Hawkeyes Advance 5 to NCAA Quarterfinals

TULSA, Okla. – The University of Iowa wrestling team has five quarterfinalists and all 10 Hawkeyes are still alive following Session II of the 2023 NCAA Championships at the BOK Center.

The Hawkeyes went 7-3 in the second session and 15-5 on day one in Oklahoma. Penn State leads the team race with 26 points after day one, while Iowa is second with 21.5 points, Missouri is third with 17.5 points and Minnesota and NC State are tied for fourth with 16.5 points.

“We have to get ready for day two and that’s real,” said head coach Tom Brands.

Top-seeded Spencer Lee cruised into the quarterfinals with a 16-0 technical fall victory over 16th-seeded Jack Medley of Michigan, needing just 2:30 of clock time. Lee took Medley to his back in the opening seconds to take a 4-0 lead before piling up 12 points with various tilts to end the bout.

The victory was Lee’s 57th straight and it was his 13th career bonus point win at the NCAA Championships (in 17 career matches). Lee, who hasn’t allowed a point in his last four NCAA matches dating back to the 2021 season, is outscoring his opponents 18-0 with a pin and tech fall in two wins.

No. 1 seed Real Woods advanced with a hard-fought 7-5 decision over No. 17 seed Dylan D’Emilio of Ohio State. Woods had a pair of takedowns in the first, but the Buckeye used an escape and takedown in the second to even the match at five. After Woods earned an escape point to take a 6-5 lead, he fought off a late attack (that held up after the review) and the riding time point made it the 7-5 final.

Woods improves to 18-0 this season and he advances to the quarterfinals for a second straight season.

Eighth-seeded Max Murin was the third Hawkeye to advance, winning a 3-1 decision over Stanford’s No. 9 Jaden Abas. A second-period takedown was the difference as he avenged a 2021 NCAA loss to Abas in the Round of 12. Murin brings a 23-4 record into Friday’s quarters.

No. 11 seed Nelson Brands pulled of Iowa’s biggest upset of the day, downing Ohio State’s six seed Ethan Smith, 3-1, to advance. Brands had a first-period takedown with four seconds remaining and added an escape in the third to advance to the quarters for the first time in his career.

“He scored a takedown in the first period and that’s a good thing,” said Brands. “He has a lot of scoring ability and that’s what we want to see. We want to see more score ability as the tournament gets deeper and we have to get tougher.”

No. 4 seed Tony Cassioppi capped Iowa’s opening session with a 9-0 major decision over UNI’s 13th-seed Tyrell Gordon. Cassioppi had a takedown in the closing seconds to secure his second straight major decision as he is outscoring his two NCAA opponents, 19-0.

Two Hawkeyes won on the back side of the bracket to stay alive. No. 23 Brody Teske jumped out to an 8-2 first-period lead in an eventual 11-5 win over Missouri’s Connor Brown at 133 and No. 14 Cobe Siebrecht used a four-point near fall en route to a 10-2 major decision over Oklahoma’s Jared Hill at 157.

“It was good, we need that and that was a good characteristic to have,” said Brands. “If you get something that is thrown at you that is a curveball, you have to stay in there and deal with it. They did a good job and keep it going.”

The Hawkeyes dropped second round bouts at 165, 184 and 197.  No. 11 Cameron Amine (Michigan) used a third-period takedown to edge No. 6 Patrick Kennedy, 3-2, at 165; No. 5 Marcus Coleman (Iowa State) rode out No. 12 Abe Assad in a tiebreaker in a 2-1 decision at 184 and third-seeded Rocky Elam (Missouri) downed 14th-seeded Jacob Warner, 6-2, at 197.

All three wrestlers will be in action Friday morning on the consolation side of the bracket.

– Lee’s 57 consecutive wins are the seventh-most in Iowa history.
– Forty of Lee’s 97 career wins have come in the first period.
– Thursday’s attendance was 15,342 for Session II and 30,541 for the day.

125 – #1 Spencer Lee (UI) tech fall #16 Jack Medley (MICH), 16-0 (2:30)
141 – #1 Real Woods (UI) dec. #17 Dylan D’Emilio (OSU), 7-5
149 – #8 Max Murin (UI) dec. #9 Jaden Abas (STAN), 3-1
165 – #11 Cameron Amine (MICH) dec. #6 Patrick Kennedy (UI), 3-2
174 – #11 Nelson Brands (UI) dec. #6 Ethan Smith (OSU), 3-1
184 – #5 Marcus Coleman (ISU) dec. #12 Abe Assad (UI), 2-1 (TB1)
197 – #3 Rocky Elam (MIZZ) dec. #14 Jacob Warner (UI), 6-2
285- #4 Tony Cassioppi (UI) major dec. #13 Tyrell Gordon (UNI), 9-0

133 – #23 Brody Teske (UI) dec. #26 Connor Brown (MIZZ), 11-5
157 – #14 Cobe Siebrecht (UI) major dec. #30 Jared Hill (OU), 10-2

125 – #1 Spencer Lee (UI) vs. #8 Anthony Noto (LH)
141 – #1 Real Woods (UI) vs. #8 Allan Hart (MIZ)
149 – #9 Max Murin (UI) vs. #1 Yianni Diakomihalis (COR)
174 – #11 Nelson Brands (UI) vs. #3 Mekhi Lewis (VT)
285 – #4 Tony Cassioppi (UI) vs. #5 Cohlton Schultz (ASU)

133 – #23 Brody Teske (UI) vs. #9 Micky Phillippi (PITT)
157 – #14 Cobe Siebrecht (UI) vs. #13 Trevor Chumbley (NW)
165 – #6 Patrick Kennedy (UI) vs. #28 Andrew Sparks (MINN)
184 – #12 Abe Assad (UI) vs. #11 Gavin Kane (UNC)
197 – #14 Jacob Warner (UI) vs. #20 Evan Bockman (UVU)

The Hawkeyes will return to the mat Friday morning for quarterfinals and two consolation rounds. Action is set to begin at 11 a.m. (CT) and the action will be broadcast on ESPNU and be available on ESPN+.