The finals on Saturday night are the highlight of the NCAA Wrestling Championships being held at Chesapeake Energy Arena, but there’s a unique buzz on Thursday, when eight mats constantly feature action in the afternoon and evening sessions.
Cheers erupt in different sections, especially following falls and last-second wins. Diana Lamphier, from Iowa, has attended the national tournament for nearly 30 years.
“They talk about a three-ring circus but this is an eight-ring circus,” Lamphier said. “There are always upsets. That’s what makes the first day so much fun. You find out who is going to help out the top teams by posting an upset.”
UPSETS HIGHLIGHT OPENING ROUND
It didn’t take long for March Matness to ensue Thursday morning with four major upsets in the first round.
Eastern Michigan senior Jared Germaine got it started by knocking off seventh-seeded freshman Ryan Taylor of Wisconsin at 125 pounds. Taylor jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but Germaine quickly turned things around to get a first-period pin.
The biggest upset of the day came from The Citadel’s Matthew Frisch, who upset No. 2 Nick Dardanes of Minnesota at 149 pounds.
Overall, 22 seeded wrestlers were upset in the first round.
SAME VENUE, MORE AMENITIES
Oklahoma City All Sports Association executive director Tim Brassfield said changes inside Chesapeake Energy Arena have enhanced the fan experience compared to the 2006 event held at the Ford Center.
Continue reading this story on the...