Penn State to face Denver in NCAA hockey tournament 1st round

Penn State's Zain Retherford pinned Maryland's Alfred Bannister in 2:29 in Thursday's NCAA second round in Cleveland

But the gap could have been wider, as three of the six Buckeyes lost their final match in the wrestlebacks while Penn State had three - Nick Lee (141), Shakur Rasheed (197) and Nick Nevills (285) - close with wins.

Bo Nickal isn't known for demonstrative displays of raw emotion.

This is Penn State's second consecutive NCAA berth.

Here are updates from the final round at Quicken Loans Arena on Saturday night.

Vincenzo Joseph won the 165-pound title, while Bo Nickal was victorious in the 184-pound division. "And we have the best coaches in the country, best facilities, best fans and best wrestling, easily". Three other Big Ten schools also finished among the top 10 - Iowa in third place (97 points), MI tied for fourth (80.0), and Nebraska in ninth (47.0). Missouri was sixth with 61.5.

Penn State's wrestling program wasn't moribund prior to Sanderson's arrival in April 2009, but the Nittany Lions had just one team national title (1953) to their name before he was hired.

"I guess you can call it a rivalry", said Martin. "I mean, you want to win".

Nickal kept his as Martin blasted in on his legs in the opening moments of their bout.

"It's not easy to come in every day, give your best", Retherford said when asked about being so dominant. The Falcons (22-14-5), winners of the Atlantic Hockey playoff tournament, are the West Regional's No. 4 seed and play No. 1 St. Cloud State (25-8-6) on Friday in Sioux Falls, S.D. The other teams in that regional are No. 2 Minnesota State (29-9-1) and No. 3 Minnesota-Duluth (21-16-3).

Iowa, Michigan and North Carolina State round out the top three with 85½, 73½ and 69½ points, respectively.

"This year, the only difference was I knew that was the last time I was going to wear the singlet", Retherford said.

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"I'm excited about the team I have". That doesn't go away.

"He beat me previous year at the Cliff Keen Invitational, and I didn't think about it a whole lot, I just took some key aspects away from the match", said Martin.

The championship is Nickal's second straight after finishing second as a freshman.

"It was an incredible (team) race", Snyder said.

In a unusual turn of events, there will be quite a few Penn State themed activities taking place in the Allentown area next Saturday. "I still believe we have an unbelievable team".

Wearing a chunky brace on his right knee because of an injury sustained on January 28 that ended his regular season, Nolf dominated Jordan from the opening whistle.

Zain Retherford kicked things off for Penn State's stretch of five finalists against Lock Haven's Ronnie Perry.

Joseph beat Virginia Tech's David McFadden 3-1 to set up a rematch of last season's 165-pound final with Illinois' Isaiah Martinez.

Joseph used an inside trip, the same move he used to pin Martinez last season, and tilted the IL senior to his back for a 4-0 lead.

Valencia broke up Penn State's run when he beat Mark Hall 8-2. And he struck first on Saturday with a takedown late in the first period.

Diakomihalis tangled with Wyoming's Bryce Meredith in a wild bout at 141 where each wrestler led before the third period.

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