Sophomore Andrew Howe is looking to cap off his season with an NCAA championship tonight at 165 lbs. at the 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.
The session kicks off at 6:30 and can be seen live on ESPN.
Howe faces Dan Vallimont of Penn State. They have already met twice this year, with Howe winning 7-2 in the dual
matchup and 3-1 in the Big Ten Championship semifinals. Howe also beat
Vallimont last season, 3-2.
As a team, Wisconsin sits in fifth place with 66.5 points. The best finish in school history came in 1976 when the team finished fourth. The team's best finish under Barry Davis is ninth, which happened in 2000 and 2009.
Howe (36-0) is looking to become the 13th different NCAA Champion in school history and the first since current UW Associate Head Coach won back-to-back titles in 2000 and 2001.
Howe also has a chance to be just the fourth Badger to go undefeated in a single season, joining Matt Demaray (42-0 in 1990-91), Andy Rein (40-0 in 1979-80) and Lee Kemp (39-0 in 1975-76).
I talked with assistant head coach Jared Frayer about 10 minutes ago and he says Andrew is feeling good leading up to the match. Frayer said one of the big things is that Andrew has been in this position before (he was a runner-up last season) so he knows what to expect.
No. 5 seed Trevor Brandvold finished in sixth place at 197 lbs., at the 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships with a 7-0 loss to No. 6 Eric Lapotsky of Oklahoma.
Lapotsky earned a takedown with 2:04 remaining in the first period, then added two nearfall points at the very end of the stanza to lead 4-0.
The second period started in neutral but Lapotsky extended his lead to 6-0 with a takedown with 40 seconds left. Brandvold then started down in third period but was unable to score. Riding time made it a 7-0 final for Lapotsky.
Senior Kyle Ruschell entered the 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships as the No. 4 seed at 149 lbs., and the seeding held true as he was defeated by No. 3 Kyle Terry of Oklahoma, 5-4, in the third place match.
Terry got a takedown 32 seconds into the match to lead 2-0, but Ruschell answered with a reversal with 1:42 to go in the period. Terry went ahead 3-2 though with an escape six seconds after Ruschell's takedown. Terry added to his lead with a 5-2 takedown with 41 seconds to go.
The second period was scoreless, although Ruschell nearly scored a takedown at the end of the period, but the action went off the mat before that could happen.
Terry started down in the third period and Ruschell was able to add two nearfall points 16 seconds into the frame. Ruschell rode him for the duration of the match but was unable to turn him to earn additional points.
Ruschell is a two-time All-American, placing third last season and fourth this season.
No. 8 Tyler Graff took home fifth place at 133 lbs., at the 2010 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships with a 5-3 decision over No. 6 Dan Mitcheff of Kent State.
Graff had a 2-0 lead just 25 seconds into the match with a takedown. Mitcheff escaped 22 seconds later to leave the score at 2-1 in favor of Graff after the first period.
Mitcheff started down in the second period and tied the match at 2-2 with an escape five seconds into the frame. Graff regained the lead though at 4-2 with 27 seconds left in the period. With five seconds left, Mitcheff was able to escape to cut the lead to 4-3 after two periods.
In the final period, Graff started down but escaped just 12 seconds in. He was able to stave off repeated takedown attempts to capture fifth place.
No. 5 Trevor Brandvold was shut out, 10-0, in the consolation semifinals by No. 3 Hudson Taylor of Maryland. Brandvold now will wrestle for fifth place.
Taylor started with a takedown two minutes into the match and then added three nearfall points to lead 5-0 after the first period.
The second period started in neutral, but Taylor took down Brandvold with 55 seconds left in the period to lead 7-0 after two.
Taylor started down in the third period but reversed Brandvold to lead 9-0. Riding time made it 10-0.
Brandvold will now wrestle for fifth place against No. 6 Eric Lapotsky of Oklahoma.
No. 4 seed Kyle Ruschell defeated Big Ten foe and No. 5 seed Frank Molinaro of Penn State, 7-1, to advance to the third place match for the second year in a row.
Ruschell, who entered the match 1-1 against Molinaro this year, got a takedown 29 seconds into the match to lead 2-0. He then rode him for the rest of the first period to establish riding time.
In the second period, Ruschell started down but scored a reversal four seconds into the frame to move ahead 4-0. Like in the first, Ruschell was able to ride out Molinaro for the rest of the period.
The wrestlers started in neutral for the third period, but Ruschell earned his third takedown of the match with 33 seconds to go. Molinaro got his lone point with an escape with seven seconds left, but an impressive riding time of 4:45 for Ruschell gave him the 7-1 win.
Ruschell will wrestle No. 3 Kyle Terry of Oklahoma for third place.
No. 8 seed Tyler Graff will wrestle for fifth place at 133 lbs., after being pinned by No. 3 Franklin Gomez at the 3:36 mark in the consolation semifinals.
Gomez got the early lead with a takedown with 1:48 left in the first period. Graff scored a reversal though with 59 seconds remaining to tie the match at 2-2.
Graff chose to start down in the second period, but got rolled onto his back and Gomez got the shoulders down at the 3:36 mark.
Graff now wrestles for fifth place against No. 6 Dan Mitcheff of Kent State. The two have not met this year.
No. 5 seed Trevor Brandvold topped Big Ten rival and No. 8 seed Sonny Yohn of Minnesota, 13-7, to move on to the consolation semifinals. The win guarantees Brandvold no worse than sixth place, while he can also still attain third place.
Trailing 3-2, Brandvold scored a reversal with 20 seconds left in the first period to take a 4-3 lead that he would not give up. Two nearfall points plus an escape by Yohn made it 6-4 after the first period.
Brandvold started down in the second period but escaped to go ahead 7-4. A takedown with 39 seconds left in the stanza gave him a 9-4 lead. The third period featured two more takedowns for Brandvold and three escapes by Yohn to make the final score 13-7.
Brandvold now faces No. 3 Hudson Taylor of Maryland in the consolation semifinals.
No. 4 seed Kyle Ruschell moved on to the consolation semifinals with a 3-1, sudden victory win over No. 9 Kevin LeValley of Bucknell. Ruschell can now finish as high as third and no worse than sixth.
After a scoreless first period, Ruschell escaped three seconds into the second period to lead 1-0. The score stayed that way until LeValley escaped seven seconds into the third period.
The 1-1 match then moved to sudden victory where, with five seconds left, Ruschell earned a takedown to win 3-1 and move on to a bout against Frank Molinaro of Penn State.