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Seven Pokes Advance to Elite Eight at NCAA Wrestling Championships



OSU did OSU things in Day 1 of the NCAA Wrestling Championships in New York. Seven Pokes advanced to the Elite Eight (quarterfinals) of their respective weight classes despite a big upset at 125 of Eddie Klimara.

The Pokes advanced wrestlers to the quarters at 141, 149, 157, 165, 174, 184 and 285. The only upset was Anthony Collica (No. 11) over the No. 6 seed from Northwestern.

Here are the team standings after rounds one and two on Day 1.

Penn State: 27.5
Oklahoma State: 24
Ohio State: 24
Nebraska: 20
As Jason Elmquist points out here, the NCAA title could come down to what happens this morning.

Friday morning matches very well could decide if the Cowboys will contend for their 35th national title – and their first in 10 years – or if the heavily-favored Nittany Lions will win their fifth title in six years. The two programs will square off in two separate weight classes with Penn State bringing in the higher seed in both – with all four wrestlers being freshmen.

The normally-hesitant-to-praise-his-guys John Smith was … complimentary.

“The seven guys advanced this past round that won this morning,” said Smith. “It was so important we did what we did. Collica getting the big upset; and having two freshmen in there getting wins; Dieringer doing his thing. It was a good round. It was as good of a second round as I can remember. You’ve got eight guys going right now, and that’s a good number as we go into day two.”

He also acknowledged to the Stillwater News Press what lies ahead.

“It’s been kind of stressful on them I think and it’s going to get a lot tougher,” Smith told the Stillwater News Press. “Both of them now get Penn State guys that are ranked No. 1 (and 3) in the country, and this is kind of the time that you get real excited and you go have your best matches. If you wrestle your best matches, you’re probably going to be pleased with the outcome.”

You can read about each individual match here. Highlights are below. You can watch Day 2 matches on ESPNU or stream them on Watch ESPN.

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