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  • Photo: Sam Janicki

    Photo: Sam Janicki

    2024 Big Ten Championships Preview

    It’s the big one! Actually the Big Ten. The constant in the college wrestling world is that the Big Ten rules the roost. 2023-24 is no difference as the Big Ten has earned 85 automatic qualifying bids at the 2024 NCAA Championships. Surely they’ll add a few others during the at-large process, as well. 

    The 2024 Big Ten Championships head to the East Coast and will be hosted by the University of Maryland for the first time since the school joined the conference prior to the 2014-15 school year. The resurgent host school has a second seed, along with three others seeded in the top-seven at their respective weights, three years after scoring only two points in the 2021 tournament. 

    As expected all year, Penn State comes into the tournament as a heavy favorite. Cael Sanderson’s team has five top seeds and only one wrestler seeded below fifth. The Nittany Lions just finished their fourth straight undefeated season and only gave up more than ten points in a dual on one occasion. 

    That begs the question, who finishes second? At times, Iowa, Michigan, and Nebraska all looked like they were capable of doing so. Both Michigan and Nebraska have a number-one seed. Penn State won the 2023 title, but Michigan and Iowa have accounted for the previous two conference titles. 

    Individually, there are seven past Big Ten champions set to compete. Two are in one weight class (197), while one wrestler is going for his third B1G title (Carter Starocci) and another is going for his fourth (Aaron Brooks). 

    Without any more introductions the conference that doesn’t need any introductions. 

    It’s the Big Ten preview. Analysis for each weight and top-eight finishers and more. 

    125 lbs 

    1. Matt Ramos (PUR) 

    2. Drake Ayala (IOWA) 

    3. Eric Barnett (WIS) 

    4. Patrick McKee (MINN) 

    5. Caleb Smith (NEB) 

    6. Braeden Davis (PSU) 

    7. Michael DeAugustino (MICH) 

    8. Brendan McCrone (OSU) 

    9. Dean Peterson (RUT) 

    10. Tristan Lujan (MSU) 

    11. Justin Cardani (ILL) 

    12. Massey Odiotti (NU) 

    13. Tommy Capul (MD) 

    14. Blaine Frazier (IND) 

     

    NCAA Allocations: (9)

    First Round Match to Watch: #8 Brendon McCrone (Ohio State) vs. #9 Dean Peterson

    Projected Semifinals: #1 Matt Ramos (Purdue) vs. #4 Patrick McKee (Minnesota); #2 Drake Ayala (Iowa) vs. #6 Braeden Davis (Penn State)

    It’s the weight class we’ve been talking about all year! And generally, we have it going chalk, that can’t be right. Can it? Do the upsets happen if we’re expecting them? Or only if they’re unforeseen. 






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