Four Badgers remain alive at Big Ten championships


ON WISCONSIN <b>Jackson Hein (197 lbs.) punched his ticket to the 2013 NCAA Tournament during session II of the Big Ten championships.</b>
ON WISCONSIN
Jackson Hein (197 lbs.) punched his ticket to the 2013 NCAA Tournament during session II of the Big Ten championships.
ON WISCONSIN

March 9, 2013

Final Day One Brackets Get    Acrobat  Reader  l  Session I Photo Gallery  l  Postmatch: Barry Davis Small Video Graphic

CHAMPAIGN, Ill.-- Led by Tyler Graff (133 lbs.) and Connor Medbery (Hwt.), four Wisconsin wrestlers remain in contention for podium spots after the first day of the 2013 Big Ten Championships.

Graff and Medbery will compete for a third-place title at their respective weight classes when action resumes Sunday at 11:30 a.m., while Tom Kelliher and Jackson Hein will wrestle for seventh place at 141 lbs., and 197 lbs., respectively.

By virtue of his win in the first consolation round, Hein joined Graff and Medbery in qualifying for the 2013 NCAA Tournament by assuring himself no worse than an eighth place finish.

After the first day of competition, the Badgers are in 11th place in the team standings with 26 points, 0.5 points behind tenth place Indiana and nine points ahead of 12th place Michigan State.

Wisconsin head coach Barry Davis said he liked what he saw from his wrestlers on day one of the Big Ten championships, and that the experience his team gained from competing will prove valuable down the road.

"We saw some good things," Davis said. "Overall, we performed well and better than we did last year and guys got some good experience."

Graff and Medbery both had chances to earn spots in their championship matches, but came up just short, something that became a theme for Wisconsin during Saturday's second session.

Both Graff and Medbery fell to the No. 2 seeds in their brackets -- Graff to Iowa's Tony Ramos and Medbery to Iowa's Mike McMullan -- with each coming a takedown short of victory. Graff fell to Ramos, 3-1, and Medbery lost to McMullan, 5-4.

Medbery's loss was especially close, as it looked like he had earned a match-winning takedown as time expired, but he just ran out of room as the referees ruled him out of bounds and McMullan advanced.

The pair of Loveland, Colo., natives will compete in Sunday's consolation bracket semi-finals. Graff will face Illinois' fifth-seeded Daryl Thomas and Medbery will match up with Michigan's eight-seeded Ben Apland.

Overall, of the Badgers' seven losses during Saturday afternoon's session II, six came by four points or less and Davis said he was disappointed that the Badgers "left a few matches out there today."

"There were a couple [matches] we didn't finish right away or took too long to finish," Davis said. "We just have to create more opportunities because we didn't create enough today. We're doing some good stuff, there's just too much hand fighting and not enough time penetrating and getting to guys' legs."

Kelliher and Hein will wrestle for seventh-place titles on Sunday, Kelliher against Michigan No. 8-seed Camryn Jackson and Hein against Purdue's fifth-seeded Braden Atwood. Davis said it's important that Wisconsin bounces back after a tough go of things to close out the first day of competition, as the Badgers that have qualified for NCAAs have chances to improve their seeds for the national tournament.

"Graff has to come back to take third, Medbery as well," Davis said, "because that moves you up a seed at the NCAA tournament. Same with Jackson Hein."

Session III of the Big Ten championships will begin at 11:30 a.m., Sunday, with Session IV following at 1:30 p.m. Session III's matches will be streamed on the Big Ten Digital Network (BTDN) at BTN.com. Following that, Big Ten Network will begin broadcasting live from the Big Ten championships starting at 1:30 p.m.

Session II Results:

125 lbs.:
No. 7 David Thorn (MINN) fall Matt Cavallaris (WIS), 1:25

133 lbs.:
No. 2 Tony Ramos (IOWA) dec. No. 3 Tyler Graff (WIS), 3-1
Up next: Graff faces No. 5 Dylan Thomas (ILL) in the consolation semi-finals

141 lbs.:
Tom Kelliher (WIS) dec. No. 6 Ridge Kiley (NEB), 5-1
No. 7 Pat Greco (NU) dec. Tom Kelliher (WIS), 4-3
Up next: Kelliher faces No. 8 Camryn Jackson (MICH) in the seventh-place match

157 lbs.:
No. 5 Taylor Walsh (IND) dec. Kalvin York (WIS), 4-2

165 lbs.:
No. 5 Cody Yohn (MINN) dec. Frank Cousins (WIS), 1-0
Non-scoring match: No. 10 Pat Robinson (PUR) dec. Frank Cousins (WIS), 7-5

174 lbs.:
No. 10 Chad Welch (PUR) dec. No. 9 Scott Liegel (WIS), 4-1
Non-scoring match: No. 9 Scott Liegel (WIS) dec. No. 11 Jordan Wohlfert (MSU), 4-0

184 lbs.:
No. 7 Luke Sheridan (IND) dec. Ben Cox (WIS), 1-0

197 lbs.:
No. 7 Jackson Hein (WIS) dec. No. 9 Alex Polizzi (NU), 7-5
No. 3 Mario Gonzalez (ILL) dec. Jackson Hein (WIS), 2-0
Up next: Hein faces No. 5 Braden Atwood (PUR) in the seventh-place match

Hwt.:
No. 2 Mike McMullan (NU) dec. No. 3 Connor Medbery (WIS), 5-4
Up next: Medbery faces No. 8 Ben Apland (MICH) in the consolation semi-finals

Team standings after day one:
1. Penn State - 123.0; 2. Minnesota - 112.5; 3. Iowa - 109.0; 4. Ohio State - 92.0; 5. Illinois - 72.5; 6. Michigan - 61.0; 7. Nebraska - 52.0; 8. Northwestern - 50.0; 9. Purdue - 29.0; 10. Indiana - 26.5; 11. Wisconsin - 26.0; 12.Michigan State - 17.0

--

Ryan Evans
UW Athletic Communications 

ON WISCONSIN
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