March 17, 2009
Complete Brackets in PDF Format
INDIANAPOLIS - Northern Illinois wrestlers Bryan Deutsch and Tristen DeShazer learned who they will be facing in Thursday's NCAA Championships opening round, after the NCAA revealed the brackets for all 10 weight classes Monday night.
For redshirt sophomores Deutsch and DeShazer, it will be the first trip to the national tournament. They will be guided by the experienced hand of 13th year head coach Dave Grant, an All-American while wrestling at Northern Iowa, who has since coached 37 NCAA qualifiers at Northern Illinois alone.
Deutsch (Columbia City, Ind./Columbia City), who earned his trip to St. Louis by winning the Mid-American Conference title at 157 pounds, enters the tournament unseeded, and will face ninth-seeded Cyler Sanderson of Iowa State. Deutsch upset the top three seeds en route to the MAC title, and is 20-10 on the year with five straight victories.
"Bryan's wrestling really well right now, and we're excited about what he can do at the national tournament," head coach Dave Grant said. "He's come on strong at the end of the season."
Sanderson, the runner-up at the Midlands Championships, finished fourth at the Big 12 Championships, and enters nationals with an 18-8 overall record.
"We have to go out and wrestle our style and take it to him," Grant said.
DeShazer (Wichita, Kan./Wichita West) will face North Carolina State's Darius Little, a true freshman with an 18-15 mark, in a pairing of unseeded wrestlers. DeShazer, who ranks 14th in the nation with 15 pins, qualified by placing third in the Mid-American Conference at 133 pounds. With a 21-11 overall record, DeShazer proved at the conference championships that he can do more than pin.
"The key with Tristen is wrestling tough, getting takedowns and riding tough on top," Grant said. "That philosophy was the thing that got him over the hump MAC Championships, where he showed he can win in a lot of different ways."
At MAC Championships, DeShazer beat two wrestlers that had beaten him earlier in the season, outpointing his way to the conference bronze.
The action from the Scotttrade Center in downtown St. Louis begins Thursday at 10 a.m. Fans can check back at NIUHuskies.com for live matside blogging from the championships.