Author Topic: 2015 NCAAs - My thoughts  (Read 4812 times)

Offline OkieSpladle

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2015 NCAAs - My thoughts
« on: March 23, 2015, 06:26:47 PM »
I haven't yet read the OpenMat wrap-up of the tournament as I wanted to get down my thoughts before I did.  Therefore, any overlap or contradiction are entirely coincidental.  This was my 10th NCAA tournament and I've been to 9 out of the last 10. Writing these things up always helps me remember how many crazy and amazing things happen over the best three days of the year.  To keep the post to a digestible size, I'll break it down into one post per weight with some additional posts at the end for overall thoughts and extras.

125:

Oklahoma State Thoughts: I thought going into the tournament that Eddie was a little lucky to have the #7 seed.  When he handled the 10 seed Rios from Oregon State and Garrett went down, it suddenly appeared that he could make the semi's.  Of course, that was before the legend that is Zeke Moisey was quite so well known.  Dropping down after that loss and facing the #5 seed, Boyle from UTC, there was reason to be concerned that Klimara would fall in the round of 12 for the second straight year.  I'm sure most people missed that match.  It lasted only 28 seconds and featured Eddie at his electric best.  He attacked early, got a takedown and then caught Boyle as he tried to escape, whipping him right to his back.  He was stuck immediately.  That roar was quickly drowned out as Moisey pinned Gilman about 30 seconds later.  The rest of the tournament was Eddie in a nutshell.  He couldn't get anything going against Youtsey, but was in the match.  Then he looked dead to rights against Conaway in the 7th place match only to steal a victory late.  Hopefully with a full off-season with no trouble hanging over his head, Klimara can continue to improve on this finish.  Congrats to him on his first AA finish!

Everybody else: I've already touched on Moisey a little, but you can't really overstate how fun his tournament was to watch from a neutral fan perspective.  I wasn't overly impressed when he knocked off Garrett as I though Nashon made a huge tactical error spending the entire 2nd period eliminating riding time rather than pushing for TDs.  Moisey had to hang on for dear life in that 3rd period so it seemed more like a fluke upset than the start of something big.  He wrestled a good, solid match in beating Klimara and I was more impressed, but I still didn't give him much chance against Gilman.  That was as loud as I heard the arena all tournament long.  I think the moment may have gotten to him a little in the finals as he sat down on the mat after he came out and took a big deep breath, then started slowly, but credit to Tomasello for getting the W even when Moisey's magic started to surface late. 

I was glad to see Waters go down as I don't like his style much.  Dance not AAing was almost as surprising as Moisey ending up in the finals.  One final salute to Delgado.  Despite his less than aesthetically pleasing style, he was a two time champ and its never fun to see someone go out to injured to bring their A game.  This bracket was just filthy.  Dylan Peters went 0-2.  Former seeded wrestler Josh Martinez won a couple matches, but then was dispatched.  There were just so many tough kids.

Offline OkieSpladle

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Re: 2015 NCAAs - My thoughts
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2015, 06:35:11 PM »
133:

Oklahoma State Thoughts: GWH may well have been the last man selected for this bracket so the expectations weren't high.  Still, the kid never stops battling and managed to collect a couple of team points before Schopp used him to help win the Gorarrian.

Everybody else: If you saw Brewer's destruction of Jon Morrison last year, you knew the potential was there, but to come out and dominate every match like that?  If you can honestly say you saw that kind of performance coming, I salute you.  I know Stieber won #4 and was fantastic all tournament, but up until the last :30 of the finals, I don't know that anyone was as dominant as Brewer.  If anyone was, it was Stiebr and maybe Dieringer.  Pretty good company regardless.  Schopp's run made me happy (and not just because I had him in our annual pick 'em pool).  When he lost in the first round it looked like he was going to be another name on the list of really good wrestlers that were too hurt to be themselves as a Senior.  That he won only 2-1 over Alexander of Maryland in his first consi match only heightened that possibility.  4 falls and a total of 6 wins later he was 3rd.  I love it when guys come all the way back.  Much respect for Mason Beckman for making a similar run back to 6th place.

