Broncos Set for NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duels Regional
STILLWATER, Okla. - The Boise State wrestling team (3-8, 1-5 Pac-12) will travel to Stillwater, Okla., for the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duels Regional where they will face No. 6/7 (NWCA/Intermat) Ohio State in the first round, Sunday Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. (CT) While the opponents are unknown at this point, the second round and championship matches are slated for 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.
The Broncos were drawn to the Oklahoma State Region where the Cowboys are the top seed over No. 2 Nebraska, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Wyoming, No. 5 Chattanooga and No. 6 Boise State.
Regional Duels - The National Duels are broken into four regions, each containing six seeded teams. This year's regions are the Rutgers Regional (Piscataway, N.J.), Iowa Stat Regional (Ames, Iowa), Cornell Regional (Ithaca, N.Y.) and the Oklahoma State Regional (Stillwater, Okla.).
Each region will have three rounds with the teams being seeded 1-6. In the first round, seeds 1 and 2 will receive a bye with seeds three and six and seeds four and five wrestling each other. The winners from the first round matches will move into the semifinals for round 2 against the 1st and 2nd seed. The winners of the semifinal matches will then advance to the final round. At the same time the final round is being wrestled, the first round teams that lost will wrestle their second match. Semifinal losers will not wrestle for third place.
The winner of each of the four regional brackets will advance to the Final Four National Duels, Feb. 19.
Live Coverage - Live results will be available through trackwrestling.com at: http://www.trackwrestling.com/teamtournaments/VerifyPassword.jsp?tournamentId=35071
Live video will be available at www.okstate.tv and on www.livesportsvideo.com. Both will be free of charge.
Bronco Competitors - The Boise State lineup will include: Landon Hartley (125), Shawn Jones or Brian Owen (133), Josh Strait (141), Steven Hernandez (149), George Ivanov (157), Michael Cuthbertson (165), Scott Bacon (174), Jake Swartz (184), Brent Chriswell (197) and J.T. Felix (285).
Scouting the Competition
No. 6/7 Ohio State Buckeyes - Feb. 12, 1 p.m.
Ohio State enters the weekend with an 11-3 overall record with losses to Nebraska, Minnesota and Penn State. The team currently has eight of 10 members in the projected lineup ranked in the top 25, and three ranked in the top 10 of their respective weight classes. Brothers Logan and Hunter Stieber lead the Buckeyes, manning the 133 and 141 positions with rankings of No. 3 and No. 5, respectively.
Among the Elite - In the latest Intermat rankings, Jake Swartz was picked as the 10th-best wrestler in the nation at the 184-pound division. The redshirt sophomore was an at-large selection to the NCAA tournament last year.
Junior transfer George Ivanov, who leads the team in wins (19), joins Swartz in the top 25, falling a spot from last week to the No. 14 position at 157 pounds.
What Happened Last Time - Boise State is coming off an 18-16 loss to Pac-12 Conference foe Oregon State, Jan. 27. After struggling early Boise State strung together four-consecutive wins at 157, 165, 174 and 184 pounds to turn an eight-point deficit into a five point lead. Up 16-11 with two matches left, the Boise State still had to face No. 17 Taylor Meeks at 197 pounds followed by fifth-ranked Clayton Jack at the heavyweight spot. Meeks emerged battled to a 6-0 win over Brent Chriswell, snapping a three-match winning streak while Jack was too much for Felix, winning 15-5.
Stiff Defense - Redshirt sophomore Jake Swartz has been reluctant to give up points as of late. The Auburn, Wash., native has held opponents scoreless in each of his last three bouts.
Reaching A Milestone - Head Coach Greg Randall notched his 100th win as Boise State head coach with team's win against North Dakota State at the 2012 Beauty and the Beast Event, Jan. 20. Randall holds a 101-40-1 record and is in his 10th season as head coach. Under Randall, the Broncos have notched four Pac-10 titles and six top-25 finishes at the NCAA tournament, including a ninth-place finish last year.
The "Biggest Little" Upset - George Ivanov, a junior-transfer from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, recently fell out of the Intermat rankings, but redeemed himself by taking down three wrestlers with top-20 rankings at the 157-pound weight class at the Reno Tournament of Champions, Dec. 18. After winning in the first two rounds, Ivanov knocked off No. 12 Albert White in the quarterfinals. In the semifinal matchup, he faced Oregon State's R.J. Pena who entered the match ranked 16th in the nation. Ivanov pinned the Pac-12 foe in 4:42. The magical run concluded with a matchup against the No. 1 seed and fifth-ranked Justin Lister of Binghamton. Ivanov pulled off the upset in a 5-3 decision, completing the five-bout win streak to stand atop the podium.
2012 Team - This season's team is loaded with new talent as 12 true freshman make up Boise State's 29 roster spots. The Broncos also welcome sophomore Cody Dixon and junior-transfer George Ivanov, who make a total of 14 newcomers to the program. The Orange and Blue also return four redshirt freshman this year, which gives a total of 18 student-athletes the opportunity to wrestle in their first official match as a member of the Bronco squad this season. While new faces make up most of the Bronco roster, returners Jake Swartz, J.T. Felix and Brent Chriswell look to guide the team to a successful 2011-12 season.
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