B1G TOURNAMENT PREVIEW: 125 LBS-157 LBS

Tony Hager

Taking a look at possible (and actual) pre-seeds for the B1G Championships

Next weekend the Hawkeyes will travel to Madison, WI for the 2014 B1G Wrestling Championships. This year is special for BHGP because we will be live from Madison for hold by hold results and some behind the scenes action. This is part one of our two-part preview on the B1G Tournament and we want to give a special thanks to @Tim_Keck for helping out with the seedings throughout the season. A couple of things to remember when looking at these final B1G seeding predictions before the pre-seeds come out this week.

  • Each weight has been seeded 1-12. The B1G will only seed the top 8 wrestlers at each weight unless the B1G receives qualifier allocations in excess of 7 for a particular weight. Weights with only 8 seeded wrestlers will have the unseeded wrestlers placed into the bracket at random.
  • We won't see many changes between the preseeds and the final brackets. We went back through all the Big 10 pre-seeds for years I could find online and compared them to the seeds in the final bracket to see how much they changed. Since 2006, there's only been seven instances where the final seeds changed from the preseeds. So whatever we see in the preseeds, count on the final seeding looking pretty much the same.
  • The purpose of this exercise is to guess what the seeding at the B1G tournament will look like. As a result, I've tried to "reset" the seedings and look at the season as a whole as opposed to being influenced from where I'd previously seeded each weight.
  • Wrestlers in each weight class will be measured by winning percentage, rating percentage index (RPI) and coaches' rankings to earn spots for their respective qualifying tournaments for the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. The coaches' rankings are compiled by a vote of coaches representing each qualifying tournament. For ranking purposes, coaches may only consider a wrestler that has been designated as a starter at a respective weight class.

125 (7 NCAA Qualifiers)

1) Nico Megaludis, JR (PSU) 5-0, 2-0
2) Jesse Delgado, JR (IL) 7-1, 1-1
3) Cory Clark RS FR, (IA) 3-0, 2-0
4) Ryan Taylor, RS FR (WI) 5-2, 0-0
5) Conor Youtsey, RS FR (MI) 5-3, 0-1
6) Tim Lambert, RS FR (NE) 3-4, 0-1
7) Camden Eppert, SR (PU) 3-4, 0-2
8) Nick Roberts, RS FR (OSU) 2-6, 4-0
9) Sam Brancale, RS FR (MN) 3-3, 0-1
10) Garrison White, SO (NW) 1-6, 2-3
11) Brenan Lyon, SR (MSU) 1-6, 0-0
12) Alonzo Shepherd, SO (IN) 1-3, 0-0

twade: When the 125 pre-seeds are released next week, I don't expect much deviation from this prediction. Clark's win over Taylor locked him into a top 3 seed - while there may be an argument to put Clark at the 2-seed over Delgado (Cory won in their only previous matchup and sports an undefeated B1G record), I think Delgado will still get the 2 seed based on his status as the defending B1G (not to mention NCAA) champ. Brancale lost to Roberts at National Duals, so they swap places.

FINAL PRE-SEEDS

1) Nico Megaludis, JR (PSU)
2) Jesse Delgado, JR (IL)
3) Cory Clark, RS FR (IA)
4) Bradley (Ryan) Taylor, RS FR (WI)
5) Conor Youtsey, RS FR (MI)
6) Tim Lambert, RS FR (NE)
7) Camden Eppert, SR (PU)
8) Nick Roberts, RS FR (OSU)

ROSS: Perfect 8/8 on the predictions here.

Predictions:

TONY: This weight class is Nico's to lose. He should have no problem making it to the finals for the 1st time in his career believe it or not. The big question is whether he'll be facing Delgado or Clark there. My heart tells me to pick Clark over Delgado but I just can't do it yet. Heck, we don't even know if Clark will be the starting 125lber for the Hawkeyes. If Delgado gets past Clark I think he has a great shot at beating Nico. Delgado will find a way to finish a shot without Nico doing his signature splits.

