NCAA Wrestling Championships
March 21 – March 24
Des Moines, Iowa
Wells Fargo Arena at Iowa Events Center
Gambucci and Hartmann Earns NCAA Berths
Redshirt freshman Conner Hartmann and redshirt sophomore Brandon Gambucci both earned their first career berths to the NCAA Championships. They are the 34th and 35th Blue Devil wrestlers to earn an NCAA postseason bid in program history and marks the 47th and 48th time Duke has sent at least one wrestler to the event. Overall, Duke has sent multiple wrestlers to NCAAs 13 times with the most recent being in 2009.
Schedule of Events
Thursday, March 21
• Session I Doors open at 9:30 a.m. Session I begins at 11 a.m. – ESPN3
• Session II Doors open at 5 p.m., Session II begins at 6:30 p.m. – ESPN3
Friday, March 22
• Session III doors open at 8:30 a.m., Session III begins at 10 a.m. – ESPNU
• Session IV doors open at 4:30 p.m., Session IV begins at 6 p.m. – ESPNU
Saturday, March 23
• Session V doors open at 8:30 a.m., Session V begins at 10 a.m. – ESPNU
• Session VI doors open at 5 p.m., Session VI begins at 7 p.m. – ESPN
Duke by the Numbers
48 – Times a Duke wrestler has qualified for the NCAA Championships
18-6 – Conner Hartmann’s record in tournaments this season
9 – NCAA Championships competed in by Duke’s trio of coaches, earning four All-America awards
13 – Times Duke has sent multiple qualifiers to the NCAA Championship with a program-best four going in 2004
35 – Highest finish for the Blue Devils in the NCAA Championships with 17 points in 2009
1 – Win needed by Gambucci to earn his 20th of the season for the second consecutive season
2 – Place Hartmann finished at last year’s National Collegiate Open as he was redshirting his rookie campaign
62-25 – Combined career records for the young duo of Gambucci and Hartmann
62 – Days Hartmann did not compete heading into ACC Championships, spanning from Jan. 7-Mar. 9
How Gambucci Got There
Gambucci, competing at 133 pounds, earned one of the five automatic bids to the NCAA Championship field after his runner-up finish at the ACC Championships. The Mansfield, Ohio native upset No. 1 seed and 12th-ranked Geoffrey Alexander of Maryland to advance to the ACC title bout. Gambucci eventually fell to No. 2 seed and No. 15 George DiCamillo of Virginia, 10-9, to finish second.
How Hartmann Got Here
Hartmann had a slightly different path as he earned one of the five at-large bids handed out at 197 pounds. Hartmann finished third at the ACC Championships to just miss taking one of the two automatic spots. The Port Orchard, Wash., native rebounded from a ACC semifinal loss with a pair of wins over Tar Heel Frank Abbondanza and Derrick Borlie of Virginia Tech to earn a spot on the podium.
Who They Are Up Against
Gambucci opens the NCAA Championships with the reigning NCAA Champion and two-time Big Ten champion Logan Stieber of Ohio State. Stieber is 22-0 overall and captured his second Big Ten title to earn an automatic bid. Hartmann will go up against No. 7 seed Nathan Schiedel of Binghamton. Schiedel is 26-2 overall and finished second at the Colonial Athletic Conference (CAA) Championship.
After the Opening Match
The second round begins Thursday evening on ESPN3 and Gambucci will be up against either Jamie Franco (Hofstra) or Shelton Mack (Pitt) in the championship bracket. The winner advances in the championship bracket, while the loser drops down in the top of the wrestlebacks. Hartmann could have a rematch on his hands in his second match as the redshirt freshman will face either No. 10 seed Scott Schiller or Maryland’s Christian Boley.
Redshirt freshman Brandon Gambucci leads the Blue Devils with seven pins this season ... Six of the seven falls came in the first period ... Overall, Gambucci has 11 pins in his career and has been pinned four times in his career.
|Geoffrey Bostany, Pennsylvania||0:54|
|Jimmy Morris, Rider||1:04|
|Brandon Ling, Stevens Tech||1:19|
|Anthony Frinocchiaro, Brown||2:01|
|Tanner Bidelspach, Campbell||2:46|
|John Coukos, Northwestern||2:57|
|Dane Harlowe, Boston University||4:24|
Returning to the Mat
After suffering an injury in early January, Hartmann returned to the mat for the first time in the ACC Championships. Hartmann placed in the top six in each tournament he entered, finishing first at the Hokie Open, taking third twice and sixth at the prestigious Southern Scuffle. He is the lone Blue Devil to place in each tournament he participated in this season.
In the Rankings
Hartmann and Gambucci were peppered throughout rankings throughout the season and entered the ACC Championships among the top wrestlers in the country in their respective weight divisions. In the final NCAA RPI and Coaches Polls of the year, Hartmann was No. 30 on the RPI list. He came in as high as No. 27 during the year, while Gambucci finished the year ranked 24th by the coaches and 20th in the RPI. Hartmann climbed to as high as 18th in the NWCA/AWN individual rankings during the season before being set back by injury.
133 – No. 24 Brandon Gambucci