Offline OkieSpladle

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Re: 2015 NCAAs - My thoughts
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2015, 06:47:05 PM »
141:

Oklahoma State Thoughts: Depending on how you feel about Lavion Mayes, there were really only 3-4 really good wrestlers in this weight and then everybody else was a crap shoot.  Heil not only beat Mayes (by executing a smart match that, for some reason, Mayes seemed happy to allow), but got onto the right side of the consis to avoid Devin Carter.  That opened the door to a high finish and Dean rolled right through it dispatching #8 Geo Martinez, #7 Ashnault, and tourney phenom Jack of NC State all by 4-6 points.  This was a big step for the RS Freshman and really put to rest some of the concerns that Heil wasn't quite as good as some of us thought coming out of HS.

Everybody else: This weight class seemed to be inevitable from the start.  No one was beating Stieber and it seemed equally unlikely that his finals opponent would be anyone other than Port.  What can you say about Logan Stieber that hasn't already been said?  The guy was really tough as a freshman and he kept getting better.  The fact that two really tough wrestlers (Port and Carter) were potentially in his path to #4 and still no one expected him to come close to losing (and he didn't) says it all.  We wrestling fans are spoiled to live in an era when 2 4-timers came along so close together.  Its a tremendously difficult thing to do.  He made it look easy this year.

Offline ViseGrip

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Re: 2015 NCAAs - My thoughts
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2015, 06:51:43 PM »
133:

Oklahoma State Thoughts: GWH may well have been the last man selected for this bracket so the expectations weren't high.  Still, the kid never stops battling and managed to collect a couple of team points before Schopp used him to help win the Gorarrian.

Everybody else: If you saw Brewer's destruction of Jon Morrison last year, you knew the potential was there, but to come out and dominate every match like that?  If you can honestly say you saw that kind of performance coming, I salute you.  I know Stieber won #4 and was fantastic all tournament, but up until the last :30 of the finals, I don't know that anyone was as dominant as Brewer.  If anyone was, it was Stiebr and maybe Dieringer.  Pretty good company regardless.  Schopp's run made me happy (and not just because I had him in our annual pick 'em pool).  When he lost in the first round it looked like he was going to be another name on the list of really good wrestlers that were too hurt to be themselves as a Senior.  That he won only 2-1 over Alexander of Maryland in his first consi match only heightened that possibility.  4 falls and a total of 6 wins later he was 3rd.  I love it when guys come all the way back.  Much respect for Mason Beckman for making a similar run back to 6th place.

Prior to last year's NCAA, I had come to the conclusion that Brewer would never beat Morrison. But he did and did so decisively. I think something in Brewer's mind clicked when he beat him. What I thought was remarkable about the match with Dardanes was he got taken down right off the bat, but didnt let it bother him in the slightest. That kind of confidence against an undefeated top seed is impressive.
"The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all that want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics" -Thomas Sowell

Offline OkieSpladle

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Re: 2015 NCAAs - My thoughts
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2015, 07:07:42 PM »
149:

Oklahoma State Thoughts: I held out hope.  I knew it didn't look good when Kindig was taking time off coming into Big 12s.  I knew it really didn't look good when he forfeited out without even trying to wrestle.  I knew it had to be a desperate situation.  Still, I clung to hope.  There was no hope.  Josh was game and battled, but he just didn't have it to give.  I'm glad he had that run to the finals last year.  Otherwise, he had a tough career with a lot of injuries and frustrations.

Everybody else: This was kind of a boring weight all season.  Other than Tsirtsis losing, there wasn't much to holler about at NCAAs either.  I'm not one of those people who hate riding, but Tsirtsis' style is insulting.  He makes Houdashelt seem watchable by comparison and that is hard to do.  I hope we get someone at this weight next year that attacks.  I think some of the guys here could do more, but they choose not to.  Maybe if Hunter can get healthy and we get another couple of guys in there we'll see where the ceiling is for these other guys.  Stieber impressed the heck out of me (and I tend to be an Ohio State hater so thats hard to do...it bleeds over from other sports).  He was so hurt, but just refused to quit and kept finding a way to stay in the battle.  What a warrior.  I hope he is 100% next year.

Offline OkieSpladle

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Re: 2015 NCAAs - My thoughts
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2015, 07:58:19 PM »
157:

Oklahoma State Thoughts: If Collica is going to 149 next year, he is going to be tough.  He looked unsder-sized all year, but he kept getting better.  All that showed at this tournament, from his wins over ranked wrestlers, to the beat down Realbuto put on him, and finally to the TB2 loss to Minotti in the round of 12.  All of those looked like a talented kid that was just a little under powered.  For a guy we all expected to RS while waiting for the spot to clear at 149, he put together a solid year and a good tournament.

