ST. LOUIS –Duke heavyweight Jacob Kasper took another step forward to joining an elite group of Blue Devils Thursday night with a victory over NC State’s Mike Kosoy. Kasper advances to the quarterfinals, while senior Connor Bass joins him on day two of wrestling with a win of his own at 174.
Kasper and Kosoy, squaring off for the second time this season, remained deadlocked at 0-0 after the opening three minutes. Kasper took his shots in the opening period, but came up just shy of scoring. Choosing the down position to start the second, the No. 4 seed needed less than a minute to escape for the 1-0 lead. That would be how the second period ended with Kosoy choosing bottom in search of the equalizing point.
Needing to ride out the period or get back points, Kasper was excellent on top as he rode out the period to get the bonus point for riding time. Kasper was in full control in the final 40 seconds, nearly turning Kosoy a couple times for back points, but came up just short of more points in the 2-0 victory.
Kasper will wrestle No. 5 seed Nick Nevills of Penn State in the quarterfinal round as he aims to become Duke’s third NCAA All-American in program history. He is 29-3 overall, one win shy of becoming the 13th Blue Devil to reach 30 wins in a season.
In his first appearance in the NCAA Championships, Bass bounced back from an opening round loss with a 4-2 victory over Minnesota’s Christopher Pfarr to move on to day two in the wrestlebacks. The Yorkville, Ill., native scored a takedown in the first period for a 2-0 lead and then tacked on an escape in the second for a 3-1 advantage heading into the final two minutes.
On top in the last period, Bass was outstanding as he built his riding time to 1:42 before Pfarr escapes to make it 3-2. Bass, however, had riding time locked up and came away with the 4-2 victory. He will wrestle No. 15 seed Trace Engelkes of Northern Illinois.
Jake Faust, overcoming injuries to advance to his second consecutive NCAA Championships, had his day come to an end against No. 8 seed Jake Short of Minnesota. The redshirt senior fell behind 6-1 to Short before roaring back to make it 6-4 with an escape and takedown. Short, however, took over in the third period to come away with the 13-4 major decision.
The Bellville, Ohio native finishes his career as one of 15 Blue Devils in program history to qualify for the NCAA Championships in multiple seasons and finished his career with a 56-35 overall record.
Wrestling gets underway Friday morning at 11 a.m., on ESPNU. All matches will be streamed on ESPN3.