ST. LOUIS, March 17 – Three Connecticut wrestlers will be competing in the NCAA Division I national tournament beginning Thursday in St. Louis at the Scottrade Center. North Carolina State freshman Kevin Jack (Danbury), Northwestern junior Dominick Malone (Granby) and Binghamton junior Jack McKeever (Brookfield) will be wrestling. There are 330 wrestlers competing in 10 different weight classes.
ESPN will be providing comprehensive coverage. All six sessions will be televised and every match will be broadcast on ESPN3, the online channel. ESPNU will televise the first and second sessions on Thursday, quarterfinals on Friday and medal matches on Saturday. ESPN will televise the semifinals on Friday, March 20 and the finals on Saturday, March 21.
Since 2002, nine Connecticut wrestlers have competed in the NCAA Division I tournament.
Jack (141) was going to be redshirted this winter but he was inserted into the starting lineup on February 14 when starter Sam Speno was forced out of the lineup. Jack won his first three ACC dual meets including a 7-3 win over No. 16 Dean Heil of Oklahoma State. Jack (27-8), who is ranked No. 15 in the country by Intramat, went 2-2 and finished fourth at the ACC Tournament to earn his bid to the NCAA tournament.
He was 22-6 in six open tournaments, winning at the Hokie Open and Citadel Open.
McKeever (184) went 23-14 this season for Binghamton and won three matches at the Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association tournament. He clinched the NCAA tournament berth with a 3-2 win over Columbia’s Zach Hernandez with a late takedown. It’s the third year in the starting lineup for McKeever at Binghamton.
Malone (133) will be wrestling in the NCAA tournament for the third straight season. He is 21-17 this season and was 2-3 at the recent Big 10 tournament. He owns two wins over top 20 wrestlers this season and has won by pin six times.
NCAA Division I
Orville Palmer (Middletown), Oklahoma, 197, 7th, 2000
Jim Guzzio (Madison), Maryland, 134, 5th, 1997
John Engel (Stamford), Lehigh, 118, 1st, 1931