Big Ten Wrestling Set to Compete in NCAA Championships
March 13, 2012Eastern Indiana Sports
80 Big Ten wrestlers from all 12 conference schools seek national titles this weekend
Wrestlers from all 12 Big Ten schools head to Scottrade Center in St. Louis this
weekend to compete in the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships. The championships begin
Thursday morning and conclude with championship bouts on Saturday evening. The Big
Ten leads the nation with 80 competing wrestlers, including 50 seeded grapplers and
five No. 1 seeds across the 10 weight classes.
The ESPN family of networks will provide coverage for the entire event. All six
sessions will be streamed on ESPN3.com, which will provide live mat-by-mat coverage
of the championships. For individual links to each mat's live stream, click
Both of Friday's sessions and Saturday's first session will be broadcast live on
ESPNU, while Saturday's second session, featuring the championship bouts, will be
shown on ESPN.
Seventy-four Big Ten wrestlers earned spots in the NCAA Championships field by
virtue of their Big Ten Championships finish, while six others received at-large
bids to nationals. The conference sends at least five wrestlers in each weight
class, including 10 grapplers in the 174- and 285-pound brackets.
Five Big Ten wrestlers hold the top seeds in their weight classes, with Iowa's Matt
McDonough (125 pounds), Michigan's Kellen Russell (141), and Penn State's Frank
Molinaro (149), Ed Ruth (174) and David Taylor (165) entering the championships at
No. 1. McDonough, Russell and Penn State's Quentin Wright seek their second national
titles after McDonough won the 125-pound crown in 2010 and Russell (141) and Wright
(184) each won championships a season ago.
Five Big Ten schools have claimed NCAA Championships, led by Iowa with 23. Penn
State enters this year's event as the defending champion, earning its first national
title a year ago. Minnesota also boasts three championships, while Indiana and
Michigan State have each earned one. A Big Ten school has taken home the team title
in each of the past five years.
The three-day, six-session event will begin with preliminary matches at 11 a.m. CT
on Thursday and will continue into the evening session beginning at 6:30 p.m. The
third session will begin Friday at 10 a.m. with quarterfinal action and wrestlebacks
highlighting the schedule. The championships' fourth session begins at 6 p.m. and
will feature semifinal action. Saturday morning brings the conclusion of the
consolation bracket as third-, fifth- and seventh-place winners will be decided
beginning at 10 a.m. The sixth and final session is scheduled for Saturday evening
at 6:30 p.m., where NCAA weight class champions will be crowned.