0.
#5 Micky Phillipi (Pittsburgh) - Lost to #24 Malyke Hines (Lehigh) Fall 6:57
The Pittsburgh/Lehigh dual did not go as most would have anticipated. We'll talk about another bout from this dual later, as well. But first, we need to get Lehigh a pat on the back for their 26-9 romp over #19 Pittsburgh. The tone was set for the Mountain Hawks upset by their 133 lber, Malyke Hines, who shocked and pinned two-time ACC champion Micky Phillipi. The 2021 EIWA champion, Hines, led 4-2 early in the third period after a reversal on Phillipi. The Panther continued to attack and got a takedown of his own and was working from a crab ride late in the bout. Hines resourcefully reached for Phillipi's head and caught him on his back for a defensive fall with only three seconds remaining in the bout. It was a big win for Hines, who has suffered losses to both of Oregon State's 133 lbers in the first two weeks of the season.
#8 Tony Madrigal (Oklahoma) - Lost #25 Mosha Schwartz (Northern Colorado) 3-2
On the opening weekend of the 2021-22 season, the mercurial Tony Madrigal reeled off wins over a pair of past All-Americans which helped springboard him into the top-ten. In the past, he's shown flashes of those types of wins, but not always the consistency. That ended up being the case as Madrigal suffered a loss on Sunday to #25 Mosha Schwartz. Despite the current disparity in the rankings, this shouldn't come as a huge surprise. In their previous two meetings, Schwartz came out victorious, both affairs came during the 2019-20 campaign. That year, Schwartz made the Big 12 finals and was seeded 15th, just ahead of Madrigal, who was fourth and seeded 16th. This loss could have a big impact on both wrestlers since it's a conference match and in 2021, eight Big 12 wrestlers made it to St. Louis.
So far, in 2021-22, Schwartz is 5-0, though it's only his second win against DI competition.
Madrigal also had another loss this week, Friday to #7 Michael McGee (Arizona State). We didn't mention that one since, it was to a higher-ranked opponent.
#5 Chad Red Jr. (Nebraska) - Lost to #13 Kizhan Clarke (North Carolina) 3-1 SV
Our recap from the Nebraska/UNC dual meet details the situation surrounding this bout and two others.
#6 Zach Sherman (North Carolina) - Lost to #14 Ridge Lovett (Nebraska) 4-3; Lost to #16 Josh Heil (Campbell) 2-1
North Carolina's Zach Sherman gets the unlucky award, as scheduling has done him no favors in the early going. His three DI opponents this season are Sammy Sasso and Ridge Lovett, both returning Big Ten finalists, along with Josh Heil, an opponent that defeated him during the 2019-20 season. While the win/loss record is unsightly at 2-3, each of Sherman's three defeats have come by a single point. Sherman will drop some in tomorrow's new national rankings; however, that shouldn't be indicative of his long-term prospects and he'll be an All-American threat again. Expect good jumps for Lovett and Heil, who are now a combined 9-0 on the year. Lovett, in particular, as he was the fifth seed at nationals last season, but finished 1-2 at nationals.
#2 Austin O'Connor (North Carolina) - Lost to #16 Peyton Robb (Nebraska) 5-2
We've already detailed the Peyton Robb upset of 2021 NCAA champion Austin O'Connor in our recap of the Huskers win over North Carolina. But, Robb almost pulled off the rare feat of beating #1 and #2 in the same week, as he pushed #1 David Carr (Iowa State) to the brink in the finals of the Daktronics Open. Robb held a 5-2 lead in the second period, but an escape and a late takedown from the defending champion, pushed the bout into sudden victory. Carr seeming had more gas in the tank and was ready with a winning takedown.
#6 Kaleb Young (Iowa) - Lost to #7 Quincy Monday (Princeton) 9-5
This one counts as an upset just by the slimmest of margins. With all of the drama emanating from Carver-Hawkeye Arena, one of the overlooked aspects from Friday's dual was Quincy Monday's one-sided win over Kaleb Young. Monday jumped out to a lead with a first-period takedown and never looked back, adding two more and a reversal. This was the third career meeting between the two. Young was victorious in 2018-19 before Monday returned the favor in 2019-20. Some fans may not have remembered to count Monday as a legitimate title contender since his squad did not compete last season, but he is reminding the wrestling community quickly after a 5-0 start.
#1 Shane Griffith (Stanford) - Lost to NR Julian Ramirez (Cornell) 3-2
The first number one to go down was Shane Griffith on Saturday evening as he and new head coach Rob Koll returned to his old stomping grounds to take on Cornell. This match will be remembered for its ending as Griffith appeared to have a takedown on Julian Ramirez at the edge of the mat, in the waning seconds of the match. Don't let the controversy surrounding â€œwas it or wasn't it a takedownâ€ obscure the fact that Julian Ramirez is legit. Ramirez was a top-20 recruit from the Class of 2019 and hadn't got to compete, officially due to a grayshirt, followed by the Ivy League shutdown. While grayshirting, Ramirez finished 23-6, winning 14 of his last 15 bouts. Earlier this season, Ramirez went 4-1 at the Bearcat Open with a loss to Penn State's Matt Lee. A week later, he knocks off the returning national champion. The loss for Griffith is now the first of his career in dual competition.
#4 Jake Wentzel (Pittsburgh) - Lost to #30 Brian Meyer (Lehigh) 4-3
Surprisingly enough, Shane Griffith wasn't the only 2021 NCAA Finalist to get upset over the weekend. His finals opponent Jake Wentzel also suffered a similar fate. He was the second prominent upset victim of the dual meet between Pittsburgh and Lehigh. Meyer jumped out to an early lead with a takedown off of a low-leg attack. Once Wentzel knotted the match, Meyer countered a throw attempt for the eventual winning takedown. The win brings Meyer's season record to 5-1. He was beaten in the first bout of the year by Troy Nation (Campbell), but has seemingly righted the ship by winning five straight.
#7 Kordell Norfleet (Arizona State) - Lost to #9 Jake Woodley (Oklahoma) 5-3
This was another â€œupsetâ€ that falls into the category of â€œon paper only.â€ Jake Woodley is a returning NCAA semifinalist and sixth-place finisher, while Norfleet was a Round of 12 finisher. The two met last year in the first match of the year and the Sun Devils prevailed in tiebreakers. That win led to Norfleet being ranked above Woodley this season. This time it went the Sooners' way with a 5-3 victory. Woodley wrapped up his weekend by majoring #23 Alan Clothier (Northern Colorado). His record is now 7-0 on the year, with wins over Patrick Brucki (Michigan) and Cam Caffey (Michigan State).
#3 Tony Cassioppi (Iowa) - Lost to NR Jack DelGarbino (Princeton) Fall 2:07
The biggest shocker on the weekend took place in Iowa as Princeton's Jack DelGarbino pinned U23 world champion and NCAA third-place finisher Tony Cassioppi. Cassioppi looked to be in charge and ready to secure a pin of his own; however, DelGarbino rolled through the pin attempt and quickly got the fall himself. The loss for Cassioppi is the seventh of his collegiate career and only the first to an opponent not named Steveson or Parris. DelGarbino, on the other hand, is now 3-2 on the year and 10-10 during his career at Princeton.