LANCASTER, Pa. – Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio is set to serve as the host for this week's Division I NCAA Wrestling Tournament, where 330 of the nation's top wrestlers will convene for a shot at All-America and National Championship accolades.
One of those elite grapplers is Franklin & Marshall's very own, Antonio Pelusi, who qualified in the 285-pound bracket for the second time in his career.
To watch a preview video of the upcoming tournament, click here.
NCAA Tournament Schedule
Thursday, March 15
Noon: Session 1 - Pigtails and First-Round Competition (ESPNU)
7:00 PM: Session 2 - Preliminaries: Wrestle-Back First Round.
Followed by Championship Round, Second Round and Consolation Round. (ESPN)
Friday, March 16
11:00 AM: Session 3 - Quarterfinals; Wrestle-Back Second and Third Rounds (ESPNU)
8:00 PM: Session 4 - Semifinals and Wrestle-back Fourth Round (ESPN)
Followed by Wrestle-Back Fifth Rounds
Saturday, March 17
11:00 AM: Session 5 - Wrestle-Back Semifinals
Followed by Third, Fifth and Seventh place matches (ESPNU)
8:00 PM: Session 6 - Championship Finals (ESPN2)
Television Coverage: ESPN will stream every match on every mat this year on WatchESPN, in addition to linear television coverage of all six sessions.
- Thursday, 7:00 PM (Session 2) – ESPN
- Friday, 8:00 PM (Session 4) – ESPN
- Saturday, 8:00 PM (Session 6) – ESPN2
- All other sessions – ESPNU
Live Results: Track Wrestling will provide live scoring this year. A link to the tournament can be found here.
Ticket Information: To purchase tickets for this year's NCAA Championships, click here.
A Look at Pelusi's Bracket: Pelusi, who also qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2016, begins his run against the bracket's No. 5 seeded Samuel Stoll from Iowa. Stoll enters with a 19-4 record after placing fourth at the Big 10 Championships, falling to Penn State's Nevills in the third-place match. Pelusi has never faced Stoll.
Two-time NCAA Champion Kyle Snyder of Ohio State headlines the bracket as the No. 1 seed, while Michigan's Adam Coon, who delivered Snyder his only loss this season, enters as the No. 2 seed.
To view the complete brackets, click here.
F&M by the Numbers (NCAAs)
81 NCAA Qualifiers | Last: Rick Durso and Antonio Pelusi (2016)
17 All-Americans | Last: Rick Durso (8th-2014)
2 National Champions | Last: Chris Black/John Stevenson (1972)
How Pelusi Got Here: Pelusi went 4-2 at the EIWA Championships, securing fifth place and snagging one of the 285-pound bracket's five automatic qualifying spots. The Diplomats' heavyweight upset No. 26 Brett Dempsey of American by a thrilling 2-1 TB2 score in the fifth-place match.
To read a recap of Pelusi's run at the EIWAs, click here.
Rare Air: Pelusi became just the 22nd wrestler in F&M program history to qualify for multiple NCAA Tournaments and only the second heavyweight, joining Richard Vaughn (1939 and 1940).
In the Rankings: Thanks to his fifth-place showing at the 2018 EIWA Tournament, Antonio Pelusi (285 pounds) moved up to No. 30 in the fourth and final coaches' panel rankings for the 2017-18 wrestling season. To view the complete rankings, click here.
Pelusi also moved up in the Rating Percentage Index (RPI) rankings to No. 30, which factors winning percentage, opponent winning percentage and opponents' opponent winning percentage. To view the complete RPI standings, click here.
Wasting No Time: Pelusi landed his signature leg sweep and followed with a pin just 11 seconds into a dual match against Sacred Heart on Feb. 18th. Video of Pelusi's lightening-quick match was shared through the official NCAA Wrestling Twitter page and viewed nearly 10,000 times. To watch, click here.
Lehman Enters the Hall: Former Franklin & Marshall grappler David H. Lehman '68 was announced for induction into the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as a recipient of the "Outstanding American" Award – reserved for individuals who were wrestlers but also achieved excellence in another walk of life.
Lehman will officially be inducted into the chapter during a "Hall of Fame Day" celebration at the Hershey Lodge on Sunday, April 29, 2018.
Tickets for the banquet, which begins with a social at 12:00 p.m., cost $55 per person and can be purchased online by clicking here.
Faller Gets the Nod: Mark Faller, who coached F&M's wrestling team to 125 wins from 1981-93, was announced as an inductee into The National Wrestling Hall of Fame of the Upstate New York State Chapter as a member of the 2018 class.
For more information, click here.
Wins Leaders: Antonio Pelusi leads the Diplomats with a 24-8 record, including a 10-2 mark in duals.
Freshman Brett Kulp (141 pounds) finished his year 19-14 with a 9-6 dual-meet record while classmate Wil Gil (141/149 pounds) collected an 18-17 record, and registered a team-leading five pins. Josh Young concluded his senior year at 16-14.
To view complete statistics for all of F&M's wrestlers, click here.