March 3, 2011

RALEIGH , N.C. -- The college wrestling season enters the postseason on Saturday, and for NC State that means the 2011 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, which will get underway Saturday at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Va.

The doors to John Paul Jones Arena will open at 10 a.m., with first-round action set to begin an hour later. The semifinals are set for 1 p.m., followed by the semifinal consolation matches at 3:30. The consolation finals are set for 5 p.m., followed by the championship matches at 7 p.m.

All seating for the ACC Championship is general admission. Adult tickets are $10, while tickets for youth, senior citizens and students of the participating schools (with valid ID) are $5. Tickets will be good for the entire day of competition. Tickets may be purchased in person at the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office in Bryant Hall, by calling the Ticket Office at (800) 542-8821 or logging on to VirginiaSports.com. The Virginia Athletics Ticket Office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

For more information on tickets, directions and Saturday's schedule, click here for the ACC Wrestling Championship web site.

Updated brackets as Saturday's action progresses can be found by clicking here.

In addition, theACC.com plans to air a free, live on-line webcast of the tournament, beginning with the consolation finals at 5 p.m., followed by the finals at 7 p.m. Click here to access the webcast.

"Our goal is to be as competitive as we can and qualify as many guys for nationals as we can," Wolfpack head coach Carter Jordan said. "The ultimate goal would be to qualify everyone for nationals."


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The ACC will receive 20 automatic berths to the NCAA Championships, which will be held March 17-19 at Philadelphia 's Wells Fargo Arena. The ACC is also hopeful of earning several spots among the 48 at-large qualifiers, which will be announced on March 9. The breakdown of the ACC's automatic NCAA qualifiers by weight class is as follows:

125 - 2
133 - 1
141 - 3
149 - 2
157 - 3
165 - 2
174 - 2
184 - 3
197 - 1
285 - 1

NC State senior Darrion Caldwell should be a prohibitive favorite to win the conference championship at 149 pounds and a mortal lock to qualify for nationals. After missing the 2009-10 season following shoulder surgery, Caldwell was nursed along slowly by the Wolfpack coaching staff this season and did not wrestle during the fall semester. He made his season debut Jan. 8 and is 12-0 for the season. Caldwell enters his final postseason with a 106-12 career record, good for a school-best .898 winning percentage.

Caldwell, a three-time ACC champion, is second in school history in career victories with 106 and in career pins with 58. He has not lost to an opponent on the mat since March 27, 2008, during the medal round of that year's NCAA Championships. He has wrestled 52 matches since then without losing to an opponent. He had a medical default at Oklahoma on Jan. 30, 2009, which the only loss on his record in that time. He is 31-0 for his career against ACC opponents.

"He's been such a special wrestler and I know he wants to go out on top," Jordan said. "He's worked really hard to get ready for March."

In addition to Caldwell, Jordan believes that junior 141-pounder Darrius Little (25-9) and junior 157-pounder Colton Palmer (26-11) have a strong chance to compete for a conference championhip and earn a bid to the NCAAs. Junior Quinton Godley (19-16), who is moving up from 174 to 184 for the ACC Championships, and sophomore heavyweight Eloheim Palma (12-11) also are capable of advancing to the finals.

Jordan is looking for points from everyone on his roster, especially in the wrestleback bracket.

"I know our team is ready to compete," Jordan said. "Lee Pritts and Steve Anceravage, our assistant coaches, have done a fantastic job preparing our kids for this weekend."