Big 10 Wrestling Championship Preview – 2012
Published on February 28, 2012 by viratas · 9 Comments
Well it is that time of the year. We have one conference tournament in the books and a bunch that will happen this weekend.
TOM will have live Audio and Chat from the B1G Championships. Make sure you join us for all the action. You can listen from your PC or Phone (if you get the UStream App).
Ok so here we go with our B1G preview. Keep in mind that we are basing this off the pre-seeds. These may change after the coaches meeting on Friday night.
We expect this to be a hard fought race with several teams in the hunt for the title. Results from this weekend will play a major role in seeding for the National Tournament as well. Lets get too it.
McDonough grabs the top seed and should be in good shape until the semi-finals where we expect him to face the one guy who beat him, Delgado of Illinois. McDonough has gotten better as the season has progressed and this match up is one we are assuming the Hawkeye fans are looking forward too. Even though they met a few weeks ago with McDonough winning, expect this one to be a great match. But Delgado will first have to avenge a loss to Mele of Northwestern. They met awhile back and Mele came out on top. This should be a very close match. If Delgado is at the top of his game we think he gets by in a close one and moves on. We have McDonough winning in the semi-final and moving on to the finals.
On the bottom half you have Sanders from Minnesota sitting in the second spot and Penn State’s Megaludis with the third seed. Sanders has only lost to McDonough this year and has wrestled very well. Megaludis will be challenged in the quarters by Ohio State’s Dijulius. Megaludis won their first meeting, but we are expecting a close match here. In the end we have Megaludis winning and advancing to face Sanders. These two met very early in the year with Sanders winning a low scoring match. We have seen steady progress from Megaludis and that could make this one interesting. An upset here would also be huge for the team race. At this point though and based on how well Sanders has wrestled with think he will be too much for the true freshman. Sanders wins the match and faces McDonough yet again.
These guys have met a ton of times and each time the result has been the same. Sanders did close the gap last time they met, but either way you cut it, it was another loss. We do think this will be close, but we have McDonough winning another one.
This weight is loaded. Your top seed is Stieber of Ohio State. The one guy who beat him in the B1G is on his side and sitting in the four spot. That would be Minnesota’s Dardanes. Dardanes will first need to get by former All-American Cashé Quiroga of Purdue. These two have not met this year so this could be closer then some may think. Dardanes has been very impressive and we think his aggressive style will get him into the semi against Stieber. Now it gets interesting. We were front and center when Dardanes beat Stieber. We thought that Dardanes dominated just about every position, despite the score being close. The question is, can he do it again? This one is going to be close, real close. The key will be who can win the scrambles. Last time Dardanes did. We are going with the upset here and have Dardanes winning and going into the finals.
On the bottom Iowa’s Ramos is in good shape with the two seed. He will have to get by a tough Ridge Kiley in the quarters. Ramos has looked great this season and as is generally the case with Iowa they show up for big events. Futrell of Illinois is the third seed and has loss three times to Ramos this season. Oddly, Stieber has beaten Ramos and Futrell has beat Dardanes. Any way’s Futrell will have to be ready when he faces Michigan’s Stevens if he wants to get another shot at Ramos. Futrell does have a win over him already this year. We expect him to win again and move on to face Ramos. At the start of the year, we really thought that Futrell would give Ramos all he could handle and then some, but so far this year Ramos seems to have his number. We do not expect that to change here. Ramos moves into the finals to face Dardanes.
Dardanes and Ramos have met twice before and Ramos has won both times. Both wins were decisive for Ramos with the last meeting resulting in a 6-1 score. Look for Ramos to win in similar fashion here. It may be closer then the last one though.
This is another deep weight. The top seed is Russell from Michigan. He only has one loss on the season and that came at the hands of Stieber from Ohio State who is the second seed at the weight. We expect Russell to get past his quarter match where he will wait to face either Dardanes from Minnesota, who is the four seed, or Sueflohn from Nebraska your five seed. This will be a match to keep an eye on. These two met once before and Dardanes escaped a close one. These two are evenly matched and we think that Sueflohn reverses the last match and moves on to face Russell. They have met once before with Russell winning that one. Sueflohn is a long aggressive wrestler. That is the opposite of Russell who is compact and methodical. For Sueflohn to win he will need to push the pace and open up his offense. Russell let’s a lot of matches stay close and as we have said many times, this can back fire. We see Russell winning a one or two point match and advancing to the finals.
On the bottom half your second seed is Ohio State’s Stieber. He has wrestled above our expectations from the start of the year. He has really looked solid all season long. He is a true freshman, so that is something to keep an eye on as we head into tournament time. We have him reaching the semi-finals for sure. There he will face either Marion of Iowa or Thomas of Illinois. Marion has two wins over Thomas, but Thomas was able to close the gap. With that said we do not think he has closed it enough as to where we think he gets an upset. Marion wins and moves on to face Stieber. Last time these two met Stieber came away with a 4-2 decision. That dual was like something out of twilight zone as Ohio State romped to an impressive win. One thing about Marion is he is very good at reversing his losses. Look for him to push the pace in this one. In a close low scoring match we have Marion winning and moving on to the finals.
