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Big Ten Wrestling Championship Preview: 165 - 285 pounds

The Big Ten Championships begin tomorrow and today we preview the five upper weights

Roy DeBoer with permission

It all takes place at the Breslin Center on the Michigan State campus this weekend. Yesterday we previewed the lower five weights and today we wrap it up beginning with 165 pounds and going on through 285.

165 pounds

Returning champion/highest place winner: Isaiah Martinez (ILL), 1st Logan Massa (MICH) 2nd

Rutgers Wrestler/Seed: Richie Lewis (14-3) / 4

Rutgers vs. Field: If Richie Lewis is going to be a Big Ten champion, the route goes through the guy in the Orange singlet. When RU was at Illinois, Lewis was out of the lineup. Two seed Alex Marinelli (Iowa) edged Lewis in Sudden Victory. But that was in early December and Lewis is a different wrestler now.

Top Seed: Isaiah Martinez, ILL

The 165 pound bracket is the other monster one, aling with 125. There are ten Big Ten wrestlers from here who will move on to the NCAAs. Martinez (11-0) is still the odds on favorite. He is a three-time Big Ten champion and a two-time NCAA titlist. Massa was a redshirt freshman when he lost to Martinez in the B1G tourney and then took third at the NCAAs last year. The other guy in front of Lewis is Vincenzo Joseph of Penn State, the reigning national champ. He topped Lewis 5-4 in the dual in a closely fought bout. Good stuff here!

174 pounds

Returning champion/highest place winner: Bo Jordan (OSU) 1st, Mark Hall (PSU) 2nd

Rutgers Wrestler/Seed: Joe Grello (14-8) / unseeded

Rutgers vs. Field: Grello was not the starter when the season began, but he has done well (7-5 in duals) since getting into the lineup. Jordan decisioned Grello, 7-3, when Jordan was No. 3 in the country. That ain’t too bad. Hall, on the other hand, was a tough one for him as the Nittany Lion teched Grello, 24-9. The five seed, Northwestern’s Johnny Sebastian, nipped Grello, 5-2.

Top Seed: Mark Hall, PSU (Jordan at 2)

With Jordan and Hall sitting one-two, it’s hard to imagine anyone else being in the finals....again. Myles Amine (Mich) took third last year and he sits at the three seed, and unlikely - though never out - to change positions.

184 pounds

Returning champion/highest place winner: Myles Martin (OSU), 2nd Bo Nickal (PSU) 3rd

Rutgers Wrestler/Seed: Nick Gravina (14-3) / 5

Rutgers vs. Field: Gravina lost 6-5 to Nickal in the dua versus Penn State. He didn’t face Martin or the three or four seeds, Dom Abounader (MICH) and Emery Parker, (ILL) respectively.

Top Seed: Bo Nickal, PSU (Martin at 2)

Despite the talent and pedigree of the guys at the top, this could be a wide open weight class. It’s not too likely that someone other than Nickal or Martin will win it, but anything is possible at this point in time.

197 pounds

Returning champion/highest place winner: Kollin Moore (OSU) 1st

Rutgers Wrestler/Seed: Anthony Messner (2-11) / unseeded

Rutgers vs. Field: Coming from an unseeded position is never easy, and Anthony Messner is in a tough spot with only 13 bouts on the season. Messner lost by a major to Moore, which is almost a moral victory.

Top Seed: Kollin Moore, OSU

Possibly the weakest of all the weight classes, 197 has only six allocations, the smallest of any weight. Although there are some quality wrestlers among the seeded. Moore, PSU’s Shakur Rasheed (Two seed) and Cash Wilcke of Iowa (three seed) are all top ten wrestlers nationally.

285 pounds

Returning champion/highest place winner: Kyle Snyder (OSU) 1st, Nick Nevills (PSU) 3rd

Rutgers Wrestler/Seed: Razohnn Gross (15-11) / unseeded

Rutgers vs. Field: Gross had an up and down season. Despite being undersized, he was strong in the closing matches of the season. Snyder pinned Gross and did not face Nevills. In all likelihood, he’ll be wrestling in an outbracket in the first round, and that could give him s chance to earn team points.

Top Seed: Adam Coon, MICH (Snyder at 2)

Wrap your head around this one: Kyle Snyder is the returning Big Ten champion, the returning two-time NCAA champion, Olympic gold medalist (97kg) at the 2016 Rio Summer Games....and he’s the two seed. Part of that may be because he missed some time at the World Games. But come on! Coon is no slouch, though, going 23-0 on the season thus far. Nevills is the three seed.

Big Ten Wrestling Championships Central - click here

NCAA Conference Allocations

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