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  • Photo: Photo/Sam Janicki

    Photo: Photo/Sam Janicki

    Statistical standout performances at conference tournaments

    The NCAA Championships have been canceled, and it is looking more and more like the event will not be rescheduled. That means that the conference weekend was actually the end of the competitive season. Since there is nothing on the horizon to look forward to, let's look back at conference weekend. The following looks at some of the statistical standout performances and the key differences between weight classes and conferences.

    Point differential (individual wrestler)
    (Match points scored per minute - match points allowed per minute)

    After his regular season domination, there should be no surprise that Spencer Lee (Iowa) had the best point differential of any competitor during conference weekend. Lee scored three bonus-point victories on the way to his first Big Ten title including a technical fall over Jack Medley (Michigan), who was the only competitor to escape giving up bonus points against Lee during the regular season.

    It might be a big surprise that Anthony Valencia (Arizona State) actually edged out Lee for most points scored per minute. Valencia somewhat benefited from the small Pac-12 tournament, as he averaged 4.02 points in two matches over Jared Hill (Stanford) and Dylan Miracle (Cal Poly) on his way to a Pac-12 title.

    Connor Flynn (Missouri) finished in the top five in point differential despite not winning the MAC tournament, and he has the best point differential among non-conference champions. He lost in the second round against Jared Siegrist (Lock Haven) before wrestling all the way back for third. Flynn finished with three bonus-point wins and a seven-point shutout decision victory. He allowed only 0.27 points per minute through six matches.

    Point differential (team)

    Despite finishing their conference tournament as the clear favorite to win the NCAA title, Iowa actually did not have the highest point differential of the weekend. That honor belongs to their biggest rival Oklahoma State. The Cowboys won yet another Big 12 title. Along the way, they collectively averaged 1.29 points per minute, allowed 0.62 and finished with a 0.86 differential.

    Iowa finished with the fourth best point differential despite one of their ranked wrestlers dropping two straight matches and failing to place. Iowa allowed the second fewest points per minute at 0.44. The only team to allow fewer points on a per minute basis was Lehigh who allowed 0.42 and won the EIWA tournament.

    Points per match (conference)

    The Pac-12 might be one of the smaller conferences in college wrestling these days, but at least per points per match, it had some of the most exciting matches. The wrestlers combined to score an average of 10.61 points per match. With that being said, it may have been due to a proliferation of blowouts. The Pac-12 also had the largest average point differential (see above). That means that even though there were high combined scores, one of the wrestlers was usually doing the majority of the scoring.

    Points per match (weight class)

    Luke Pletcher (Ohio State) and Nick Lee (Penn State) stood out at 141 pounds this season, and they also apparently led by example. Both wrestlers were known to rack up points in their matches, and it turns out the rest of weight class did the same. During conference weekend, the 141-pound wrestlers averaged 11.2 points per match, and it was the only division to average 11 or more points.

    Even though 141 was the highest scoring weight, there were still competitive matches. The average point differential was 0.76 on a per minute basis, which means that even though the matches were high scoring, the scores were close.

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