2008 NCAA West Regional Championships: Tournament Preview/Results/Discussion
NCAA West Regional Championships
Ryan Perrault North Dakota State University
THIS WEEK: North Dakota State University hosts the NCAA West Regional wrestling tournament Saturday, March 8, at the Bison Sports Arena in Fargo. It?s the first NCAA championship event hosted by North Dakota State since the school?s move to Division I in 2004-05. Action begins at 10 a.m. with the finals slated for 4 p.m.
TEAMS AND QUALIFIERS: The six-team West Regional tournament will qualify 10 champions and 10 at-large wrestlers for the NCAA national championships to be held March 20-22 in St. Louis, Mo. Participating teams are Western Wrestling Conference members Air Force, North Dakota State, Northern Colorado, Northern Iowa, South Dakota State and Wyoming.
TIME SCHEDULE: First-round action begins at 10 a.m. with the semifinals coming at 11:30 a.m. Consolation semifinals begin at 2 p.m. followed by the final round and consolation finals at 4 p.m. True second-place matches will be held after the championship round if necessary, but there are no automatic qualifiers beyond the champion in each weight class. The 10 at-large entries will be determined by the coaches following the tournament.
TICKET INFO: Tickets to the NCAA West Regional are available from the Bison Ticket Office by calling toll free (888) 231-NDSU or online at GoBison.com/tickets. General admission seats are $12 for adults and $6 for youth 17-and-under. Children 2-and-under are free with the purchase of an adult ticket.
THE FACILITY: The Bison Sports Arena has been the site of five NCAA Division II national wrestling championships in 1971, 1976, 1983, 1991 and 1997. It is a 6,000-seat multipurpose building that is home to NDSU?s men?s and women?s basketball teams and hosts indoor track and field meets. The last NCAA qualifying tournament at the BSA was the 2003 North Central Conference tournament, won by Nebraska-Omaha.
NORTHERN IOWA IS KING: The Northern Iowa Panthers will be seeking their 23rd straight West Region wrestling crown Saturday. UNI has won 22 straight tournaments since 1986. The Panthers went 4-0 in the Western Wrestling Conference this year, winning the four duals by a combined score of 162-15.
WESTERN WRESTLING CONFERENCE: North Dakota State finished in a tie for second with a 4-2-0 record in its second year in the Western Wrestling Conference. The Bison were fourth with a 3-2-1 record in their inaugural season. The wrestling-only conference is comprised of seven schools spread across six states, including Air Force, Northern Colorado, Northern Iowa, South Dakota State, Utah Valley and Wyoming. The West Regional serves as the NCAA qualifying tournament for the conference.
LAST YEAR?S REGIONAL: North Dakota State scored 42 points to finish fourth in last year?s West Regional at Northern Iowa. UNI won with 96 points, Northern Colorado was second with 73.5, Wyoming was third with 56, South Dakota State was fifth with 37, Air Force sixth with 32.5, and Eastern Illinois seventh with 28 points.
NATIONALLY RANKED: Three wrestlers competing at the Western Regional Championships are currently ranked in the Intermat Division I Individual Rankings. At 141 lbs. senior Carter Downing of Wyoming is ranked 19th. Downing has a 16-4 record on the year. Also ranked at that weight is C.J. Ettelson of Northern Iowa. Ettelson is 20th with a 12-8 record. Junior Moza Fay of Iowa has a 18-6 record and is ranked sixth at 165 lbs.
RETURNING CHAMPIONS: Four wrestlers from four different schools will return to defend their Western Regional titles:
? Eric Hoffman (senior) of North Dakota State at 125
? Carter Downing (senior) of Wyoming at 149
? Moza Fay (junior) of Northern Iowa at 157
? Reece Hopkin (senior) of Northern Colorado at 285
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS EXPERIENCE: Competition will also feature 12 wrestlers that qualified to compete at the 2007 NCAA Championships, including the four returning champions. The other wrestlers who competed at last year?s NCAA Championships are:
? Tony Mustari (sophomore) of Northern Colorado at 125
? Cory VomBaur (sophomore) of Wyoming at 133
? C.J. Ettelson (senior) of Northern Iowa at 141
? Ryan Adams (sophomore) of North Dakota State at 149
? Ryan Meyer (sophomore) of South Dakota State at 165
? Alex Dolly (senior) of Northern Iowa at 174
? Andrew Anderson (junior) of Northern Iowa at 197
? Jacob Bryce (junior) of North Dakota State at 197
Last edited by Schlottke; 03-08-2008 at 02:42 AM.
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