Everybody else: Its kind of incredible to think that I'll probably remember the Ness injury and the way he handled himself afterwards even more than an undefeated freshman winning the title.  I was pretty sure Ness was done when he injury defaulted and Bryce confirmed that after he got a closer look at the shoulder.  Still, there was Ness coming out for his consolation-semi match against Brascetta.  When he first appeared and had his head gear with him I wondered if there was another ridiculous chapter to write in his college career.  There was, but not the one we were hoping for.  Watching him get his workout gear off and get his headgear on, it was clear what was happening.  It wasn't the way any of us wanted to see him go out, but getting out there to start the match so that he could say good-bye and let us all salute him for all the crazy fun he has given us was class all the way.

And then there was IMar.  I hadn't seen much of IMar coming into the tournament, but I'd heard about him.  In an era with guys like Stieber, Dieringer, Oliver, Taylor, Ruth, etc, when you hear things like, this guy always attacks, you can get expectations that may be higher than can be met.  Still, IMar is that kind of wrestler.  Considering he might continue to improve, the rest of the field is in trouble.  The match against Green proved that he could wrestle more than one way and find a way to win.  He impressed me as much in that match as with his more dominating wins.  Who is going to step up and beat this kid?

Brascetta's run may have been one of the least surprising unseeded AA runs ever.  I know I had him getting on the stand and many others did to.  He proved us all right, though 4th was surprising even for him.  Ian Miller proved once again that he is an incredible wrestler that hasn't quite lived up to his potential on the college mats.  Even on one leg he was one of the most dangerous wrestlers out there.  Murphy couldn't get near him for fear of getting tossed, even though Miller could barely walk.  Impressive.

I will address the Miller/Realbuto controversy even though I think it won't go down in history as much more than a footnote, just one more crazy thing that happened in sports.  Obviously the referees and scorekeepers deserve a fair amount of blame for getting it wrong.  Had either one gotten it right, the referee making the proper call, or the scorekeeper realizing that you can't have 2 TDs without an escape, we wouldn't have been in this mess.  That said, I'm also upset with the Kent State coaching staff.  I don't know who was in the corner, but no matter who you have coaching at the NCAA tournament, they need to fully understand both their responsibilities and options when it comes to these types of calls.  I realize that they questioned it and were told it was right and they should sit down, but if you know its wrong (or even strongly suspect), there is a protest mechanism for just this sort of thing.  Upheld protests are rare at the NCAA, but they do work when the official has misinterpreted or misapplied a rule.  This is exactly what happened here.  You can't possibly have the scoring sequence that was recorded in this bout.  While I would have preferred the officials stop and talk to the scorekeeper and figure that out, when they didn't the Kent State coaches should have immediately protested the match.  Not doing so suggests that they either didn't realize that was a viable option in this case or that they didn't really know the score was wrong.  Either way they failed their wrestler.  Everyone makes mistakes.  When 2 officials, several table workers, and a coaching staff all make a bad mistake at the same time you end up with a terrible situation like this.  It isn't the first time and it won't be the last.  Sometimes sports aren't fair.  Once you leave the mat, though, I'm of the opinion the result should stand.

Offline OkieSpladle

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Re: 2015 NCAAs - My thoughts
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2015, 08:07:22 PM »
165:

Oklahoma State Thoughts:  He is now 105-4.  3x All-American, 2x National Champion.  He now has a better win % than anyone else in Oklahoma State history who wrestled at least 100 bouts.  He beat the 4th place finisher 18-6 and we were all disappointed in that match (as was he...he really shut it down late and even gave up a TD).  He gave BoJo WAY too much respect and still controlled the match against a guy that no one else came close to.  He wrestled the finals as tentatively and conservatively as anyone and won by 7.  Alex Dieringer you are the freaking man!  I hope he decides to just cut it loose next year because he could have one of the all-time most dominant seasons.  Whether thats at 165 or 174, I can't wait to see it.

Everyone else: BoJo is special.  When he lost to his cousin at the Big 10s I wondered if he was a little over-hyped, but I don't think so now.  That guy is one tough freshman.  If he gets away from AD next year I'd expect no less than a title.  Nick Sulzer was a pretty tough wrestler that was in the wrong weight class the last 2 seasons.  First Caldwell and Taylor that he just couldn't get past, now Dieringer and BoJo.  Rough.

