No. 20 Cavaliers Wrestle for ACC Championship Saturday

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM

VIRGINIASPORTSDOTCOM
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - The 20th-ranked Virginia wrestling team begins postseason play Saturday as it competes in the 2012 ACC Wrestling Championship. North Carolina will serve as the event host at Carmichael Arena in Chapel Hill, N.C.

ESPN3 will carry live coverage of the entire championship beginning at 11 a.m. Feeds will be available for both mats until shifting to one mat for the championship bouts. Live bracket updates also will be available at VirginiaSports.com.

First-round action will begin at 11 a.m. The semifinals are set for 1 p.m., followed by the semifinal consolation matches at 3:30. The consolation finals are set for 5 p.m., with championship matches set to follow at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $5 in advance and $10 at the door. All seating for the ACC Championship is general admission.

The Cavaliers are aiming for their fifth ACC championship in program history. UVa captured ACC titles in 1974, 1975, 1977 and 2010.

Virginia finished its regular season with an 11-1 dual record. The Cavaliers' .917 winning percentage went down as the best mark in program history. UVa's previous top winning percentage was .846 in 1974 when the Cavaliers went 11-2.

Virginia finished in a three-way tie with Maryland and Virginia Tech atop the final ACC regular-season standings, with each team posting a 4-1 dual match record in conference action. Maryland is ranked No. 17 in the latest NCWA poll, while UVa is 20th and Virginia Tech is tied for 22nd.

Virginia boasts four No. 1 seeds in the field. UVa's No. 1 seeds: Matt Snyder (R-Jr., Lewistown, Pa.) at 125 pounds, Nick Nelson (R-Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) at 141, Gus Sako (So., Cleveland, Ohio) at 149 and Jon Fausey (R-So., Dalmatia, Pa.) at 184. UVa and Maryland each have four top seeds.

UVa's No. 2 seeds are Matt Nelson (Sr., Pittsburgh, Pa.) at 133 and Jedd Moore (R-Jr., Mount Vernon, Ohio) at 157. Nick Sulzer (R-Fr., Cleveland, Ohio) is seeded No. 3 in a tough 165-pound class, while Vinny Waldhauser (Fr., El Dorado Hills, Calif.) and Ryan Malo (Sr., Georgetown, Mass.) are No. 4 seeds at 174 and 197, respectively.

UVa will compete without heavyweight Derek Papagianopoulos (R-Fr., Burlington, Mass.), who was injured in practice this week. Ethan Hayes (Fr., New Lebanon, Ohio) will replace Papagianopoulos; Hayes is the No. 3 seed at 285 pounds.

In addition to a team championship, ACC wrestlers will be competing to fill the conference's 24 automatic individual weight-class spots in the NCAA Championships, which will be held March 15-17 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. The ACC's automatic bids are as follows (by weight class): 125 - 3; 133 - 3; 141 - 4; 149 - 2; 157 - 3; 165 - 3; 174 - 2; 184 - 2; 197 - 1; 285 - 1.

The ACC is also hopeful of earning several spots among the 40 at-large qualifiers, which will be announced on March 7.

UVa took third place last year at the ACC Championship in Charlottesville and also came up empty in its bid for individual titles for the first time since 2006.

Team Scoring
Championship Bracket Advancement - 1 point
Wrestleback Bracket Advancement - 1/2 point
Fall - 2 points
Forfeit - 2 points
Default - 2 points
Disqualification - 2 points
Tech Fall w/Near Fall Points - 1 1/2 points
Tech Fall w/o Near Fall Points - 1 point
Bye Followed By A Win:
Championship Bracket - 1 point
Wrestleback Bracket - 1/2 point

Points Earned By Placewinners:
Bonus points for placing first - 10 points
Bonus points for placing second - 7 points
Bonus points for placing third - 4 points
Bonus points for placing fourth - 2 points