PITTSBURGH, Pa. - PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh will host 330 of the nation's top Division I Wrestlers who will compete for All-American, and National Championship accolades at this week's 2019 NCAA Championships. The three-day Tournament opens on Thursday afternoon and runs through Saturday evening.
Franklin & Marshall will be represented among the elites by 285-pounder Antonio Pelusi, who makes his third trip to the national stage, while 141-pounder Wil Gil will anxiously await his chance to compete as his bracket's first alternate selection.
NCAA Tournament Schedule
Thursday, March 21
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 22
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 23
11:00 AM: Session 5 - Wrestle-Back Semifinals
Followed by Third, Fifth and Seventh place matches (ESPNU)
7:00 PM: Session 6 - Championship Finals (ESPN)
ESPN will once again stream every match on every mat this year, available on WatchESPN. Linear broadcast television coverage of all six sessions will also be available and is detailed below. For more information on ESPN's coverage, click here.
- Thursday, 12:00 PM (Session 1) - ESPNU/ESPN3
- Thursday, 7:00 PM (Session 2) – ESPN/ESPN3
- Friday, 11:00 AM (Session 3) – ESPNU/ESPN3
- Friday, 8:00 PM (Session 4) – ESPN/ESPN3
- Saturday, 11:00 AM (Session 5) - ESPNU/ESPN3
- Saturday, 7:00 PM (Session 6) – ESPN/ESPN3
Track wrestling will provide live scoring this year. A link to the tournament can be found here.
To purchase tickets for this year's Championships, click here.
Return to the Steel City
The NCAA Championships return to Pittsburgh for the first time in more than 60 years, as the city last held the event in 1957.
F&M by the Numbers (NCAAs)
- 82 NCAA Qualifiers | Last: Antonio Pelusi (2018)
- 17 All-Americans | Last: Rick Durso (8th-2014)
- 2 National Champions | Last: Chris Black/John Stevenson (1972)
A Look at Pelusi's Bracket
Pelusi enters this year's Tournament as the No. 31 seed and will battle No. 2 Anthony Cassar of Penn State in the 285-pound First Round matchup. Oklahoma State's Derek White is the bracket's No. 1 seed.
To view the complete bracket, click here.
Gil Named First Alternate
The Diplomats' 141-pound sophomore will travel to Pittsburgh and weigh in as one of two alternates selected for the bracket. If any wrestler at the 141-pound weight class withdraws or does not make weight, Gil will be the first inserted into the bracket.
How Pelusi Got Here
Pelusi went 3-2 at the 2019 EIWA Championships, including a pair of wins in the Championship bracket. He finished in fourth place, which marked the highest finish for a Diplomat heavyweight at the tournament since Bob Bickelman claimed third in 1976, and automatically qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the third time in his career - the most ever by an F&M heavyweight.
The senior grappler enters the NCAAs with a 27-8 record on the year and holds a 2-4 overall mark at the Tournament, including a pair of wins last season.
How Gil Got Here
Gil went on a 4-2 run at the EIWA Championships, which included wins over the No. 3 and 4 seeds to secure fifth place. He narrowly missed out on an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament after accumulating a 29-12 record on the year with four pins.
Gil in the Rankings
Gil debuts at No. 32 in the nation in the year's final NCAA Coaches Rank, while he reentered the RPI list at No. 33.
Record Book Watch
Antonio Pelusi enters the week with an 85-52 record for his career, which places fifth on F&M's all-time list. Paddy Quinlan (69-55) continued to move up the ranks as well and finishes his career in 14th, while Anthony Mancini (56-54) places 27th. Rick Durso '16 leads the Diplomats with a 145-38 career mark.
Quinlan is eighth all-time with 23 career pins. Justin Herbert '09 tops that category with 35.
Wil Gil (29-12) paces the Diplomats in wins, followed by Antonio Pelusi (27-8). Philip Robilotto (21-13) and Paddy Quinlan (20-14) finished close behind, while Emmett LiCastri (19-13), Cole Aaron (11-11), and Crew Fullerton (10-20) also reached double-digits for F&M. Complete statistics.
P. Robilotto led the team in falls with eight. Quinlan was next with six, followed by Pelusi and LiCastri with five each.
Impressive Showing at EIWAs
At the 2019 EIWA Tournament, F&M placed 12th out of 16 teams in the standings with 31 total points, the best finish for the Diplomats since 2016. F&M placed in three weight classes, which was also the most for the program since 2016.