Offline OkieSpladle

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Re: 2015 NCAAs - My thoughts
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2015, 08:27:39 PM »
174:

Oklahoma State Thoughts: Yes, I'm biased because I love the Cowboys, Kyle is a Union Redskin, and I've known him and his family since Kyle was in junior high and I was still rolling around and coaching a little at Union during FS season, but I had him in the semi's before the tournament and he did it!  I know he was mad at himself for failing to pull the trigger in the loss to Wilps, but he got better and grew all season and that continued into Saturday morning.  He beat Storley 3 times (sorry, I can't take off my orange colored glasses for this one) in that match, got robbed, then came back on the quick turn around and beat Evans at his own game in ride-outs.  Kyle hadn't ridden anyone for 10 seconds all tournament and he finds a way to hang on for 30 seconds.  Amazing.  What a beast!  The offense is there.  He took Storley down twice when all Storley had to do was play defense.  If he continues to get in better shape (that broken foot at the Scuffle didn't help) and continues to gain confidence in his offense, he can beat anyone.  Heck, he can already beat anyone.  He just might start beating them more often.  If AD comes up to 174, I have no doubt Kyle will got to 184.  It won't be easy, but I have a lot more faith that he can do it now than I did at the start of the season.

Everyone else: I don't say nice things about Penn State much so listen up Nittany Lion fans.  I'm happy for Matt Brown.  He deserved to finally get that title.  Congratulations.  Wilps over Kokesh was a head scratcher.  I still don't know what to make of that one.  The Big 10 174s have got to be sick of wrestling each other.  Kokesh/Storley/Evans/Brown make up approximately 90% of the big matches at this weight in the last few years (I made it up and its probably high, but its a lot).

This weight, even more so than all the others, really highlighted how broken and absurd the challenge system is.  First, in the Crutchmer/Storley match we had 4 challenges, with 3 coming on the same sequence at the end of regulation!  Minnesota challenged after Crutch had ended the match with an 8-6 lead on the scoreboard.  The first challenge was denied.  Minnesota challenged again.  The score was changed to 6-6.  Oklahoma State challenged.  The call was upheld.  Meanwhile a ridiculous amount of time elapsed andthe fans, coaches, and wrestlers were all frustrated.  This was a far more galling situation in the finals, but having a national championship decided on a locked hands call that isn't called until several minutes after the action ended just seemed wrong.  I have 2 suggestions that should either be implemented immediately or we should get rid of replay all together:

1) On a challenge, the officials should review the entire sequence being challenged and score it as they feel it should be scored.  There is absolutely NO REASON for multiple challenges to be made over the same sequence of events.  Watch the video, correct any mistakes that were made, figure out what the score/time/position should be and lets get on with it.

2) There should be a time limit on how long a challenge can take.  Start the clock when the refs get to the table and, when the clock hits zero, you either make a call or go with the one you made originally if you can't tell what happened.  I'm thinking 90 seconds.  Maybe even 60.  If its not obvious after you see it a time or two, it wasn't a bad enough call to delay the entire much for 5-10 minutes.  I thought there may have been a time limit at one point (or maybe that was football?), but challenges take way too long as it stands.

Offline OkieSpladle

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Re: 2015 NCAAs - My thoughts
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2015, 09:19:10 PM »
184:

Oklahoma State Thoughts: I had the same reaction to Boyd's tournament as I did to his season.  Ultimately, it was disappointing because he had beaten Meeks before so I had hope there and he was seeded to get to the R12.  However, he really shouldn't be beating Meeks and he ran into Zillmer on the back who was seeded above him and was making a big run back to be an AA.  Boyd improved this year over last.  He had some big wins, but he still reverts to not so good Boyd too often.  He is a tall guy so if everyone does shift up a weight I would expect him to be the same or better at 197.  Who knows?  If he keeps improving he could finish his career as an AA.

Everybody else: When Saturday night rolled around and Gabe Dean took the stage and did  what he was expected to do, I had kind of forgotten he hadn't won a title before.  After he beat Ruth last year and as much as he wins, its easy to forget he is just a Soph.  I do wish he'd open up some, but the results are hard to argue with.  Vic Avery had a great tournament as did Edinboro.  I was also impressed with Stauffer.  When he dropped the match to McCutcheon I thought he was done, but he showed his gaudy record was legit.  I didn't enjoy Miklus, on the other hand.  I like guys that celebrate and show emotion, but his was so over the top that it seemed fake and rehearsed.  The guy is tough though.  Do he and Cox go up next year?

