2019 ACC WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
March 9, 2019 | ACC Network Extra
Cassell Coliseum | Blacksburg, Va.
Duke Blue Devils
Head Coach: Glen Lanham (Oklahoma State ‘88)
* Rankings are InterMat (2/26)
2019 ACC Championship - Duke Seeding
Duke by the Numbers
88 – Career wins for Mitch Finesilver, two shy of becoming the 11th Blue Devil to record 90 victories
9-1 – Matt Finesilver’s record in his past 10 matches, with the loss coming against No. 7 David McFadden of Virginia Tech
9 – Match win streak for Mitch Finesilver heading into postseason
26 – Wins this season for Mitch Finesilver, just three shy of his career-best 29 in 2015-16
17 – Wins for sophomore Kaden Russell, 10 more than he had in his rookie campaign
5 – Blue Devils ranked in the final RPI of the season
5 – Program record for NCAA qualifiers, doing so in 2015 and 2018
How to Follow the Action
- Every match of the 2019 ACC Championships will be carried on ACC Network Extra. The action will be broadcast on the WatchESPN platform. The schedule of events is as follows. Tickets to the event at Casselll Arena are $10 for the full day. ACC students are admitted free with valid ID.
|Doors Open||10 a.m.|
|First Round Matches||11 a.m.|
|Consolation Semifinals||3:30 p.m.|
|Consolation Finals||5 p.m.|
Recapping 2018 ACC Championships
- Four Blue Devils clinched automatic bids and Jacob Kasper won the heavyweight title to highlight Duke’s 2018 ACC Championship. The Blue Devils finished fourth of six teams with 47.5 points. It was the best finish for Duke since it took fourth in 2015.
- Joining Kasper on the All-ACC team with runner-up honors were Mitch Finesilver (157) and Zach Finesilver (165). The second-place showing was the third for Mitch, while Zach’s run to the title match was arguably the best story of the day.
- Seeded sixth at 165 pounds, Zach Finesilver upset the No. 3 seed to advance to the semifinals. The dream day continued for him in the next bout, where he bested the second seed to secure one of the two automatic bids to the NCAA Championships and an appearance in the ACC title match.
- Mitch Finesilver, seeded second, cruised to the finals with a 6-0 semifinal win before dropping a hard-fought 3-2 decision to NC State’s Hayden Hidlay.
Duke in the ACC
- A member of the ACC in wrestling since 1956, Duke’s highest finish in the ACC Tournament was third place five times, most recently in 2004.
- Twenty-three different Duke wrestlers have won 32 ACC titles overall with Jacob Kasper being the most recent in 2018.
- Joel Puleo is the Blue Devils’ lone competitor to win three consecutive championships, bringing home top honors at heavyweight in 1973, 1974 and 1975.
- Five other wrestlers captured consecutive championships during their careers. In the current weight classifications, Duke has 10 ACC titles at heavyweight, two at 184 pounds and 197 and one in the 174, 133 and 125-pound classifications.
- Duke has had 36 All-ACC selections, including three last season, since teams were compiled in 1986.
Looking at Duke
- Duke has a host of wrestlers with their sights set on the NCAA Championships. The Blue Devils sent a program-record five last season and hope to eclipse that mark this year. With 37 bids up for grabs the Blue Devils are in the hunt for a historic finish to the season.
- Fourth-ranked Mitch Finesilver paces the Blue Devils with a 26-3 overall record and is on a nine-match win streak. Matt Finesilver is ranked 17th week and sports a 23-6 mark. He is 9-1 in his previous 10 matches with the lone loss being a 6-2 decision against top-seeded David McFadden of Virginia Tech. Zach Finesilver, after missing the early portion of the campaign to an off-season injury, is 16-7 on the year and arguably wrestling his best right now. Josh Finesilver (141) is 19-10 overall has won his past four matches, including a thriller over UNC’s A.C. Headlee in the final bout of the regular season.
- At 184 pounds, Kaden Russell has taken big strides and is 17-12 on the year. He posted a huge result against Virginia’s Will Schany and was 33rd in the coaches’ rankings and 30th in the RPI earlier in the year. His 17 wins are 10 more than he had all of last season.
Looking at First Round Matchups
- The first round will feature a host of interesting matchups as multiple of the regular season duals were very close on the mat. Alec Schenk will look to match his winning performance at Pittsburgh against No. 4 seed Kellan Stout, while Josh Finesilver aims to do the same against Panther LJ Bentley.
- At 174 pounds, Matt Finesilver likely will go up against No. 3 seed Daniel Bullard who he edged 8-7 during the regular season. Mitch Finesilver, after his first-round bye, is poised to take on Ryan Blees after winning both regular season meetings.
How Duke Fared vs. Opening Round Foes
|Harrison Campbell||125||Joey Prata||VT||L, MD, 2-14|
|Arien Leigh||133||Gary Wayne Harding||UNC||L, Fall, 4:23|
|Josh Finesilver||141||LJ Bentley||Pitt||W, Dec., 9-7|
|Mitch Finesilver||149||Ryan Blees||VT||W, Dec., 6-1*|
|Ryan Blees||VT||W, Dec., 3-0|
|Michael Murphy||UVA||W, MD, 13-0|
|Benjamin Anderson||157||B.C. LaPrade||VT||L, MD, 5-14|
|Zach Finesilver||165||Sawyer Davidson||UNC||W, MD, 13-3|
|Matt Finesilver||174||Daniel Bullard||NCSU||W, Dec., 8-7|
|Kaden Russell||184||Chip Ness||UNC||L, MD, 7-15|
|L, MD, 4-13^|
|Alec Schenk||197||Kellan Stout||Pitt||W, Dec., 4-2|
|Araad Fisher||HWT||Billy Miller||VT||L, Fall, 1:11|
* Hokie Open, ^ Cliff Keen Invite
Mitch Finesilver Looking to Break Through
- A three-time ACC runner-up at 133, 149 and 157 pounds, Mitch Finesilver is looking to climb to the top of the podium this year to become Duke’s 24th different ACC Champion and first at 149 pounds.
- Mitch is on track to become Duke’s first four-time All-ACC honoree after garnering All-ACC recognition each of the past three seasons. He and current assistant coach Jacob Kasper are the lone three-time All-ACC honorees.
Matt Finesilver Winning Ways
- Sophomore Matt Finesilver is 10-1 in his past 11 bouts. Included in that list are victories over Nos. 17, 19 and 20. His lone loss was to No. 7 David McFadden. Four of the 10 triumphs were by major decision as he allowed just 23 points.
O’Connor vs. Finesilver IV
- A fourth matchup between Duke’s Mitch Finesilver and UNC’s Austin O’Connor could be on tap for the ACC’s crown at 149 pounds. The pair has met three times prior this season with Mitch Finesilver winning two of them, including the regular season dual in Cameron. O’Connor earned his one victory in the consolation bracket at the Cliff Keen Invite.
- Duke will return to the mat again for the NCAA Championships March 21-23 in Pittsburgh, Pa. The NCAA qualifiers and brackets will be officially announced the week after ACC Championships as the Blue Devils aim to land a record number of wrestlers in the field.