March 15, 2012
ST. LOUIS - The NCAA Wrestling Championships kicked off Thursday afternoon at the Scottrade Center with first and second-round matches. No. 10 seed Anthony Jones Jr. (157), Curran Jacobs (174) and Steve Andrus (heavyweight) each recorded victories for Michigan State and advanced to the third-round Thursday night.
Jones, the only seeded Spartan, got off to a strong start with a 5-2 decision over Albert White of Oklahoma State at 157 pounds. Jones and White were tied, 2-2, heading into the third and deciding period. After an escape to start the period, Jones scored a takedown with only eight seconds remaining to secure the decision.
"That was a big win for him," head coach Tom Minkel said. "Oklahoma State is a pretty good program. It is a tribute to his experience and his maturity; it's nice to see that come into play this time of year."
Jones will wrestle seventh-seeded Dylan Alton of Penn State in the third round on Thursday night. Jones has lost to Alton twice the season by a combined two points. Their first match-up came in the regular season and Alton defeated Jones, 1-0. Alton also defeated Jacobs in the Big Ten Championships earlier this year, 2-1, in the tiebreaker period.
Senior Curran Jacobs defeated Mike Dessino of Bloomsburg, 5-3, in his first match at 174 pounds in the NCAA Championships. Jacobs scored two takedowns and didn't give up a takedown to Dessino throughout the entire match. After an escape in the second period and riding time in the third, Jacobs was able to seal the victory.
Minkel said that nerves may have played into Jacobs' slow start but is confident that he will be able to hone his emotions throughout the tournament.
"He needs to be focused and really sharp and also needs to not get worried," Minkel said. "He needs to bring it down to just him and another guy and wrestle a good match."
In the third-round match, Jacobs will face No. 2 seed Chris Perry of Oklahoma State.
Making his first appearance at the NCAA Championships, junior Steve Andrus started his day off with an upset over ninth-seeded Levi Cooper of Arizona State in sudden victory, 4-2. Neither wrestler scored an escape until the deciding overtime period, as each wrestler scored on an escape and a stalling penalty in regulation. Andrus clinched the upset with a takedown 38 seconds into the sudden victory period.
"In the third period he was down by one and managed to get the stalling call to tie it up and a takedown in overtime to win it," Minkel said. "It was a very gutty performance on his part, and this where you have to do that sort of thing."
In the third round, Andrus will face Andrew Delany of The Citadel, who upset No. 8 seed Spencer Myers of Maryland.
Osterman lost a 6-2 decision to Kevin Tao of American and the match was tied, 2-2, going into the third period. Osterman gave up a takedown and an escape in the third and Tao added riding time to complete the decision.
"It was a style match-up, where he ran into somebody that was very tough on top," Minkel said. "That was a tough, early loss for him but Danny has a lot of potential and he is very tough when he is wrestling well."
Cheza dropped a 5-2 decision to Brandon Wright of Chattanooga in his first round match. Cheza gave up two takedowns and wasn't able to score in the third period, trailing 4-2. Wright controlled the riding time and notched the decision.
Cheza is working through an injury suffered at the Big Ten Championships and had a hard time getting things going in his first round match, Minkel said, but hopes that he can fight through it the rest of the tournament.
At 184 pounds, Ian Hinton lost a major decision to No. 12 Jonathan Fausey of Virginia, 9-0.
In Thursday's evening session, Osterman will wrestle Donnie Vinson of Binghamton in the consolation first round, Cheza will face Corey Lear of Bucknell and Hinton will go against Steven Cressley of Clarion.
Session Two begins at 7:30 p.m. ET; live coverage is available at ESPN3.com and live results are available at TrackWrestling.com