I noticed it during Dechow's loss on the back side but one of the ODU coaches (I'm assuming HC considering age and how much he was around) was really bad about getting out on the mat and whining at officials (and in one case it appeared getting after an opponent, though I can't be sure on that being so far away, it really looked bad).  I noticed it several times this weekend and was surprised ODU didn't lose a team point as quick as they were to ding guys.  Overall I thought the coaches were better behaved then in past years and I give the refs a lot of credit for that as they mostly quickly dealt with those who did not. 

Offline OkieSpladle

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Re: 2015 NCAAs - My thoughts
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2015, 09:25:10 PM »
197:

Oklahoma State Thoughts: Maybe next year.

Everybody else: I wasn't expecting any of the top 5 to lose to anyone below them.  They did finish 1-5, but Hartmann through a monkey wrench into things and a guy on a 50+ match win streak almost lost 3 in a row (and did lose back to back).  I was really happy for Gadson.  He looked great early and finally got it done in his last shot.  What a way to finish!  That final was as boring as any match right up until Snyder got the leg.  15 seconds later, give or take, it was over!  I'm not sure Snyder could have possibly lived up to some of the hype he received, but he acquitted himself nicely, knocked off Cox, and proved he is as good as any of these guys.  It was a successful freshman campaign no matter how you slice it.

Offline OkieSpladle

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Re: 2015 NCAAs - My thoughts
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2015, 09:37:56 PM »
285:

Oklahoma State Thoughts:  The only real disappointment of the tournament for the Cowboys (other than Kindig, but there isn't much you can do about being injured).  The loss to Medbery was almost expected, but the loss to Walz was abysmal.  Its not that Walz is bad, he isn't, its the total lack of effort from Marsden that was bad.  He lost on a stall point.  While I thought the 2nd stall was quick (in comparison to the rest of the tournament it was insanely quick), Marsden never mustered any kind of real attack.  You can't complain about getting hit and losing if you never try to remedy the situation.  Marsden is such a crap shoot.  He seems talented and agile, but he can lose to too many people to be counted on.  He needs to figure that out.

Everyone else: With the Gwiz and McMullan in this weight, I really couldn't understand all the people streaming for the exits whenever the HWTs hit the mat.  I always stay and watch anyway, but this year was more fun than most.  From the Tavanello/Black match to close out Day 1 (won and lost 3 times in the last 30 seconds) to both times Stolfi took the match (really unfortunate injury there...it looked like he had beaten Myers and then his arm went and that was that) to the finals match that was fun throughout, the heavys were a good watch this year.  The Gwiz is one of those rare HWTs that can separate from most of the field so he is much less susceptible to upset.  Even so, Coon made him work for it and kept coming.  He is such a monster.  I think he was still as tall as Gwiz standing a spot below him on the podium.  Telford's run through the backside was funny.  He was tearing people apart and had absolutely zero reaction the entire time.  I know he isn't the most expressive guy out there, but it cracked me up as he won match after match and you wouldn't have been able to tell if he had just woken up, just won, just lost, or someone had just told an unfunny joke.  Good comeback though.

Thats all for today folks.  If anyone read this, thanks.  If not, thanks for letting me put my thoughts down so I can find them again someday.  I'll have a few more thoughts on the team race, the overall NCAA experience, and some bracket stats later on.

Offline TobusRex

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Re: 2015 NCAAs - My thoughts
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2015, 10:02:23 PM »
Thanks Spladle, always nice to hear your opinion on these things.  I agree with most of it :D
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Offline ViseGrip

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Re: 2015 NCAAs - My thoughts
« Reply #12 on: March 24, 2015, 11:16:14 AM »
There is a lot of talk about Dieringer going to 174 next year. I just dont think he will. I know it makes room on the line up for Marstellar, but Im not sure Marsteller is ready anyway.
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Offline Gantry

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Re: 2015 NCAAs - My thoughts
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2015, 01:24:55 PM »
After the way Crutchmer finished the year, I can't see how that helps OSU next year. 

Offline leglace

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Re: 2015 NCAAs - My thoughts
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2015, 02:24:45 PM »
I always have a great appreciation for wrestlers who take 3rd after having their ultimate goal crushed. Especially those who have to wrestle back from fee 1st round. It takes a certain kind of character. Some would say that they have a longer road than the champ, not just by the number of matches. They battle fatigue, disappointment, and some ticked off wrestlers.
When all else fails, do the opposite...