Weekly Big Ten Honors go to McKee

MINNEAPOLIS — After his pin Friday night helped propel Minnesota to a 28-12 dual win over Wisconsin, sixth-year senior Patrick McKee has been named the co-Big Ten Wrestler of the Week, it was announced Wednesday.

Ranked 11th at the time of the dual but now up to No. 5, McKee squared off with long-time rival and third-ranked Eric Barnett to start the night. It was the 10th all-time meeting between the two, and while McKee entered with a 5-4 edge in the series, Barnett had won three of the four regular-season meetings. Barnett had a 3-1 lead after the first period, but McKee shot in late in the second period, got the takedown, and secured the pin at the 4:47 mark, sending Maturi Pavilion into a frenzy.

In addition to it being the fourth career pin for McKee against Barnett, it was also his team-best fifth pin of the season and the 26th of McKee’s career, tying Ryan Lewis for 19th in program history.

Minnesota Pat Mckee
Patrick McKee

McKee finished the regular season with a 12-5 record overall, including an 8-4 record in duals and 4-3 mark in the Big Ten. He recorded five pins, three tech falls, and one major decision.

It’s the second time in his career that McKee has been named Big Ten Wrestler of the Week, also doing so on Jan. 19, 2021, when he went 2-0 in a conference tri-meet, including a win over the No. 2 ranked wrestler at the time. Since the Big Ten started awarding weekly honors in the 1998-99 season, McKee became the 12th Gopher to earn multiple accolades in his career.

With teammate Michael Blockhus being named the conference’s Wrestler of the Week on Jan. 23 earlier this year, this is the first time the Gophers have had more than one winner in a season since 2020-21 when McKee was joined by Michial Foy. Prior to that, it had not happened since 2016-17.

Minnesota is done with the regular season and is now preparing for the Big Ten Championships, which take place March 9-10 in College Park, Md.

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