Jeff Koepke upset No. 16 seed Elliot Riddick (Lehigh) at 197 pounds for Illinois sixth victory in the opening session of the NCAA Wrestling Championships at the Scottrade Center on Thursday afternoon.
Koepke and Riddick exchanged leads before the Illini pulled Riddick in from the boundary line for a takedown and a 5-3 win in sudden victory. Koepke will wrestle No. 1 seed and returning champion J'Den Cox (Missouri) in the next round.
Jesse Delgado (125), Zane Richards (133), Isaiah Martinez (157), Jackson Morse (165) and Zac Brunson (174) also advanced to the round of 16, which begins at 6 p.m. on Thursday.
Two-time defending champion Delgado beat No. 8 seed and returning All-American Tyler Cox (Wyoming), 3-2, to advance. He faces David Terao (American), who upset No. 9 and All-American Dylan Peters (UNI).
Richards, the No. 5 seed, dominated in the opening round with a 12-2 win over Jack Hathaway (Oregon State). Richards will face No. 12 seed George DiCamillo (Virginia).
Steve Rodrigues (141) fell to No. 6 seed Nick Dardanes (Minnesota), 8-4, and Kyle Langenderfer (149) lost 11-5 to No. 4 Brandon Sorenson (Iowa).
Martinez, the No. 1 seed and undefeated, earned his NCAA Division I leading 11th technical fall with a 18-2 technical fall over Russell Parsons (Army).
Morse, the No. 9 seed, won a 5-3 decision and will face No. 8 seed Peyton Walsh (Navy) next.
Brunson, the No. 11 seed, topped Ryan Wolfe (Rider), 5-2, and will face No. 6 Brandon Storley (Minnesota). Nikko Reyes (184) fell to No. 13 seed Avery (Edinboro), 3-0.