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38 of the Nation’s Top Wrestlers will be in Action in the One-Day Championship
GREENSBORO, N.C.—Thirty-eight of the top wrestlers in the nation will be in action at the 61st Annual Atlantic Coast Conference Wrestling Championship, which will be held this Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. at Pitt’s Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.
The ACC Wrestling Championship will be streamed live by ESPN3, with coverage from both mats during the preliminary rounds.
The tournament, the first ACC Championship hosted by Pitt in any sport, will feature 38 ACC wrestlers who were ranked in the NCAA’s Wrestling RPI and 34 ACC grapplers who were ranked in the latest NCAA Division I Coaches rankings. Both lists were released last Friday.
In addition to ACC titles, at stake are 29 NCAA Tournament qualifications which have been designated to the ACC for the NCAA National Championship, as well as competition for some of the NCAA’s at-large berths.
Headlining the weekend include 13 ACC wrestlers who were ranked among the nation’s Top 10 in their respective weight classes in the latest NCAA Division I Coaches Rankings, including NC State’s Nick Gwiazdowski (Delanson, N.Y.), who is ranked No. 1 nationally at 285 pounds and has won 48 consecutive matches. Gwiazdowski pinned each his ACC opponents this year during their regular season dual matches.
Pitt’s Max Thomusseit (St. Paris, Ohio) is one of two ACC wrestlers ranked 2nd nationally in his weight class. Thomusseit , who wrestles at 184 pounds, is joined by Virginia Tech 125-pounder Joey Dance (Christiansburg, Va.), whom the coaches rated also ranked second.
Virginia Tech’s Devin Carter (Christiansburg, Va.), the Most Valuable Wrestler of last year’s ACC Championships, is ranked third nationally at 141 pounds, while Virginia’s Nick Sulzer (Cleveland, Ohio) is fourth at 165 pounds.
Others rated among the nation’s Top 10 include Blaise Butler (Belvidere, Ill.) of Virginia, Zach Epperly (Christiansburg, Va.) of Virginia Tech and Tyler Wilps (Oakdale, Pa.) of Pitt, who are ranked fifth, seventh and eighth, respectively, at 174 pounds; Duke Conner Hartmann (Port Orchard, Wash.) and Virginia Tech’s Sal Mastriani (Towaco, N.J.), who are ranked seventh at 197 and 149 pounds, respectively; Virginia Tech’s Ty Walz (Cleveland, Ohio), who is 8th at 285 pounds; Tech’s Nick Brascetta (St. Paris, Ohio), who is ninth at 157; and North Carolina’s Ethan Ramos (Hawthorne, N.J.), who is 10th at 165 pounds.
Virginia Tech, nationally 10th-ranked, which finished the regular season in first place with a perfect 5-0 conference record, is the favorite to repeat as league champion but will be tested by 17th-ranked NC State, 18th-ranked Virginia, 25th-ranked Pitt as well as unranked North Carolina, which is just out of the Top 25 at No. 26 and Duke.
Tickets for the one day championship are on sale now. Admission to the Petersen Events Center is $10 for adults and $5 for both youth 12-and-under and senior citizens. All tickets are general admission and can be purchased online, calling 800-643-PITT (7488), or visiting the Panthers Ticket Office located in the lobby of the Petersen Events Center. Tickets will also be available at the door on the day of the event.
The ACC Wrestling Championship begins at 11 a.m. and the gates will open at 10 a.m.
2015 ACC Wrestling Championship Schedule
Sunday, March 8, 2015, Petersen Events Center, University of Pittsburgh
10 a.m. Doors Open
11 a.m. First Round Matches
1 p.m. Semifinals
3:30 p.m. Consolation Semifinals
5:00 p.m. Consolation Finals
7:00 p.m. Finals