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Maryland wrestling’s Youssif Hemida places 3rd at Big Ten Championships

This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

Maryland wrestling Youssif Hemida Photo by Maryland Athletics

After entering the Big Ten Tournament unseeded, Maryland wrestling’s Youssif Hemida walked away with a career-best third place finish in the tournament. The podium finish is the highest of any Terp since Maryland joined the conference.

The heavyweight secured his third straight NCAA Tournament appearance with five straight victories at the conference tournament. He improves upon a seventh-place finish his sophomore year and a sixth-place finish last season, despite dropping his first match.

Wrestling as a heavyweight in the Big Ten is never easy; the conference boasts nine wrestlers, including Hemida, ranked in the top 15 by InterMat wrestling. On his way to the podium, Hemida defeated three of them. After losing in the opening round, Hemida worked his way through the next four opponents in the consolation bracket to make it to the third-place match.

First, he toppled Illinois’ Deuce Rachal by major decision, setting up a match with the tournament’s No. 5 seed, Ohio State’s Chase Singletary. That’s the No. 9 (Hemida) vs. the No. 11 wrestler in the country. Hemida took care of the freshman by decision, then took down Purdue’s Jacob Aven the same way. The win over Aven was Hemida’s second of the season and secured an NCAA Tournament berth for the senior.

The win over Aven set up a consolation semifinal against Northwestern’s Conan Jennings, No. 14 in the nation. Hemida would win via decision to set up a third-place match with Wisconsin’s Trent Hillger, ranked No. 7 in the country. Despite being ranked higher, Hillger would suffer the same fate as the two ranked wrestlers before him, losing by decision to secure Maryland’s highest program finish in the conference.

Hemida now lays claim to the Terps’ highest individual conference finish since associate head coach Jimmy Sheptock won the ACC’s 184-pound championship in 2014.

In other news

Men’s basketball officially enters the Big Ten Tournament as the No. 5 seed after Ohio State failed to pull off the comeback against Wisconsin on Sunday. The Terps open play on Thursday afternoon. Here’s a look at the bracket:

Needing a variety of factors to happen before that, the Terps did what they could by taking down Minnesota on senior night Friday. Here are Justin’s takeaways from the game.

Here are Lila’s best shots from the regular-season finale, and a look at how Ivan Bender pulled off his senior night proposal to his now-fiancee.

After winning the regular-season crown, women’s basketball won’t also hold the Big Ten tournament title as well. The Terps dropped the championship game to second-seeded Iowa by 14 on Sunday.

Baseball won its series with Stetson over the weekend, winning the opener and dropping the middle game of its series before doubling up Stetson in the rubber match.

Softball went 2-3 at the Stetson Invitational.

Lacrosse went undefeated over the weekend, with women’s lacrosse taking a double-overtime thriller over Syracuse before the men pulled away from Albany for a five-goal win.

Football opened the weekend by securing All-MAC tight end Tyler Mabry’s transfer from Buffalo. He’s a grad transfer eligible to play immediately. *insert Mike Locksley wall gif*

It was even a good weekend for tennis, with the program opening conference play with a 6-1 win over Rutgers.

Men’s basketball sophomore center Bruno Fernando has been recognized among the country’s best, being named to the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar watch list for the nation’s top center.

Former Terp Kevin Huerter is already making a name for himself in the pros, and exploded for 27 points in a win over the Pelicans. That’s just two points below his career-high 29, which he set on Jan. 11.