Competition brackets for the 2009 NCAA Wrestling Championships in St. Louis, Mo., were released today. The Mocs’ six qualifiers for the NCAA Tournament learned their opening round match ups that begin Thursday, March 19, at the Scottrade Center.
Freshman Demetrius Johnson will take on Oklahoma’s Joey Fio in the round of 32. The sophomore Fio is the No. 7 seed in the tournament in the 125-pound class. Fio competed in the Sooner’s 23-14 win at Chattanooga on Jan. 11. He downed UTC freshman Paul Garza 4-1 in the first match of the day. Johnson did not compete in the loss to the Sooners.
Junior Cody Cleveland received a No. 11 seed at 141 and will start in the round of 64. The 2008 All-American will take on Lehigh’s Seth Ciasulli who has a 24-8 record in 2008-09. The junior won the EIWA championships for the Mountain Hawks.
Freshman Dan Waddell begins his day in the second round and takes on Army’s Matthew Kyler. Kyler, a junior, was 39-5 this year and is the No. 8 seed at 149. Junior Joey Knox will face fellow junior Jonny Bonilla-Brown from Hofstra in this first match in the 157 class.
Senior Seth Garvin has a tough opponent in his first match in the 165 class. He is set to take on No. 6 Colt Sponseller from Ohio State. UTC’s final representative, freshman Jason McCroskey, will face off against No. 2 seed Michael Cannon from American at 174.
ESPNU, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN360.com will combine for expanded live coverage of the 79th annual NCAA Div. I Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 20, and Saturday, March 21, from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. For the first time, all 11 hours of coverage on ESPNU, ESPN and ESPN2 will be presented in high definition.
Also for the first time, ESPN2 will telecast the semifinals along with ESPNU. The quarterfinals will air Friday, March 20, at 11 a.m. ET on ESPNU and ESPN360.com, and the semifinals at 7 p.m. on ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN360.com. For the third consecutive year, the semifinals will be telecast in a side-by-side format, allowing viewers to see both semifinal matches in each weight class at the same time, both on ESPNU and ESPN2.
ESPNU will telecast the Championship Medal Round on Saturday, March 21, at 10:30 a.m., and the hunt for the Div. I title culminates with the Finals at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN. During the Finals, two referees per match each will wear a microphone, providing fans with even more access to and understanding of the action.
ESPN360.com, ESPN’s broadband sports television network, once again will complement the ESPNU HD, ESPN2 HD and ESPN HD telecasts with unparalleled access to all rounds of the championships. ESPN360.com will provide live coverage of all four mats during the quarterfinals and both mats in the semifinals, offering users the option to select the match they want to see.
Dave Armstrong will serve as play-by-play announcer alongside analysts Tim Johnson and Olympic gold medalist Jeff Blatnick, with reporter Quint Kessenich. For ESPN360.com coverage, 1981 NCAA 134-pound champion wrestler Jim Gibbons, who coached the 1987 Iowa State Cyclones to the national title, returns as analyst and will be joined by play-by-play announcer Shawn Kenney.