Four Little Rock Wrestlers Advance to Day Two of the NCAA Tournament

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Four Trojans have survived and advanced to day two of the 2024 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, led by Nasir Bailey in the 133 pound bracket. The true freshman’s perfect 2-0 day puts him into the Championship Quarterfinals tomorrow morning. If he wins at all tomorrow, Bailey will become the program’s first All-American.

“Today was another great day for our program,” said head coach Neil Erisman. “A lot of new firsts, from having this many athletes at Nationals to four advancing, to our first Quarterfinalist.”
“Really happy about a lot of things today,” he added. “The team had great energy, even through the tough moments. Excited to have the opportunity to earn our first All American tomorrow.”

Bailey won his match in the First Round over no. 26 seed Kade Moore from Missouri with a 10-4 decision, becoming the first Trojan to advance on the championship side of the bracket. He was joined later by redshirt freshman Stephen Little, who took out his opponent from Penn with a dominant 22-3 technical fall in the second period.
While Joseph Bianchi and Josiah Hill dropped their matches in the First Round, they came back to win their evening bouts. The older of the two Bianchi brothers competing blanked his opponent from George Mason, piecing together a 15-0 technical fall in full time. Hill also shut out his Princeton foe at night with a 5-0 decision thanks to a takedown in the second period and a hard ride in the third.

The Championship Round of 16 was a thriller for Trojan fans as they watched the program’s first Championship Quarterfinalist move on to day two. Bailey was down 5-6 in the third period before a huge lift, mat return, and three near fall points rocketed him to an 11-7 decision over no. 23 seed Marlon Yarbrough from Virginia for a perfect day. 

While Little dropped his match in the Championship Round of 16, he is still alive in the consolation bracket, like Bianchi and Hill.

Meanwhile, Matty Bianchi fell in both his matches today, bowing out of the Tournament. The redshirt sophomore was paired up with no. 2 seed Jacori Teemer from Arizona State in the First Round, only giving up a 7-3 decision before losing his second bout by just four points as well.

Watch Bailey, Joey Bianchi, Little and Hill in the third session of the NCAA Tournament tomorrow morning on ESPN+ or ESPN beginning at 11 a.m. View updated brackets here.

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Written by Arkansas Wrestle