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Big Ten Wrestling Championships Preview

March 7, 2014
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



ROSEMONT, Ill. - The 100th Big Ten Wrestling Championships are set for this Saturday
and Sunday, March 8-9, at the Kohl Center on the campus of the University of
Wisconsin.



The event gets underway at 10 a.m. CT on Saturday, with the preliminary and
quarterfinal matches taking place in Session I. Session II begins at 5 p.m., as
semifinals and the opening rounds of wrestlebacks conclude the day's action.
Consolation semifinals and seventh-place matches get underway at 11 a.m. on Sunday,
while first-, third- and fifth-place matches begin at 1 p.m.



BTN will provide live streaming coverage of the Big Ten wrestling preliminaries,
beginning at 10 a.m. CT on Saturday. Streaming coverage will continue with select
matches in Sessions II and III, while the championship rounds will be carried live
on the network. Tim Johnson, Jim Gibbons and Shane Sparks will call the action.



Penn State enters the championships looking for its fourth-straight Big Ten title,
after earning crowns in 2011, 2012, 2013. The Nittany Lions aim to become just the
fifth Big Ten school to win four-straight conference titles and the first since Iowa
won 25 consecutive crowns from 1974-1998. Last season, Penn State earned 151 team
points, followed by Minnesota and Iowa with 139 and 133.5 points, respectively.



Eight wrestlers that took home Big Ten titles last season return to this year's
championships, with Illinois' Jesse Delgado (125 pounds), Ohio State's Logan Stieber
(133; wrestling this season at 141) and Hunter Steiber (141; wrestling this season
at 149), Minnesota's Dylan Ness (149; wrestling this season at 157), Penn State's
David Taylor (165), Matt Brown (174) and Ed Ruth (184), Minnesota's Kevin Steinhaus
(184), Illinois' Mario Gonzalez (197) and Minnesota's Tony Nelson (285) each earning
crowns at last year's event. Ruth and Taylor each aim to become just the 12th and
13th four-time conference champions in Big Ten history.



The championships' 10 top seeds are spread across five schools. Penn State holds
five No. 1 seeds, with 125-pounder Nico Megaludis, 141-pounder Zain Retherford,
165-pounder David Taylor, 184-pounder Ed Ruth and 197-pounder Morgan McIntosh
earning top billing in their weight classes. Nebraska brings two top-seeded
grapplers into the championships, while Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin each hold one
top-ranked wrestler. The Hawkeyes' Tony Ramos (133), Wolverines' Adam Coon (285) and
Badgers' Isaac Jordan (157) have each earned No. 1 seeds, while the Huskers' Jake
Sueflohn (149) and Robert Kokesh (174) round out the group of top-ranked grapplers.



Nine Big Ten teams enter the championships ranked in the USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division
I Coaches Poll, with conference squads claiming the top three spots and five in the
top 10. Minnesota tops the poll at No. 1, followed by No. 2 Penn State, No. 3 Iowa,
No. 7 Michigan, No. 8 Nebraska, No. 11 Ohio State, No. 15 Wisconsin, No. 19
Northwestern and No. 20 Illinois. Purdue is receiving votes.


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