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NCAA Wrestling Championships Day 2 recap: Ariola, Cotten Eliminated, UB Concludes Historic Season

Colt Cotten and Joe Ariola both fell in their consolation bouts on day 2 of the NCAA Wrestling Championships and were eliminated from the tournament.

Cotten took on 14-seed and #9 ranked grappler in the nation Mitch Finesilver of Duke in the 2nd round of the 149 pound consolation bracket. Cotten gave up an early takedown to the ACC runner-up and managed to escape in the 1st period to leave his deficit at 1 heading into the second stanza. Cotten would choose bottom in the 2nd period in the hopes of getting a quick escape to tie the match at 2. However, Finesilver laced in his leg around Cotten's and put tremendous hip pressure on making movement nearly impossible for the Benton, Pennsylvania native.

Heading into the final period Finesilver had already clinched the riding time point and chose neutral to score another takedown to put the match out of reach, 5-2. Cotten finishes his redshirt sophomore campaign 13-11.

After pulling off day 1's biggest upset, according to FloWrestling, Joe Ariola took on the #19 ranked wrestler in the nation in Jeff Koepke of Illinois. Koepke and Ariola were evenly matched for the first period with neither wrestler gaining any sort of advantage, however, Ariola was warned for stalling which would prove to be crucial late in the match.

The second period saw Ariola ride Koepke for 52 seconds before finally cutting the 2-time NCAA qualifier loose. Koepke entered the final stanza with a slim 1-0 advantage and Ariola chose to start on bottom. Quickly earning the escape, Ariola knotted the match at 1 before he was dinged again for stalling after pushing Koepke out of bounds, giving the 5th year senior a 2-1 advantage with less than a minute remaining. Ariola shot several times but was unable to get ahold of Koepke's leg and bowed out of the tournament.

Results aside, the NCAA Tournament appearance was a big leap forward for John Stutzman's program. Two years ago when Nick Flannery was the Bulls' lone representative he lost both matches by pinfall and technical fall; this season saw a UB wrestler upset the #3 seed and #5 ranked wrestler in the nation, and another have the second fastest pin in the tournament.


149 - Colt Cotten - (0-1)

#9 Mitch Finesilver (Duke) dec. Colt Cotten (Buffalo), 5-2

184 - Joe Ariola - (0-1)

#19 Jeff Koepke (Illinois) dec. Joe Ariola (Buffalo), 2-1