McKee Named Big Ten Co-Wrestler of the Week

University of Minnesota sophomore Patrick McKee was named Big Ten Co-Wrestler of the Week following his performance in a tri-meet at Michigan State on Saturday. McKee shared the honor with Iowa’s Spencer Lee.

McKee finished the weekend with a 2-0 record as he earned a 19-6 major decision against Maryland’s King Sandoval and a 10-6 decision against second-ranked Rayvon Foley of Michigan State. In the upset of Foley, McKee erased a 3-0 deficit with four takedowns during the second period.

The St. Michael, Minn., native is currently ranked No. 9 in the country at 125 pounds and is the first Gopher to receive the honor since teammate Brayton Lee earned conference accolades in December, 2019.

The No. 11 Gophers will host their first home dual of the season when they face top-ranked Iowa at Maturi Pavilion on Friday. The match will begin at 8 p.m. and air live on Big Ten Network.

Illinois makes giant jump into Top 10 after a pair of weekend wins

Manheim, Pennsylvania – After entering the Top 25 last week, Illinois made waves immediately after earning a pair of ranked wins over the weekend, including an 18-15 win over then-No. 7 Ohio State, to vault the Illini into the Top 10 in the NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll released on Tuesday.

Illinois also beat then-No. 21 Wisconsin 21-9. It’s the first time since February of 2017 the Illini have been ranked in the top 10.

Top-ranked Iowa opened up its season with a 31-3 win at home against then-No. 6 Nebraska.

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Gophers Sweep B1G Tri-Meet against Maryland and Michigan State

EAST LANSING, Mich. – In its first conference tri-meet since 1996, the 14th-ranked Gopher wrestling team (2-1) defeated Maryland (0-3) and host Michigan State (1-1) on Saturday afternoon. Minnesota routed the Terrapins with a 48-0 win and defeated the No. 17 Spartans, 28-6, in the finale.

Eight of the 10 Gophers finished the day with two victories led by sophomore Patrick McKee. The 17th-ranked 125 pounder began the day with a major decision against Maryland’s King Sandoval and then upset No. 2 Rayvon Foley of the Spartans with a 10-6 decision.

Top-ranked heavyweight Gable Steveson improved to 32-0 in his career in dual meets with a pin and technical fall. Steveson earned a 13-second fall against Maryland’s Connor Bowes to tie for the second-fastest pin in school history, matching Mitch McKee (2017) and Jim Martinez (1981).

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Division I’s dominant conference sets a new bar as Big Ten has 12 ranked in Top 25

Manheim, Pennsylvania – Realignment in college sports has caused some interesting anomalies when it comes to conference names. Two of the most obvious examples are the Big Ten Conference, with 14 all-sports members and the Big 12, which has 10. Wrestling alignments have expanded and contracted conference sponsorship with the abundance of affiliate members as well.

For the first time in college wrestling history, the Big Ten Conference also has 12 of its 14 teams ranked as Illinois and Michigan State entered this week’s NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll released on Tuesday.

Previously, the conference had 11 teams ranked on 17 different occasions, all since 2014 with the first occurrence happening on December 16, 2014. Not surprisingly, the Big Ten also five teams ranked in the top seven, including No. 1 Iowa (0-0), No. 2 Penn State (0-0), and No. 3 Michigan (2-0).

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