Five Things to Watch at the Big 12 Championships

The #1 and #2 ranked 165 lbers in the nation David Carr (top) and Keegan O'Toole (photo courtesy of Mark Lundy;

The Big 12 tournament goes down this Saturday and Sunday at the BOK Center in Tulsa, OK on ESPN+ and ESPNU. With brackets released on Wednesday, I thought I'd take a look at five things to watch in the tournament.

1. Team Race

This is one of those things that almost goes without saying, but this really sets up for a good team race. During the dual season, Iowa State, Missouri, and Oklahoma State all beat up on each other with Iowa State beating Oklahoma State, Oklahoma State beating Missouri, and Missouri beating Iowa State to create an unofficial three-way tie for the Big 12 Championship. Based on seeds, Iowa State is the favorite with Oklahoma State #2 and Missouri #3. But there are some x-factors in every single lineup that could change the game for any of these teams. On the surface, there is a lot to look forward to in the team race this weekend.

2. Carr vs. O'Toole part 2.

Iowa State lost to Missouri a few weeks ago in their dual but they had a bright spot in the finale when David Carr controlled Keegan O'Toole to a 7-2 decision. I happened to talk to Cam Steed at the Oklahoma High School State Tournament a few days ago. Cam now wrestles for Missouri and thinks O'Toole takes the rematch. We'll see how things play out, but this is sure to be one to watch on Sunday.

3. 197

Tanner Sloan, Rocky Elam, Luke Surber, and Yonger Bastida. For some reason, this weight is always insanely tough in the Big 12 and this year is no exception. These four have all beat up on each other this season and the semifinal round could be a great one.

4. Wyatt Hendrickson

Air Force's Wyatt Hendrickson has a decision loss to Mason Parris and one forfeit this season, but in all but one of the rest of his matches this season he's won by bonus points. He's not doing it in a Big Ten schedule, but it's hard to argue that those numbers aren't impressive. He's something to watch.

5. The BOK Center

This sounds a little different for a list like this but a lot of folks that will be coming in for the NCAAs next week have yet to experience this venue. You may not be physically there, but this will be a bit of an angle to know what to expect as you travel in for the tournament next week.


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