In case you missed it, the Iowa wrestling squad came up 2 points shy of winning a fourth consecutive Big Ten Tournament title this weekend. I'm sure that RossWBwill have an in-depth analysis of the tournament in its entirity up later today, but I wanted to take a minute to reflect what I saw Sunday afternoon.
I watched Session IV from the comfort of my own home. While I could complain about the B1G networks coverage of the final session (no coverage of the 3rd or 5th place matches at all? Except for the HWT 5th
3rd place match, which got a little corner of the screen intermittenly), I'll stick to what I saw on the TEEVEE.
McD: Great kid and exceptional wrestler. While Precin did a good job defending, McD was able to finally get a leg for a takedown. I had hoped for a repeat from the duals, but as it is, I'm happy to have watched him take the championship.
DSJ: I thought he had Taylor, and had he kept up his aggressiveness, may have been able to keep the lead. Hats off to Taylor, though. I only hope that DSJ gets a victory against him in the next three years. Taylor looks to be unstoppable.
Uncle Luke: What heart?! Man does that guy display the work ethic of Iowa wrestling! While I hoped for a better outcome, his efforts and aggressiveness made me wonder how different things might have been had at the Midlands.
Rasing: This past fall, had someone told you that Rasing would be the B1G champion, you might have laughed. You would probably guessed that Blake would get crushed by PSU's Wade, and you would have probably been right. But Minny's Tony Nelson did us a good one on Saturday, defeating Wade in the semis. Rasing nearly had Nelson on his back in the latter parts of the third period. If not for an injury timeout, Rasing would have scored the bonus points needed to secure a team victory.
While the seconds ticked down in the HWT match, I wondered if Rasing had any idea that his team could win the tournament if he could score bonus points. I was mad at him, for a second, because it didn't seem like he was trying to get those bonus points. I wondered aloud if he didn't care. As disappointment began to settled in, I found myself cursing Rasing as he clapped his hand running off the mat. A moment later, I realized that he is the 2011 B1G heavyweight champion! The feeling of disappointment now gone, I wondered what more can ask from a guy who went 1-2 at Midlands? He went above and beyond our expectations, right? Great job, Blake! Sorry for cussing at you (even no one could hear it).
Could we have won the team title? Yep. In a million ways. But I take the Brands high road.
“I call it getting tough in the tough situations. We’re OK. We’re OK if we improve. We’re not OK if we don’t improve.” - Via HawkCentral
I don't think any of our wrestlers underachieved.
So, the team title goes to Penn State. They did what (I think) we all knew what would happen. Hats off to the wrestlers (Piss off, Cael Sanderson)! But more importantly, great job, Hawks! And thanks to all of the fans in attendance.