After what happened last year at the national tournament how many of you out there are looking forward to this one? We are, that is for sure. If you are not aware of what happened last year, google “Russell vs Marion” and you can watch for yourself. This will be another close match. The question is, will Marion turn up the heat or play it conservative? We have Russell winning this time with out the controversy.
Our top seed Molinaro of Penn State has been outstanding all season long. One thing we were interested in this season, was if he would open his offense up. Well, he has and it has produced some great results. We will make this easy, we expect him to make his way to finals with little problem. He will have to get by either Tessari of Ohio State or Lopouchanski of Purdue. But we expect him to win either way.
The bottom half of the bracket should be interesting. Your second seed is Grajales of Michigan. He could get a tough quarter final match when he faces Terrazas of Illinois. Terrazas did beat him earlier in the year. The problem with Terrazas is his consistency. If he shows up and wrestles like he can, he could get the upset here. Since that win he is 3-5. So it all depends on what kind of frame of mind he is in. Your third seed is the ever entertaining Ness from Minnesota. You never know what will happen in his matches. It will be an interesting match when he faces Walsh of Indiana. Walsh is a pinner and Ness likes to roll around on his back. Expect this one to be fun. We do think Ness wins, but we will not be surprised if there are some interesting moments. Then we have him and Grajales. Grajales won a close one the last time they met. Ness has improved sine then. This will be close, but we have Ness winning and moving on.
Molinaro and Ness have met twice with Molinaro winning both matches. In the first one Ness put together some late points to close in, but it was not enough. Molinaro controlled the second meeting. As long as Molianro does not start rolling around with Ness he should win this one.
This weight looks a little different then we thought at the start of the year. But not to far off from what we thought. Welch is your top seed and had a great year. He is the clear favorite in the weight. His stiffest competition before the finals will be the fourth seed Jones from Michigan State. We expect him to get past that one and wait in the finals.
The bottom half of this should be fun from the quarters on. Your second seed is Alton of Penn State. He should be in good shape till the semi-finals. Our third seed is Green from Nebraska who is having a breakout year as a freshman. Green will have his hands full in the quarters when he faces Iowa’s St. John. St. John suffered a mid-season injury that set him back. A few weeks ago we were not sure if he would even wrestle the rest of the season. But, last week at the National Dual finals, he looked to be making an impressive comeback. If he improves off that performance he will be dangerous at this weight. A lot depends on his mobility which he will need against Green. We have Green winning and facing Alton. Alton won the previous meeting in OT. So we should have a great semi-final match to watch. This will be close again, but this time we think Green is able to secure a takedown. We have Green winning and moving on to face Welch.
Right now we think Welch is a step ahead of the rest of the field. This is similar to our thoughts you will see at the next weight as well. Expect to see Welch control this match. He wins by four or five.
4. St. John
Taylor of Penn State is at the head of the class here. We do not see anyone taking that away from him this weekend. He has been outstanding all year long and we have no reason to believe that will change. There should be a solid quarter final match on the top side when Polz of Illinois and Jordan of Wisconsin meet up. Jordan did win the regular season match 3-1. Should be some solid wrestling and we have Jordan winning and then Facing Taylor. Jordan sat out the dual against Penn State, so these two have not met yet this year. Look for Taylor to win and move on.
The bottom should be a bit more interesting. Your second see is Evans of Iowa. Evans has been solid all season long and is a hammer on top. Things will get interesting for him in the quarters when he faces Yohn of Minnesota. Evans dominated the first match between these two, but Yohn was able to reverse that with a 5-3 OT win just last week. We expect this to be very close again. The key is if Yohn will be able to get away, if he finds himself underneath. In a hard fought battle we have Evans winning. Nebraka’s Kokesh is your three seed and he will face Yates of Michigan in his quarter. He does have a win over Yates already this year and we expect that he will get another one in this match. Then we get a rematch of Kokesh and Evans. Evans won by a decent margin last time, surprising some of us. We think that this match will be much closer. We do have Evans winning and moving on.
Last time they met, Evans gave Taylor one of his closer matches on the year. Taylor won 9-4. The best chance Evans has is if he can get on top for a significant amount of time. We just think that Taylor is too dynamic on his feet and should be able to rack up some takedowns. Taylor wins this one, but most likely only be a decision.
Penn State’s Ed Ruth is the top seed. Ruth has really opened up more this year. He seems to be wrestling the full seven minutes and getting the bonus points his team needs. That is pretty different from last year in our opinion. If the seeds hold, he should be tested right away in the quarters when he faces Blanton of Illinois. Granted Blanton has not wrestled up to the expectations this year, but we all know he can win against top level competition. They have not met this season, so maybe that could play into Blanton’s favor. Most likely not though, Ruth wins and waits in the semi-final. The other quarter final should be good as well when Heflin of Ohio State faces Michigan’s Zeerip. We all remember the last time these two met. We have to assume Zeerip will come out to win and make sure it is not in the Referees hands. We are going with Zeerip in this one. He will then face Ruth who majored him in the last meeting between them. We expect Ruth to control this one again. Ruth goes to the finals.
Your second seed is Minnesota’s Storley. He will have to navigate a loaded bottom half of the bracket. He should get Koehn of Nebraska in the quarters. They wrestled a month or so ago and Storley came away with a very close 5-2 decision. We see Storley winning another close one and moving on to the semi’s. The third seed is Lofthouse of Iowa. He will most likely face Michigan State’s Jacobs in his quarter final bout. Look for Lofthouse to win and move on to a rubber match with Storley. These two have split two close ones already. This will be close again and most likely one takedown wins it. We have Storley winning and going on to the finals.
Storley is good, real good, but we think he may have some problems with Ruth. If Ruth opens up he should be able to score and use his size to his advantage. We are not sure how much taller Ruth is, but these two have very different builds. The key for Storley will be if he can keep this match low scoring on his feet. Ruth wins.
184 may be the deepest weight in the country and one of the deeper weights in the conference. The top seed is Minnesota’s Kevin Steinhaus. Steinhaus is wrestling well right now and has wins over the rest of this group. His first real test will come in the semi-finals. He will await the winner of Iowa’s Gambrall and Ohio States Magrum. Both of these guys missed some time this year. This is a hard match to predict. We are going with Gambrall in a close one. Stenhaus and Gambrall met last week with Steinhaus winning 3-1. We think that this one plays out in similar fashion with Steinhaus winning and making the finals.
Wright of Penn State is your second seed and sitting in pretty good shape to make a run to the finals. His biggest challenge will come in the semi-finals when he most likely faces Ihnen of Nebraska. They battled to a 9-6 score the last time they met with Wright coming out on top. There should be a bunch of scoring again if they wrestle this weekend. Look for Wright to win and set up a rematch in the finals with Steinhaus.
These guys are 2-2 against one another the past two years. When they met early this year Steinhaus dominated the match. It will be interesting to see which approach Wright takes this weekend. When he has tried to get funky and or go power to power, Steinhaus has controlled the matches. When Wright relies more on his technique, he has won. This bout should be an exciting one that will have team race implications. We have Steinhaus wining.
The top seed is Minnesota’s Sonny Yohn. Yohn has won a bunch this year, but has kept things interesting in many matches. He was upset earlier in the year by Illinois’s Mario Gonzalez 5-4. He may face him in the semi-finals if Gonzalez can get past Michigan’s Huntley. We think Huntley gets the win and moves on to face Yohn. Last time they met Huntley had to injury default. If Yohn gets some kind of offense going he should win this one and slide into the finals.
Indiana’s Powless gets the second seed. We expect him to win his first match and wait in the semi-finals. He will face the winner of Penn State’s McIntosh and Campolattano of Ohio State. These two battled to a 5-4 score when the met last with McIntosh coming out on top. This one will be close again. We think that McIntosh gets by and moves on to face Powless. They met at the Scuffle where Powless won a one point match. We think, that this time Powless may open up more. Look for him to win and move on to face Yohn in the finals.
Yohn and Powless met at the Scuffle where Yohn won 4-1. We do not expect this to be an overly exciting match, but we do expect it to be close with Yohn winning.
As we close things out your top seed for the big men is Nelson of Minnesota. He is in good shape and should be able to make his way to the semi-finals. He most likely will face the winner of the match between Nebraska’s Lane and Northwestern’s McMullan. At this point we think that Lane should be the favorite. Look for the senior to win a tight one. He will then face Nelson. This will be a good match. Nelson won the last meeting in OT. Lane had a hard time getting any kind of offense going against Nelson and we think it will be more of the same here. Look for Nelson to win by one or two.
Wade is the number two seed and we see it as his too lose. He has pinned the number three seed Michigan’s Apland. Look for him to wait in the semi’s where we think he will face Iowa’s Bobby Telford. These two have not met this year. Telford is a big guy and in the past big guys have given Wade some problems. But, Wade has looked really good this year and we just do not see Telford beating him. Wade moves on to face Nelson.
Nelson out placed Wade at the Scuffle and beat him soundly 5-0 in their only meeting of the year. But, that was early in the year. Wade has shown improvement, but so has Nelson since hitting a bit of a rough spot around mid-season. We have Nelson winning.