The University of Minnesota returns to East Lansing, Mich. for the Big Ten Championships for the first time since 2007 when the Gophers won the title. With an automatic NCAA Championships spot on the line, the Gophers bring seven seeded wrestlers.
125: No. 5 Ethan Lizak (22-4)
133: No. 3 Mitch McKee (15-4)
141: No. 6 Tommy Thorn (19-9)
149: No. 9 Steve Bleise (15-5)
157: No. 7 Jake Short (13-9)
165: No. 6 Nick Wanzek (20-7)
174: Chris Pfarr (13-12)
184: Brandon Krone (8-5)
197: Dylan Anderson (23-13)
HWT: No. 8 Rylee Streifel (10-12)
NCAA OFFICIAL BIG TEN ALLOCATIONS:
The NCAA announced the qualifier allocations for the 2018 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships as listed in the chart below.
Each qualifying tournament was awarded spots per weight class based on current year data. Each wrestler was measured on the following: Division I winning percentage at the weight class; ratings percentage index (RPI); and coaches’ ranking.
After all of the qualifying events have concluded, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee will meet in-person to select the remaining 47 at-large qualifiers, which will be announced on March 6. All weight classes will consist of 33 wrestlers. The at-large selections will be made based on the following criteria: head-to-head competition; quality wins; coaches’ ranking; results against common opponents; RPI; qualifying event placement; and winning percentage.
LAST TIME OUT – RIDER
The Gophers finished the regular season off with a bang. Picking up a season-high three pins in one dual. Ethan Lizak, Mitch McKee, Brandon Krone and Dylan Anderson all picked up bonus point victories for the Maroon and Gold. Minnesota won seven of the 10 bouts, including Jake Short avenging his 2017 NCAA Tournament defeat to B.J. Clagon, with an 8-2 decisive decision.
“I was impressed with the intensity from the guys today,” head coach Brandon Eggum said after the victory. “The guys did good things in all three areas today, and I think our guys continued what they have done in the past few weeks, and that is to strike first.”
THE GOPHERS AT EAST LANSING
East Lansing has proved to be a welcoming place for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Minnesota is 8-0 at East Lansing since 2000 and the last time East Lansing was the site for the Big Ten Tournament, Minnesota claimed the Big Ten Championship in 2007. The Gophers also went on to win the NCAA Championship that season. The site of the Big Ten Tournament this year is the Jack Breslin Student Events Center, which opened in November of 1989.
|No. 16 Minnesota at Big Ten Championships|
|Date/Time||Saturday-Sunday, March 3-4, 2018 | All Day|
|Live Video – Session I||BTN Plus Mat 1, Mat 2, Mat 3, Mat 4 // FloWrestling|
|Live Video – Session III||BTN Plus Mat 1, Mat 2, Mat 3, Mat 4 // FloWrestling |
|Live Video – FINALS||Big Ten Network|
|Match Notes||B1G Championship Notes|
|Social Media||@GopherWrestling | Facebook | Instagram|
2017-18 SEASON LEADERS
The 2017-18 season was filled with big wins, exciting finishes, and tough fought wrestling. The Gophers regular season wins leader is Dylan Anderson with 23 wins, just one ahead of Ethan Lizak with 22 wins. Nick Wanzek, along with Lizak, each led the team with 12 dual victories. Lizak also led with five ranked victories this season. Mitch McKee was the pin king for this season with eight. Wanzek seemingly scored at will with nine major decisions. Lizak continued to show why the wrestling community calls him backpack, with eight tech falls this season. The 149-pound weight class combined to win the most of any weight class, with 62 wins. The 125-pound weight class finished with the best winning percentage at 79.5 percent.
GOPHER WRESTLERS TO WATCH AT THE B1G TOURNAMENT
Ethan Lizak returns as the Gophers best finisher from the 2017 Big Ten Championships. Lizak finished in third place, with his only loss coming to Connor Youtsey, who has since graduated from Michigan. Tommy Thorn has also seen success at the Big Ten Tournament. He finished in fourth in his first appearance in 2016, and sixth in 2017. Jake Short and Nick Wanzek have each placed in each of the last two seasons, with Short finishing in fifth in 2017 and Wanzek sixth. McKee was a sixth-place finisher in his debut in 2017, while Chris Pfarr will make his third appearance at the Big Ten Tournament, he finished ninth last season to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
— Minnesota Wrestling (@GopherWrestling) February 28, 2018
BIG TEN TOURNAMENT NOTES TO FOLLOW
The Big Ten Tournament will begin on Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m CT, with doors opening at 7:30 a.m. CT. The Arena will be cleared between the first session and the second session, which will begin at 5:00 p.m. CT, with doors opened at 3:30 p.m. CT. Sunday will also see two sessions, but no clearing of the Arena. The doors will open at 9:30 a.m. CT with wrestling beginning at 11: a.m. CT and the final session beginning at 2:00 p.m. CT.
BIG TEN TOURNAMENT SCORING
The Big Ten Tournament will follow tournament scoring to determine a team champion. A fall, forfeit, default and disqualification are worth two points. A championship bracket participant is worth one point, while a wrestle-back bracket participant is worth .5 points. A tech fall is worth 1.5 points, while a major decision is worth one point. A bye, followed by a win in the championship bracket is worth one point, while in the wrestle-back bracket, it is worth .5 points.