Mizzou heads into the 2013 NCAAs as Mid-American Conference Champions in their first year as an affiliate member of the MAC.
March 20, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa - For the second year in a row, all 10 Mizzou Wrestling starters will be featured in the NCAA Championships that will be held in Des Moines, Iowa. Eight of 10 Tigers earned automatic bids to the tournament due to their placing at this year's Mid-American Conference Championships. Alan Waters (125), Nathan McCormick (133), Kyle Bradley (149), Drake Houdashelt (157), Todd Porter (174), Mike Larson (184), Brent Haynes (197), and Dom Bradley (HWT) earned automatic bids with their performances at the MAC championships. This is the 11th straight year in which Missouri has qualified five or more wrestlers to the NCAA Championships.
This will be Porter's first NCAA appearance in his first year as a starter. Larson and Haynes have qualified for the NCAA Championships for the fourth consecutive season. Waters and Dom Bradley will open as the No. 1 seeds nationally in their respective brackets. Seniors McCormick, Larson, and Haynes will round out the nationally seeded Tigers for this year.
Missouri hosted the 2012 NCAA Championships last season in St. Louis. Last year, Waters, Bradley, and Larson went 3-2 at Nationals with only Waters winning his first match. McCormick and Hucke both went 1-2, with each grappler dropping their first match and winning their first wrestleback match. Haynes won two of his four matches, while Toal and Houdashelt dropped both of their contests last season. After a disappointing 26th place finish in front of a home crowd at the Scottrade Center, the Tigers look to rebound in 2013. Mizzou finished second in team points at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational and third at the Southern Scuffle this year.
The program finished the regular season ranked No. 4 by the NWCA/USA Today Coaches Poll.
Over the past 14 years in which head coach Brian Smith has been at the helm, 14 Missouri wrestlers have been crowned All-American with nine earning multiple honors. In all, Mizzou has claimed 26 All-America slots since Smith has been at Mizzou, which includes four national champions. Ben Askren is the program's only repeat champion, taking first in 2006 and 2007 at 174 pounds. Mark Ellis won the heavyweight title in 2009, while Max Askren finished first at 184 pounds in 2010.
- Watch Live: Fans can watch each session live on ESPN3.com throughout the Championships. Two of the four Quarterfinals, as well as the Semifinals, will be televised on ESPNU in a side-by-side format to maximize the HD viewing experience, allowing viewers to catch the action in two matches at the same time. During the Finals on ESPN Saturday, referees will wear a microphone, providing fans with even more access and understanding of the action.
- Live Results: Get up-to-the-minute scores and bracket updates by following live on trackwrestling.com.
- Social Media: Stay abreast with the Tigers on their quest for a National Title by checking out our Facebook page or by following @MizzouWrestling on Twitter. Fans can use the hashtag #d1wrestle to join in on the conversation. For more news, notes and opinion on the Tigers, fans should check out the following twitter accounts:
@sammiehenson - Twitter account for Head Assistant Coach Sammie Henson
@TRandazzo8 - Twitter account for Mizzou Wrestling SID Tony Randazzo
@MarkEllisMMA - Twitter account for Mizzou Wrestling Volunteer Assistant Coach and former heavyweight National Champion Mark Ellis
@TJSchavrien - Twitter account for Mizzou Director of Operations Todd Schavrien
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Thursday, March 21
Session I - Eight Mats: Pigtails and First Round: 11 a.m. CT (Live on ESPN3.com)
Session II - Eight Mats: Second Round and Wrestleback Rounds: 6:30 p.m. CT (Live on ESPN3.com)
Friday, March 22
Session III - Eight Mats: Quarterfinals and Wrestlebacks: 10 a.m. CT (Live on ESPNU HD/ESPN3.com)
Session IV - Six Mats: Semifinals: 6 p.m. CT (Live on ESPNU HD/ESPN3.com)
Saturday, March 23
Session V - Three Mats: Medal Rounds and Wrestleback Semifinals: 10 a.m. CT (Live on ESPNU HD/ESPN3.com)
Session VI - One Mat: Finals and Award Ceremony: 6:30 p.m. CT (Live on ESPN HD/ESPN3.com)*
*During Session VI, beginning at 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, March 23, the match order will be as follows: 174 lbs, 184 lbs, 197 lbs, heavyweight, 125 lbs, 133 lbs, 141 lbs, 149 lbs, 157 lbs and 165 lbs.
FIRST ROUND MATCHUPS
125- No. 1 Alan Waters (29-0) vs. David Thorn, Minnesota, (13-10)
133- No. 6 Nathan McCormick vs. Erik Spjut, Virginia Tech, (17-10)
141- Nicholas Hucke (13-13) vs. No. 3 Michael Mangram, Oregon State, (36-4)
149- Drake Houdashelt (28-9) vs. No. 11 Andrew Alton, Penn State, (26-4)
157- Kyle Bradley (26-13) vs. No. 4 James Green, Nebraska, (20-4)
165- Zach Toal (22-16) vs. Ryan Leblanc, Indiana, (22-8)
174- Todd Porter (31-10) vs. No. 2 Mathew Brown, Penn State, (25-4)
184- No. 11 Mike Larson (27-10) vs. Ophir Bernstein, Brown, (24-9)
197- No. 12 Brent Haynes (31-8) vs. Jackson Hein, Wisconsin, (20-10)
285- No. 1 Dom Bradley (35-1) vs. Stryker Lane, Cornell, (20-10)
MIZZOU WINS SECOND CONSECUTIVE CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
The Tigers are heading into the competition as the newly crowned Mid-American Conference champions after posting an impressive 136.0 team points at the conference tournament on March 10, which was 48 more than the second place-Chippewas from Central Michigan. Six Mizzou starters advanced to the championship round in their respective weight classes, four of which claimed conference titles, tying the record of four set last season at the 2012 Big 12 Championships. Dom Bradley, Alan Waters, and Drake Houdashelt all claimed a second conference title as a member of the Tigers, while Nathan McCormick picked up his first.
Mizzou's 136.0 team points surpassed the previous record high of 124.0, set by Central Michigan in 1999. This was the Tiger's first year as an affiliate member of the MAC and Missouri's title ended an 11-year reign held by Central Michigan and look to continue their dominance at the NCAA's.
Fans Can Witness Live Team USA Simulation Matches in Des Moines, Iowa on March 22 at 2:15 p.m.
Every year, USA Wrestling and the NCAA work together to provide fans at the NCAA Wrestling Championships a chance to see America's top Olympic-caliber athletes as part of the NCAA Fan Festival.
This year, there will be a new twist to this popular spectator opportunity. On Friday, March 22, fans can witness live Team USA simulation matches during an open practice at approximately 2:15 p.m. at the NCAA Fan Festival in Des Moines, Iowa. This session is conveniently scheduled between sessions of the 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.
Numerous members of Freestyle Team USA will be on hand for the workout and matches, including 2012 Olympic champion and 2011 World Champion Jordan Burroughs, who competes at 74 kg/163 lbs.
Other freestyle stars expected to participate include past Freestyle World Team members Obe Blanc at 55 kg/121 lbs., Reece Humphrey at 60 kg/132 lbs., Brent Metcalf at 66 kg/145.5 lbs. and Trent Paulson at 74 kg/185 lbs.
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