5 quarterfinal bouts to watch on Day 2 of the NCAA Wrestling Championships
With Day 1 in the books at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, it’s time to look for the best matchups in Friday’s quarterfinals at PPG Paints Arena. There are going to be some good ones, especially at 133 pounds.
5-Jack Mueller, Virginia (19-0) vs. 4-Ronnie Bresser, Oregon State (25-1)
What a good one to start with — a 4-5 match at 125 pounds. Mueller puts his undefeated record on the line against Bresser, who’s lost once. Mueller had a pin and a major decision on Thursday, while Bresser had a pin and a 5-3 win.
5-Luke Pletcher, Ohio State (25-5) vs. 4-Micky Phillippi, Pitt (21-2)
Wrestling fans from all over Westmoreland County and the WPIAL will be eyeing this classic matchup between Pletcher, a Latrobe native, and Phillippi, a Derry grad, at 133 pounds. While Pletcher dominated the early matches in high school between the wrestlers, Phillippi has won the last two, including a 2-1 win at the Midlands.
7-Austin DeSanto, Iowa (20-4) vs. 2-Steven Micic, Michigan (16-0)
You could pick all the 133-pound bouts as ones to watch, but the DeSanto and Micic match could be a slugfest. They haven’t met this season, but Micic defeated DeSanto in last year’s NCAA tournament in Cleveland.
5-Hayden Hidlay, North Carolina State (22-2) vs. 4-Alec Pantaleo, Michigan (20-7)
Another good 4-5 match as Hidlay, a Pennsylvania native from Mifflin County, battles Pantaleo. Hidlay, who lost to Penn State’s Jason Nolf (Kittanning) in 2018, defeated Pantaleo, 10-2, in the semifinals at Cleveland.
10-Mikey Labriola, Nebraska (28-6) vs. 2-Daniel Lewis, Missouri (26-1)
Lewis has begun the tournament with consecutive first period pins. Labriola is coming off an 8-4 win against no. 7 Jacobe Smith of Oklahoma State. It makes for an intriguing match between two former Big 12 conference foes.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .