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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    2022 Big Ten Championships Preview

    Top seeded 125 lber Nick Suriano of Michigan (photos courtesy of Sam Janicki; SJanickiPhoto.com)


    2022 Big Ten Championships Preview

    88 total allocations/76 total allocations

    While six other conferences will be in action this weekend, none can match the overall star power and depth of the Big Ten. Eight of the top-20 tournament teams in the country reside in the Big Ten and will do battle in Lincoln, Nebraska. Seven of the ten number-one ranked wrestlers compete in the Big Ten.

    88 automatic berths to the 2022 NCAA Championships in Detroit, Michigan, will be on the line, easily the most of any conference in the country. Two-time defending conference champions Iowa will attempt to three-peat. Even with two-time Hodge Trophy winner, Spencer Lee, Iowa still has a decent chance to win the conference. With a smaller field than nationals, it's more likely that a balanced team can edge a more star-studded lineup like Penn State. Speaking of the Nittany Lions, the top-ranked squad boasts three #1 seeded wrestlers and should be in a dogfight with the Hawkeyes for first place. Third-ranked Michigan has an outside shot at winning it all; however, all the cards would have to fall in their favor. Homestanding Nebraska, also has a strong, veteran team capable of cracking the top-three.

    Below is our weight-by-weight preview of the action, along with predictions for top-eight finishers at all ten weights, and a team race projection. Wrestlers bolded are ones that we have pegged to receive the automatic qualifying bids available in their respective weight class.

    When: March 5th/6th, 2022

    Where: Lincoln, Nebraska

    How to Watch: Big Ten Network/B1G+


    125 lbs

    10 allocations

    I'm sure none of us thought that the 125 lb bracket would look like this back in September. No Spencer Lee for Iowa, Nick Suriano as the one seed for Michigan and Drew Hildebrandt for Penn State, but here we are! Suriano joined the team in the second half of the year and has won all eight of his contests while wearing the Maize and Blue. He's responsible for Hildebrandt's only loss in a Penn State singlet. It's easy to figure that those two past All-Americans should get the top seeds at this weight; the rest of the weight class, that's a different story.

    This bracket will feature four past NCAA All-Americans with Suriano and Hildebrandt. Joining them are the third seed Eric Barnett (Wisconsin) and eighth-seed Patrick McKee (Minnesota).

    Also of note, Devin Schroder (Purdue) is a two-time Big Ten finalist. He and Michael DeAugustino (Northwestern) were named NWCA first-team All-Americans after the 2020 season.

    8 of the top-13 wrestlers in the nation at 125 lbs hail from the Big Ten.

    This weight class could have plenty of upsets if you're just looking at seeds. #6 Drake Ayala (Iowa) is one of the top true freshmen in the nation and is dangerous on the bottom half of the bracket, if healthy. #7 DeAugustino has defeated many of the key players here at one time or another in his career. #8 McKee finished third in the nation last season after entering NCAA's as the #15 seed.

    Projected Quarterfinals

    #1 Nick Suriano (Michigan) vs. #8 Patrick McKee (Minnesota)
    #5 Devin Schroder (Purdue) vs. #4 Malik Heinselman (Ohio State)

    #3 Eric Barnett (Wisconsin) vs. #6 Drake Ayala (Iowa)
    #7 Michael DeAugustino (Northwestern) vs. #2 Drew Hildebrandt (Penn State)

    Projected Semifinals

    #1 Nick Suriano (Michigan) vs. #5 Devin Schroder (Purdue)
    #6 Drake Ayala (Iowa) vs. #2 Drew Hildebrandt (Penn State)

    Predictions

    1st) Nick Suriano (Michigan)
    2nd) Drew Hildebrandt (Penn State)
    3rd) Devin Schroder (Purdue)
    4th) Drake Ayala (Iowa)
    5th) Eric Barnett (Wisconsin)
    6th) Malik Heinselman (Ohio State)
    7th) Patrick McKee (Minnesota)
    8th) Michael DeAugustino (Northwestern)

    Final AQ's: Justin Cardani (Illinois) and Dylan Shawver (Rutgers)


    133 lbs

    10 allocations

    133 lbs in the Big Ten is always fun and this year is no different. 2021 NCAA Champion Roman Bravo-Young (Penn State) is undefeated and is looking ready to claim a second national title, along with his second Big Ten crown. Standing in his way is the only active wrestler at this weight class with a career win over him in Austin DeSanto (Iowa). The Hawkeye All-American had two wins over Bravo-Young in the 2018-19 season, but hasn't beaten him since. This year's dual appearance marked the fourth consecutive win for RBY; however, it was by a slim 3-2 margin.

    This bracket will feature five past NCAA All-Americans. Rayvon Foley (Michigan State), Lucas Byrd (Illinois) and Chris Cannon (Northwestern) join Bravo-Young and DeSanto.

    Bravo-Young has appeared in two Big Ten finals, winning one, while DeSanto's runner-up finish last year was his first.

    8 of the top-15 wrestlers in the nation at 133 lbs hail from the Big Ten.

    #6 seed Brock Hudkins (Indiana) is responsible for one of Foley's two losses on the year. He just hasn't been able to compete often. The 8/9 matchup between Joey Olivieri (Rutgers) and Matt Ramos (Purdue), features a pair of wrestlers that could make a run through the consolations and outperform their seeds. #13 King Sandoval (Maryland) has 13 pins on the year and his Greco background makes for some highlight-reel throws. His opponents should be ready at all times.

    Projected Quarterfinals

    #1 Roman Bravo-Young (Penn State) vs. #9 Matt Ramos (Purdue)
    #5 Dylan Ragusin (Michigan) vs. #4 Rayvon Foley (Michigan State)

    #3 Lucas Byrd (Illinois) vs. #6 Brock Hudkins (Indiana)
    #7 Chris Cannon (Northwestern) vs. #2 Austin DeSanto (Iowa)


    Projected Semifinals

    #1 Roman Bravo-Young (Penn State) vs. #4 Rayvon Foley (Michigan State)
    #3 Lucas Byrd (Illinois) vs. #2 Austin DeSanto (Iowa)

    Predictions

    1st) Roman Bravo-Young (Penn State)
    2nd) Austin DeSanto (Iowa)
    3rd) Lucas Byrd (Illinois)
    4th) Chris Cannon (Northwestern)
    5th) Rayvon Foley (Michigan State)
    6th) Dylan Ragusin (Michigan)
    7th) Joey Oliveri (Rutgers)
    8th) Matt Ramos (Purdue)

    Final AQ's: Jake Gliva (Minnesota), Brock Hudkins (Indiana)



    141 lbs

    7 allocations

    From the moment that automatic qualifiers were released, I knew that 141 in the Big Ten was going to present problems for the rest of the country and gobble up some of the precious at-large berths (five). If other conference's 141 lb brackets feature an upset or two, it's very likely we could have some high-quality wrestlers at this weight staying home. This is a weight class that features 10 of the top 33 wrestlers in the nation, but only seven AQ's are guaranteed.

    The battle for a title should be a great one here. We have the possibility of a Big Ten and NCAA finals rematch with the top-two seeds, #1 Nick Lee (Penn State) and #2 Jaydin Eierman (Iowa). Last year, Eierman was victorious before Lee turned the tables at nationals. The Nittany Lion great is undefeated, while Eierman's only loss of the year came to Lee. Oh and lurking at the #3 spot is undefeated, two-time Big Ten champion Sebastian Rivera (Rutgers). There have been some whispers surrounding his health, but hopefully, we'll get to see the best possible version of Rivera. If so, there could be some classic matches along the way.

    This bracket will feature six past NCAA All-Americans. Along with Lee and Eierman are, Rivera, Chad Red Jr. (Nebraska), Dylan Duncan (Illinois) and Stevan Micic (Michigan).

    Five of the six All-Americans (all but Duncan) have stood on the NCAA podium at least three times.

    Lee, Eierman, and Micic have all appeared in an NCAA final.

    Eierman, Micic, and Rivera (2x) have all won Big Ten titles. Lee (x2) and Red Jr. have made Big Ten the Big Ten finals.

    8 of the top-18 wrestlers in the nation at 141 lbs hail from the Big Ten.

    It's scary to imagine a tournament where Micic comes in as the sixth seed. Last year, Duncan finished fifth in the nation; however, he's the ninth seed here and looking for an AQ, after only appearing in five regular-season bouts. He'll face Joe Zargo (Wisconsin) in the opening round, one of the wrestlers who have defeated him this year. The 11th seed at this weight, Parker Filius (Purdue), is a two-time national qualifier and was the 18th seed at nationals in 2021.

    Projected Quarterfinals

    #1 Nick Lee (Penn State) vs. #9 Dylan Duncan (Illinois)
    #5 Jake Bergeland (Minnesota) vs. #4 Chad Red Jr. (Nebraska)

    #3 Sebastian Rivera (Rutgers) vs. #6 Stevan Micic (Michigan)
    #7 Dylan D'Emilio (Ohio State) vs. #2 Jaydin Eierman (Iowa)

    Projected Semifinals

    #1 Nick Lee (Penn State) vs. #4 Chad Red Jr. (Nebraska)
    #3 Sebastian Rivera (Rutgers) vs. #2 Jaydin Eierman (Iowa)


    Predictions

    1st) Nick Lee (Penn State)
    2nd) Jaydin Eierman (Iowa)
    3rd) Sebastian Rivera (Rutgers)
    4th) Chad Red Jr. (Nebraska)
    5th) Stevan Micic (Michigan)
    6th) Jake Bergeland (Minnesota)
    7th) Joe Zargo (Wisconsin)

    8th) Dylan Duncan (Illinois)



    149 lbs

    7 allocations

    Fun fact, 149 lbs is the only weight this year in the Big Ten without a wrestler from either Iowa or Penn State amongst the top-three seeds. But, without immediate team race implications in play, there's plenty of fun to be had in this bracket. The top-three seeds, while all unique, have parts to their game that make them some of the most fun to watch for fans. A possible 2021 Big Ten finals rematch is in play with returning champion Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) as the top seed and Ridge Lovett (Nebraska) the third seed. Last year, it was a bit of a surprise as Lovett made the finals as the seventh seed. With a 17-2 record this year, he isn't sneaking up on anyone!

    This bracket will feature two past NCAA All-Americans in Sasso and Yahya Thomas (Northwestern).

    Additionally, Max Murin (Iowa) was named an NWCA First-Team All-American in 2020, while Kanen Storr (Michigan) made the second team.

    Sasso and Lovett are the only two past Big Ten finalists at this weight.

    7 of the top-17 wrestlers in the nation at 149 lbs hail from the Big Ten.

    In 2021, we saw Thomas storm through St. Louis and claim third place at nationals despite needing an at-large berth to qualify and being saddled with the #25 seed. This weekend, Thomas is the fifth seed and needs to avenge a close loss to Murin to make the semis. Waiting there is expected to Sasso, who generally has difficulty with Thomas. Another lower seed, who could potentially make a run? How about Mike Van Brill (Rutgers)? He hasn't hit many of the main players at 149 lbs, but boasts a 17-2 record.

    Projected Quarterfinals

    #1 Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) vs. #8 Christian Kanzler (Illinois)
    #5 Yahya Thomas (Northwestern) vs. #4 Max Murin (Iowa)

    #3 Ridge Lovett (Nebraska) vs. #6 Mike Van Brill (Rutgers)
    #7 Beau Bartlett (Penn State) vs. #2 Austin Gomez (Wisconsin)


    Projected Semifinals

    #1 Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) vs. #5 Yahya Thomas (Northwestern)
    #3 Ridge Lovett (Nebraska) vs. #2 Austin Gomez (Wisconsin)

    Predictions

    1st) Sammy Sasso (Ohio State)
    2nd) Ridge Lovett (Nebraska)
    3rd) Austin Gomez (Wisconsin)
    4th) Yahya Thomas (Northwestern)
    5th) Max Murin (Iowa)
    6th) Beau Bartlett (Penn State)
    7th) Mike Van Brill (Rutgers)

    8th) Christian Kanzler (Illinois)


    157 lbs

    7 allocations

    This weight class took a hit a few weeks ago when then-#4 Brayton Lee (Minnesota) was lost for the year. Lee was perhaps the biggest challenger for Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) and he had the inside track to a second seed. Deakin is seeking to win his third Big Ten championship, which would put him into rarified air for Northwestern wrestling. He'd be only the third Wildcat wrestler to achieve the feat and the first since Jake Herbert graduated in 2009. On the bottom half of the bracket is a familiar face, second-seeded Kaleb Young (Iowa), the wrestler he defeated in the 2021 finals. In order to make the finals, Deakin could face Kendall Coleman (Purdue), his 2020 finals opponent.

    This bracket will feature two past NCAA All-Americans in Deakin and Young.

    Will Lewan (Michigan) and Coleman were both honored as All-Americans by the NWCA in 2020. Coleman was a first-teamer and Lewan made the second-team.

    We've already outlined the past Big Ten finalists at this weight. Deakin is a two-time champion, while Coleman and Young both have made a final.

    7 of the top-16 wrestlers in the nation at 157 lbs hail from the Big Ten.

    The biggest x-factor at this weight is Brady Berge (Penn State) in the tenth seed. Berge made a midseason return to competing and initially started at 165 lbs, before descending down to 157. If he's anywhere near top-form, Berge could make the finals. However, that may be too much to expect with Garrett Model (Wisconsin) right away and Kaleb Young (Iowa) in the quarters. Last season, Berge majored Model and edged Young at NCAA's. He also defeated the third seed Will Lewan (Michigan), in 2021.

    Projected Quarterfinals

    #1 Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) vs. #9 Bryce Hepner (Ohio State)
    #5 Peyton Robb (Nebraska) vs. #4 Kendall Coleman (Purdue)

    #3 Will Lewan (Michigan) vs. #6 Chase Saldate (Michigan State)
    #10 Brady Berge (Penn State) vs. #2 Kaleb Young (Iowa)

    Projected Semifinals

    #1 Ryan Deakin (Northwestern) vs. #5 Peyton Robb (Nebraska)
    #3 Will Lewan (Michigan) vs. #2 Kaleb Young (Iowa)

    Predictions

    1st) Ryan Deakin (Northwestern)
    2nd) Will Lewan (Michigan)
    3rd) Kaleb Young (Iowa)
    4th) Peyton Robb (Nebraska)
    5th) Kendall Coleman (Purdue)
    6th) Chase Saldate (Michigan State)
    7th) Brady Berge (Penn State)

    8th) Garrett Model (Wisconsin)


    165 lbs

    7 allocations

    This weight class has the potential to be lots of fun. An established veteran (Alex Marinelli - Iowa) is looking to claim another Big Ten title against a couple young bucks (Dean Hamiti - Wisconsin and Carson Kharchla - Ohio State). Marinelli split with the two, holding off Hamiti after suffering an upset to Kharchla. The Hawkeye is currently riding a nine-match winning streak at the Big Ten Championships. Hamiti's only loss on the year is to Marinelli, while he has racked up seven falls as a true freshman. Kharchla and Hamiti haven't met, but the Buckeye was third at the CKLV Invitational early in the season.

    This bracket will feature two past NCAA All-Americans with Marinelli and Cameron Amine (Michigan).

    Marinelli is the only past Big Ten finalist at this weight. He's won the tournament the past three years.

    4 of the top-10 wrestlers in the nation at 165 lbs hail from the Big Ten.

    There are plenty of wrestlers at this weight that could emerge as darkhorses and upset candidates. One, in particular, is #8 Bubba Wilson (Nebraska). Wilson has wins over the #4 seed (Amine) and the #7 seed (Hayden Lohrey - Purdue).

    Projected Quarterfinals

    #1 Carson Kharchla (Ohio State) vs. #8 Bubba Wilson (Nebraska)
    #5 Caleb Fish (Michigan State) vs. #4 Cameron Amine (Michigan)

    #3 Dean Hamiti (Wisconsin) vs. #6 Danny Braunagel (Illinois)
    #10 Creighton Edsell (Penn State) vs. #2 Alex Marinelli (Iowa)

    Projected Semifinals

    #1 Carson Kharchla (Ohio State) vs. #4 Cameron Amine (Michigan)
    #3 Dean Hamiti (Wisconsin) vs. #2 Alex Marinelli (Iowa)

    Predictions

    1st) Alex Marinelli (Iowa)
    2nd) Carson Kharchla (Ohio State)
    3rd) Dean Hamiti (Wisconsin)
    4th) Cameron Amine (Michigan)
    5th) Danny Braunagel (Illinois)
    6th) Caleb Fish (Michigan State)
    7th) Hayden Lohrey (Purdue)

    8th) Creighton Edsell (Penn State)



    174 lbs

    8 allocations

    We'll likely get to see another chapter in the Carter Starocci (Penn State)/Michael Kemerer (Iowa) rivalry in Nebraska. The two split last year, with the Hawkeye winning at Big Ten's and Starocci prevailing at nationals. Starocci won by the narrowest of margins during their heated dual at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Now it's time for round four, except it's happening in the semifinals! That is unreal! On the last Sunday of the regular season, Kemerer fell to Mikey Labriola (Nebraska), which ended up being his second conference loss of the year. Both Labriola and second-seeded Logan Massa (Michigan) only have one. Both semifinals here will be must-watch!

    Of course, our returning national finalists are both All-Americans; there are five total at this weight with Massa, Labriola and the fifth-seed Ethan Smith (Ohio State).

    Of this decorated group, only Kemerer is a past Big Ten champion. He's already appeared in three finals. Massa and Smith are also past finalists.

    5 of the top-7 wrestlers in the nation at 174 lbs hail from the Big Ten.

    Way down at the 11th seed is an NCAA Round of 12 finisher from a year ago, in Andrew McNally (Wisconsin). Last year, McNally competed for Kent State; however, he's since moved on as a grad transfer. He enters the postseason with a record of 8-8 and only has wins over two wrestlers in this field. Even with his struggles, you wouldn't want to see a wrestler of McNally's caliber in the consolations with a trip to nationals hanging in the balance.

    Projected Quarterfinals

    #1 Carter Starocci (Penn State) vs. #8 Troy Fisher (Northwestern)
    #5 Ethan Smith (Ohio State) vs. #4 Michael Kemerer (Iowa)

    #3 Mikey Labriola (Nebraska) vs. #6 Bailee O'Reilly (Minnesota)
    #7 Gerrit Nijenhuis (Purdue) vs. #2 Logan Massa (Michigan)

    Projected Semifinals

    #1 Carter Starocci (Penn State) vs. #4 Michael Kemerer (Iowa)
    #3 Mikey Labriola (Nebraska) vs. #2 Logan Massa (Michigan)

    Predictions

    1st) Carter Starocci (Penn State)
    2nd) Logan Massa (Michigan)
    3rd) Michael Kemerer (Iowa)
    4th) Mikey Labriola (Nebraska)
    5th) Ethan Smith (Ohio State)
    6th) Bailee O'Reilly (Minnesota)
    7th) Gerrit Nijenhuis (Purdue)
    8th) Troy Fisher (Northwestern)


    184 lbs

    12 allocations

    It's remarkable just seeing the number "12" next to conference allocations. What's even scarier is that the fifth seed, Abe Assad (Iowa), didn't earn one of them. It's probably easy for most to fill out their brackets with the top seeds, Aaron Brooks (Penn State) and Myles Amine (Michigan), advancing, but after that…it's anyone's guess. Most of the other members of this weight class have beaten each other at one point or another. Focusing on the top-two seeds, a rematch would pit the two highest-ranked wrestlers in the nation against one another in a battle of returning Big Ten champions. Brooks is the returning conference champ, while Amine won his crown up at 197 lbs, but has moved down for his final go 'round in college.

    This bracket will feature four NCAA All-Americans. Brooks and Amine, along with Taylor Venz (Nebraska) and John Poznanski (Rutgers).

    Additionally, Abe Assad was named a second-time All-American by the NWCA in 2020. Kaleb Romero (Ohio State) was named a first-teamer at 174 lbs.

    The top-ten seeds have combined to appear in five Big Ten finals, with Brooks winning two and Amine one. The only other one with prior Big Ten finals experience is Venz, who fell to Brooks in last year's final.

    9 of the top-20 wrestlers in the nation at 184 lbs hail from the Big Ten.

    Projected Quarterfinals

    #1 Aaron Brooks (Penn State) vs. #8 Kyle Cochran (Maryland)
    #5 Abe Assad (Iowa) vs. #4 Taylor Venz (Nebraska)

    #3 Kaleb Romero (Ohio State) vs. #6 Layne Malczewski (Michigan State)
    #7 John Poznanski (Rutgers) vs. #2 Myles Amine (Michigan)

    Projected Semifinals

    #1 Aaron Brooks (Penn State) vs. #5 Abe Assad (Iowa)
    #6 Layne Malczewski (Michigan State) vs. #2 Myles Amine (Michigan)

    Predictions

    1st) Aaron Brooks (Penn State)
    2nd) Myles Amine (Michigan)
    3rd) John Poznanski (Rutgers)
    4th) Layne Malczewski (Michigan State)
    5th) Abe Assad (Iowa)
    6th) Kyle Cochran (Maryland)
    7th) Kaleb Romero (Ohio State)
    8th) Taylor Venz (Nebraska)

    Final AQ's: DJ Washington (Indiana), Zac Braunagel (Illinois), Chris Weiler (Wisconsin), Isaiah Salazar (Minnesota)


    197 lbs

    11 allocations

    All year 197 lbs has been hard to figure out. It makes sense that it appears to be the most wide-open weight in the conference. If ever there were to be a darkhorse champion, it would be at this weight class. Even the top-two seeds, Eric Schultz (Nebraska) and Max Dean (Penn State), wrestle a ton of close matches and often seem vulnerable to an upset. That seems unreal to think about two wrestlers ranked in the top-three nationally, but it's a strange weight class. Even though it was reality turbulent, the Big Ten wrestlers in the bracket took care of business and snapped up 11 automatic qualifying slots. That is extremely important here since there could be some unforeseen results.

    There are three past NCAA All-Americans competing at this weight with Dean, Jacob Warner (Iowa), and Patrick Brucki (Princeton).

    Also, Cameron Caffey (Michigan State) and Schultz were named NWCA first-team All-Americans in 2020.

    This weight class features a pair of past Big Ten runner's-up in Schultz (2x) and Caffey. Brucki and Dean are both transfers that captured EIWA titles for their former schools.

    8 of the top-20 wrestlers in the nation at 197 lbs hail from the Big Ten.

    With 11 bids available, it's hard to really call anyone here an underdog. The 11th seed, Jaron Smith (Maryland), has proven he can take out one of the big dogs, with his upset victory over Brucki. There's a realistic scenario where these two could meet in the consolations again. Smith also should present a tough matchup for his first-round opponent, #6 Thomas Penola (Purdue).

    Projected Quarterfinals

    #1 Eric Schultz (Nebraska) vs. #9 Gavin Hoffman (Ohio State)
    #5 Patrick Brucki (Michigan) vs. #4 Jacob Warner (Iowa)

    #3 Cameron Caffey (Michigan State) vs. #6 Thomas Penola (Purdue)
    #7 Greg Bulsak (Rutgers) vs. #2 Max Dean (Penn State)

    Projected Semifinals

    #1 Eric Schultz (Nebraska) vs. #4 Jacob Warner (Iowa)
    #3 Cameron Caffey (Michigan State) vs. #2 Max Dean (Penn State)


    Predictions

    1st) Cameron Caffey (Michigan State)
    2nd) Jacob Warner (Iowa)
    3rd) Eric Schultz (Nebraska)
    4th) Max Dean (Penn State)
    5th) Thomas Penola (Purdue)
    6th) Patrick Brucki (Michigan)
    7th) Greg Bulsak (Rutgers)
    8th) Gavin Hoffman (Ohio State)

    Final AQ's: Braxton Amos (Wisconsin), Jaron Smith (Maryland), Andrew Davison (Northwestern)

    285 lbs

    9 allocations

    Sadly for the rest of the 13 competitors at this weight, the champion pick was much easier than any other weight in this bracket. It hasn't been quite that easy for 2020 Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson (Minnesota) this year; it just looked that way. Steveson has been able to rack up bonus points in all of his appearances this season. And he's done so by cherry-picking the best possible opponents on the Gopher's schedule. Four of his ten wins have come against returning All-Americans and nine of his ten opponents are currently ranked in the top-33. Before chasing his second national title, Gable will attempt to win his third Big Ten title. Pay close attention to the potential semifinal bout between Tony Cassioppi (Iowa) and Greg Kerkvliet (Penn State). This bout could have huge team race implications, as well as a significant impact on NCAA seeding.

    Six returning All-Americans will duke it out in this excellent weight class. Steveson, along with Cassioppi, Kerkvliet, Mason Parris, Trent Hillger (Wisconsin), and Tate Orndorff (Ohio State).

    We have an opportunity to see a rematch of the 2021 Big Ten and NCAA finals in the semis, between Steveson and Parris. Oh yeah, they also met in the 2020 conference finals.

    8 of the top-13 wrestlers in the nation at 285 lbs hail from the Big Ten.

    Watch for the ever-so-slight upset in the 8/9 spot with #8 Orndorff and #9 Luke Luffman (Illinois). The two did not meet this year, but split bouts last season. Luffman won an early dual, while Orndorff evened the score in sudden victory at Big Ten's. In 2021, Luffman also picked up a win over this year's #6 seed, Christian Lance (Nebraska).

    Projected Quarterfinals

    #1 Gable Steveson (Minnesota) vs. #8 Tate Orndorff (Ohio State)
    #5 Lucas Davison (Northwestern) vs. #4 Mason Parris (Michigan)

    #3 Greg Kerkvliet (Penn State) vs. #6 Christian Lance (Nebraska)
    #7 Trent Hillger (Wisconsin) vs. #2 Tony Cassioppi (Iowa)

    Projected Semifinals

    #1 Gable Steveson (Minnesota) vs. #4 Mason Parris (Michigan)
    #3 Greg Kerkvliet (Penn State) vs. #2 Tony Cassioppi (Iowa)

    Predictions

    1st) Gable Steveson (Minnesota)
    2nd) Greg Kerkvliet (Penn State)
    3rd) Mason Parris (Michigan)
    4th) Tony Cassioppi (Iowa)
    5th) Lucas Davison (Northwestern)
    6th) Christian Lance (Nebraska)
    7th) Trent Hillger (Wisconsin)
    8th) Tate Orndorff (Ohio State)

    Final AQ's: Luke Luffman (Illinois)

    Team Race

    1st) Penn State
    2nd) Iowa
    3rd) Michigan
    4th) Nebraska
    5th) Ohio State
    6th) Northwestern
    7th) Michigan State
    8th) Wisconsin

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