Badgers go 3-for-3 to open NCAA championships
March 21, 2013
NCAA Session I Brackets *l *NCAA Session I Team Standings*
DES MOINES, Iowa --*Tyler Graff, Jackson Hein and Connor Medbery got Wisconsin off to a great start at the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, each winning their first round match to advance in their respective championship brackets.
The three Badgers will continue competition tonight at 6:30 p.m., at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.
Graff was the first match of the morning for the Badgers, and he set the tone for the rest of the afternoon with a major decision victory over Maryland’s Geoffrey Alexander, 13-4, at 133 lbs.
The third-seeded Graff entered the third period of the match with a 4-1 lead, but unleashed a flurry of takedowns in the final minute of the match -- four in total -- to secure the major decision victory. Graff will wrestle Lehigh’s Randy Cruz in the second round tonight.
Before leaving for the NCAA championships, head coach Barry Davis said that the Badgers would have to wrestle above their seeds in order to succeed in Des Moines, and that’s exactly what Hein did at 197 lbs., earning a hard fought upset to advance. Unseeded Hein was matched-up with No. 12 seed Brent Haynes of Missouri in the first round.
In a tightly contested match, the two battled to a 3-3 tie through three periods, sending the match to overtime. The two continued to duel through overtime, as it remained tied at three through the second tiebreaker period, before Hein broke through with a takedown in the third sudden victory period for a 5-3 win.
The thrilling win sets Hein up with a match against Oregon State’s Taylor Meeks, the No. 5 seed, tonight during session II. Hein will be looking to avenge the 2-0 defeat he suffered to Meeks earlier this season at the Midlands Championships.
At heavyweight, Medbery completed the Badgers’ perfect start to the NCAA championships with a 5-2 decision win over Virginia Tech’s David Marone. Medbery will face Central Michigan’s 10th-seeded Jarod Trice in the second round.
Session II of the NCAA championships will be broadcast live tonight on ESPN3. Fans can also follow along with a live Gameday Blog at UWBadgers.com.
First Rounds Results:
133 lbs. :
No. 3 Tyler Graff (WIS) maj dec. Geoffrey Alexander (MD), 13-4
Will face Randy Cruz (LEHIGH) in the second round
Jackson Hein (WIS) dec. No. 12 Brent Haynes (MIZZ), 5-3 SV3
Will face No. 5 Taylor Meeks (OSU) in the second round
No. 7*Connor Medbery (WIS) dec. David Marone (VT), 5-2
Will face No. 10 Jarod Trice (CMU) in the second round.
UW Athletic Communications*