1) Delgado

2) Megaludis

3) Clark

133 (8 NCAA Qualifiers)

1) Tony Ramos, SR (IA) 8-0, 2-0
2) Tyler Graff, SR (WI) 6-0, 2-0
3) David Thorn, SR (MN) 6-2, 2-1
4) Cashe Quiroga, SR (PU) 5-1, 1-1
5) Zane Richards, RS FR (IL), 6-2, 0-0
6) Johnni DiJulius SO (OSU) 4-2, 1-1
7) Jimmy Gulibon, RS FR (PSU) 4-4, 1-1
8) Rossi Bruno, SO (MI) 3-5, 1-2
9) Shawn Nagel, SR (NE) 2-4, 0-0
10) Dom Malone, SO (NW) 1-7, 1-0
11) Garth Yenter, RS FR (MSU) 1-7, 1-0
12) Chris Caton, FR (IN) 0-8, 0-0

twade: Again, these should be pretty close to the pre-seeds. Quiroga may have an argument to be seeded ahead of Thorn, but Quiroga has a bad loss to Nagel while Thorn avenged his non-B1G dual loss to Gulibon later on in a rematch in the PSU-MN dual. While Thorn went 0-2 vs. Graff and Ramos, Quiroga sat out both the PU-WI and PU-IA meets.

FINAL PRE-SEEDS

1) Tony Ramos, SR (IA)
2) Tyler Graff, SR (WI)
3) David Thorn, SR (MN)
4) Cashe Quiroga, SR (PU)
5) Zane Richards, RS FR (IL)
6) Johnni DiJulius, SO (OSU)
7) Jimmy Gulibon, RS FR (PSU)
8) Rossi Bruno, SO (MI)
9) Shawn Nagel, SR (NE)
10) Dom Malone, SO (NW)
11) Joe Duca, JR (IND)
12) Garth Yenter, RS FR (MSU)

ROSS: Nailed the first 10, but tripped up on the Indiana and Michigan State guys at the bottom of the rankings.

Predictions:

TONY: There are some dark horses in this weight class from Quiroga down to Gulibon. Ramos is the clear favorite in this weight class and a solid B1G championship will be just what Tony needs leading into the NCAA Tournament. I expect Graff to reach the finals just because of experience, but his health could be in question. Graff will have over 30 days without a match by the time the Big Ten Tournament rolls around, so do not be surprised to see a different face in the finals vs Ramos.

1) Ramos

2) Graff

3) Thorn

141 (6 NCAA Qualifiers)

1) Zain Retherford, FR (PSU) 8-0, 1-0
2) Logan Stieber, JR (OSU) 7-1, 3-0
3) Steve Dutton, JR (MI) 5-2, 0-0
4) Josh Dziewa, JR (IA) 6-1, 1-2
5) Chris Dardanes, JR (MN) 3-2, 0-1
6) Steven Rodrigues, SO (IL) 2-1, 1-0
7) Danny Sabatello, SO (PU) 4-4, 3-1
8) Jesse Thielke, RS FR (WI) 5-3, 0-1
9) Colton McCrystal, FR (NE) 1-5, 0-0
10) Trevor Moody, RS FR (IN) 2-3, 0-0
11) Pat Greco, JR (NW) 1-7, 0-2
12) Brian Gibbs, SO (MSU) 1-7, 1-2

twade: This is where the predictions vs. pre-seeds might start to get messy. I think the top 3 at this weight are pretty clear-cut (Dutton beat Dziewa and his losses are to Retherford and Stieber), it gets pretty messy for seeds 4-7. Dziewa beat Dardanes but lost to Rodrigues. Rodrigues was injured for much of the year and his only loss is to Sabatello. In the previous weeks I still had Rodrigues seeded above Dziewa due to the head-to-head victory, but after further reflection, his limited resume and loss to Sabatello is too much for me to give him the bump. Rodrigues goes to #6.

FINAL PRE-SEEDS

1) Zain Retherford, FR (PSU)
2) Logan Stieber, JR (OSU)
3) Chris Dardanes, JR (MN)
4) Steve Dutton, JR (MI)
5) Josh Dziewa, JR (IA)
6) Steven Rodrigues, SO (IL)
7) Danny Sabatello, SO (PU)
8) Jesse Thielke, RS FR (WI)

ROSS: Nailed 1-2 and 6-8... but got 3-5 just a bit out of order. The pre-seeds like Dardanes over Dutton (and Dziewa).

Predictions:

TONY: This weight class has two heavy favorites to make the finals and everyone else battling for 3rd place. The Retherford-Steiber rematch will be one of the most anticipated matches of the tournament. The rematch should go to Stieber simply based off Stieber's experience on the big stage. Retherford is an undefeated freshman which is damn impressive, but that also comes with a lot of pressure. Dziewa could be considered a dark dark horse, but I think the only ones thinking that are Hawkeye fans. Dziewa should make the semi-finals against Retherford and will come back on the back side to murderers' row.

