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Wrestling: Labriola Punches Ticket to NCAA Final

Outside of Mikey Labriola, Nebraska had a disappointing semifinal round and dropped down to a tie for 6th-place in the team race

2023 NCAA Division I Men’s Wrestling Championship
Mikey Labriola of Nebraska wins over Mekhi Lewis of Virginia Tech during the Division I Mens Wrestling Championship held at the BOK Center on March 17, 2023 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Photo by Shane Bevel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

After going a combined 12-2 on Day 1 of the NCAA Championships, the Huskers had a solid quarterfinal round to start Day 2, climbing as high as third in the team race. With four wrestlers advancing to the semis, all four secured All-American honors.

But the Huskers went just 1-4 during Friday night’s Session 4, dropping three of their semifinal matches. The day was highlighted by Mikey Labriola advancing to his first NCAA final which will take place Saturday night.

Nebraska currently sits in a tie for sixth place with Michigan with 51 points. Penn State is way out front with 116.5 points, while Iowa is second with 77. Cornell is in third place with 64 points, Ohio State is in fourth with 62, and Missouri sits in fifth place with 55 points.

Weight-By-Weight Breakdown

125 pounds

3-seed Liam Cronin

After going 2-0 on Day 1, Liam Cronin started Friday with a 3-1 overtime win over 27-seed Eddie Ventresca of Virginia Tech in the quarters to secure his first All-American honors of his career.

Cronin then fell to Princeton’s 2-seed Pat Glory 8-2 in the semifinal round, setting him up for a showdown against 8-seed Anthony Noto of Lock Haven in today’s consolation semifinal.

141 pounds

4-seed Brock Hardy

After winning his first two matches on Day 1, Hardy started Friday with a 7-0 win over Purdue’s 12-seed Parker Filius to earn All-American honors as a redshirt freshman.

Hardy then moved onto the semis where he faced 1-seed Real Woods of Iowa. Woods started fast with a takedown and earned near-fall points before Hardy suffered what looked like a rib injury, requiring injury time. Hardy gutted out the match but fell 11-1, dropping to today’s consolation semifinal round where he’ll face 10-seed Lachlan McNeil of North Carolina.

157 pounds

3-seed Peyton Robb

Another Husker that won two matches on Day 1, Robb went on to down 6-seed Daniel Cardenas 6-4 in the quarters to earn All-American status.

Robb moved on to face 2-seed Levi Haines of Penn State in a rematch of the Big Ten final. Robb dropped the match to Haines again, this time a 5-3 decision. Robb will wrestle in today’s consolation semifinal against 4-seed Jared Franek of North Dakota State.

165 pounds

25-seed Bubba Wilson

Wilson went 1-1 on Day 1 before earning another win in the consolation bracket on Friday morning against 23-seed Connor Brady of Virginia Tech, a 5-2 decision victory.

Wilson then dropped his next match 10-0 against 17-seed Austin Yant of Northern Iowa, ending his tournament.

Wilson finished the year with a 17-15 record.

174 pounds

2-seed Mikey Labriola

After winning two tight matches on Thursday, Labriola started Day 2 with a 4-3 win over Missouri’s 7-seed Peyton Mocco, securing All-American honors.

Labriola then moved on to face 3-seed Mekhi Lewis of Virginia Tech in the semifinal round. With the Huskers losing three-straight semis ahead of him, Labriola pulled through in tiebreakers with a 3-1 decision win, giving Nebraska an NCAA finalist.

Labriola will take on Penn State’s 1-seed Carter Starocci in tonight’s NCAA final.

184 pounds

13-seed Lenny Pinto

After going 1-1 on Day 1, Pinto dropped his only match on Friday against 14-seed Will Feldkamp of Clarion. With the loss, Pinto finished his redshirt freshman season with a 24-11 record.

197 pounds

8-seed Silas Allred

After winning both his matches on Day 1, including a win over NCAA champion Max Dean of Penn State, Allred had a tough road on Day 2.

Allred dropped a 5-3 decision to 1-seed Nino Bonaccorsi in the quarterfinals, dropping him to the Round of 12, oftentimes called the blood round where a win means All-American honors and a loss meaning elimination. Facing 14-seed Jacob Warner, Allred dropped a 1-0 decision.

Finishing the weekend with a 2-2 record, Allred finished his redshirt freshman season with a 28-7 record.