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Smith takedown in OT beats Jack

North Carolina State senior Kevin Jack is competing in the NCAA Division I tournament for the fourth straight year. (Graphic courtesy North Carolina State wrestling)

CLEVELAND, March 15 – Bucknell senior Tyler Smith got a takedown with 32 seconds left in overtime to bounce North Carolina State’s Kevin Jack of Danbury from the championship bracket of NCAA Division I wrestling tournament Thursday night, 6-4 at Quicken Loans Arena.

Smith (29-4) took advantage of a pause by Jack to swoop in and get a single leg takedown. He continued in put Jack on his side and secured the match-winning takedown. Smith, the No. 12 seed at 141 pounds, avenged a second round loss to Jack a year ago when Jack prevailed 4-0 in this same round.

Jack (19-4) falls into the consolation round with his second loss in three matches. He fell in overtime in the finals of the ACC Tournament a week ago.

He will face the winner of the consolation round match between Evan Cheek (24-10) of Cleveland State and Henry Pohlymeyer of South Dakota State. Jack faces the prospect of winning three consecutive matches to earn All-American honors for the third time.

Jack was the aggressor in the first two periods and led 3-1. He had nine takedown attempts on Smith but could only finish on his first takedown attempt for a 2-0 lead just 34 seconds into the bout. Stalemate was called five times in the first two periods.

In the third period, Smith escaped to cut the lead to one point, 3-2. On his second takedown attempt of the match, he got in quickly on Jack’s ankle and got a takedown with 1:30 left in the match for a 4-3 lead. Jack got away 15 seconds later to tie the match at 4-4.

Smith had a 3-1 edge in takedown attempts in the third period and overtime. Smith said that was part of the game plan – more takedown attempts in the later stages of the match. “We have great coaches and we had a game plan that we executed for every match,” he said.

Jack had a dominating performance in his first round match – a 10-0 victory over Russell Rohlfing of California State at Bakersfield. Jack had three takedowns in the match and a two point near fall. He also had a whopping 5:12 of riding time to secure another point.

It was his 14th career victory in the NCAA tournament. After the loss to Smith, Jack is 14-6 in four appearances in the tournament.

2018 NCAA tournament results
First round: (5) Kevin Jack, North Carolina State dec. Russell Rohlfing, California State-Bakersfield, 10-0
Second round: (12) Tyler Smith, Bucknell dec. Kevin Jack, 6-4, OT

Recent Connecticut All-Americans
Division I
Kevin Jack (Danbury), North Carolina State, 3rd, 141, 2017
Kevin Jack (Danbury), North Carolina State, 5th, 141, 2015
Orville Palmer (Middletown), Oklahoma, 7th, 197, 2000
Jim Guzzio (Hand-Madison), Maryland, 5th, 134, 197
John Engel (Stamford), Lehigh, 1st, 118, 1931

2018 NCAA Division I tournament

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of Connecticut Wrestling Online. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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