Gophers Head to Penn State for B1G Championship

The No. 11 Golden Gophers (7-2) head to University Park, Pa., for the 2021 Big Ten Championships. Competition begins on Saturday at 9am and continues through the title matches on Sunday at 3pm. BTN and BTN+ will provide live coverage of the entire tournament.

Big Ten Championships
Sat-Sun, Mar 6-7 – State College, PA
Watch | Pre-Seeds | Trackwrestling

CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE CHAMPIONSHIP NOTES (PDF)

Championship Schedule
Saturday, March 6
9am — Session I (First Round, Quarterfinals) — BTN/BTN+
6:30pm — Session II (Semifinals, Wrestlebacks) — BTN/BTN+

Sunday, March 7
11am — Session III (Cons. Semifinals, 7th-place) — BTN+
3pm — Session IV (1st-, 3rd- and 5th-place) — BTN/BTN+
BTN coverage can also be found on the Fox Sports app and FoxSports.com

Big Ten Title History
The Golden Gophers are seeking the program’s 13th Big Ten title, which would match Indiana for third-most in conference history. Iowa has won 36 championships, followed by Illinois with 17. Minnesota ranks third with 94 individual titles, behind Iowa (203) and Illinois (77).

The Golden Gophers broke a 40-year title drought with its 1999 championship. Minnesota added titles in 2001-02-03-06-07.

Big Ten Titles since 1999
Iowa: 7
Minnesota: 6
Penn State: 6
Ohio State: 3
Illinois: 1

Happy Valley History
This is the third time Penn State has hosted the Big Ten Championships since joining the conference in 1993. In 1998, Minnesota finished third behind Iowa and Penn State, while Tim Hartung won the second of his three individual titles. In 2009, the Gophers placed fifth as Tyler Safratowich led the way with a third-place showing at 157 pounds.

Heavyweight U
The Golden Gophers have dominated the heavyweight division the past two decades with Gable Steveson continuing that tradition. Including his 2020 crown, Minnesota has won 10 heavyweight titles since 1999.

Heavyweight Champions since 1999
Gable Steveson (2020)
Tony Nelson (2012-13)
Cole Konrad (2005-06-07)
Garrett Lowney (2001)
Brock Lesnar (1999-2000)

Heavyweight Titles since 1999
Minnesota 10
Ohio State 5
Iowa 4
Northwestern 2
Penn State 1

Regular Season Rewind
With a mix of veterans and newcomers, the Gopher wrestling team capped a successful regular season with five straight wins and 7-2 record. It was the team’s school record 15th straight season with a winning dual record. Gable Steveson led the Gophers with a perfect 9-0 record, while true freshman Andrew Sparks finished with an 8-1 mark. Minnesota and Ohio State were the only league schools to compete in all nine matches.

First Time for Everything
Five of Minnesota’s 10 wrestlers – Marcos Polanco, Michael Blockhus, Andrew Sparks, Jake Allar and Garrett Joles will compete in their first Big Ten Championship. That is the most championship debuts for the Gophers since 2016. Before transferring from Northern Iowa, Blockhus finished fifth at 141 pounds at the 2020 Big 12 Championships.

2020 Rewind
Gable Steveson won his first league title as the Golden Gophers placed eighth at the Big Ten Championship in Piscataway, N.J., in March 2020. Steveson defeated top-seed Mason Parris of Michigan, 8-6, in the finals. In his first conference tournament, Brayton Lee placed fourth at 149 pounds.

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