After dropping a 15-5 Major Decision to Central Michigan's Zach Horan, Nick Flannery had his back against the wall, and there was only one thing left he could do: Win.
Then, Flannery, a senior transfer from Cleveland State, reeled off two consecutive victories, a thrilling 8-7 decision over Northern Illinois' Tyler Argue and a 6-2 decision over Noah Forrider of Ohio putting him in the consolation semi-finals entering Sunday's competition. With a win in the consolation semis or in the 5th place match, Flannery would punch his ticket to Oklahoma City.
In his first match on Sunday, Missouri's Lavion Mayes eked out a 4-3 decision over Flannery, sending him to the 5th place match. Flannery, the 7th seed, went on to face MIchael Shaw of Eastern Michigan. In a true win or go home scenario, Flannery dominated the match winning by a decision of 8-6 to punch his ticket to Oklahoma City. This will be the senior's first trip to the national tournament, and he is also Coach Stutzman's 34th National Qualifier.
Outside of Flannery, the Bulls found limited success on the mat this weekend, with every wrestler bowing out with a 0-2 or 1-2 record on Saturday, including 2-time NCAA qualifier Max Soria. The Bulls amassed 12.5 team points en route to a 9th place finish. Missouri won the team title with 118.5 points, barely edging out Northern Iowa which had 116 team points.
The NCAA Wrestling Tournament begins March 20th and runs through the 22nd at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Flannery will look to become UB's first All-American since Kyle Cerminara placed 8th at 197 lbs in 2004.