1) Stieber

2) Retherford

3) Dardanes

149 (6 NCAA Qualifiers)

1) Jake Sueflohn, JR (NE) 7-1, 4-0 (W - Grajales (2x), Grothus, Paddock, L - Tsirtsis)
2) Nick Dardanes, JR (MN) 7-1, 1-0 (W - Tsirtsis, Grothus, L - Grajales)
3) Eric Grajales, SR (MI) 6-2, 1-2 (W - Dardanes, Tsirtsis, L - Sueflohn (2x), Grothus, Paddock)
4) Jason Tsirtsis, RS FR (NW) 7-1, 2-2 (W - Sueflohn, Grothus, L - Dardanes, Grothus, Grajales)
5) Brody Grothus, SO (IA) 5-3, 3-0 (W - Grajales, Tsirtsis, L - Sueflohn, Dardanes, Tsirtsis)
6) Ian Paddock, SR (OSU) 3-5, 5-2
7) Brandon Nelsen, JR (PU) 2-5, 3-3
8) James English, SR (PSU) 0-0, 0-1
9) TJ Ruschell, RS FR (WI) 2-1, 0-2
10) Caleb Ervin, SO (IL) 1-4, 0-0
11) Nick Trimble, SO (MSU) 1-6, 2-0
12) Eric Roach, SO (IN) 1-7, 1-4

twade: Each week we've published these seeding predictions, 149 has been a relative headache to sort out. Since the last seeding prediction, the only notable B1G match was a win by Dardanes over Paddock, so I'm keeping the top 5 seeds the same. There's definitely an argument for Dardanes to get the #1 seed over Sueflohn and it's possible Tsirtsis and Grothus get seeded ahead of Grajales. Recent news that James English (and neither Beitz nor Alton) is going to be the guy at this weight for PSU throws a wrench in the predictions. English has one match against a B1G opponent this season, losing to the redshirting (and 2-time All-American) Hunter Stieber of OSU by a score of 3-2. I've put him in as the #8 seed, but that's a real shot in the dark.

FINAL PRE-SEEDS

1) Jake Sueflohn, JR (NE)
2) Nick Dardanes, JR (MN)
3) Jason Tsirtsis, RS FR (NW)
4) Brody Grothus, SO (IA)
5) Eric Grajales, SR (MI)
6) Ian Paddock, SR (OSU)
7) James English, SR (PSU)
8) Brandon Nelsen, JR (PU)

ROSS: No shame in not nailing 149, given what a mess it is. Sueflohn and Dardanes are indeed 1-2, but there's less agreement at 3-5 with Tsirtsis, Grothus, and Grajales. This might work out slightly better for Grothus, though; while he owns wins over both guys, he also lost to Tsirtsis in their rematch and generally looked better than Grajales in their wild 17-14 match.

Predictions:

TONY: As you can see this weight class is a mess with wrestlers being hot at the start of the season and then fading towards the end and vice versa. Grothus has been a BIG lift to the Hawkeyes lineup and he is a real dark horse at this weight class. Where he ultimately gets seeded may determine whether he can sneak into the finals.

1) Dardanes

2) Sueflohn

3) Tsirtsis

157 (8 NCAA Qualifiers)

1) Isaac Jordan, RS FR (WI) 7-0, 0-2
2) James Green, JR (NE) 7-1, 2-0
3) Dylan Ness, JR (MN) 5-1, 1-0
4) Derek St. John, SR (IA) 4-3, 4-0
5) Dylan Alton, JR (PSU) 4-1, 0-0
6) Brian Murphy, FR (MI) 4-3, 1-1
7) Taylor Walsh, JR (IN) 5-2, 4-1
8) Zac Brunson, RS FR (IL) 5-3, 0-0
9) Doug Welch, SO (PU) 0-1, 2-2
10) Ben Sullivan RS FR (NW) 1-5, 0-0
11) Randy Languis, JR (OSU) 1-7, 0-3
12) Roger Wildmo, SO (MSU) 0-8, 1-1

twade: It was a big weekend for Jordan last weekend, knocking off both Green and DSJ (avenging a SV loss to DSJ in the Midlands semis). I think he clinched the #1 seed with that performance. I continue to slot DSJ ahead of Alton, despite Alton's better B1G win %. Due to Alton's lack of matches, I looked beyond the current year results (where he didn't face Jordan or Green - his best win is over Murphy and his only B1G loss is to Ness). DSJ is 4-0 vs. Alton for his career - there's your tiebreaker.

FINAL PRE-SEEDS

1) Isaac Jordan, RS FR (WIS)
2) James Green, JR (NEB)
3) Dylan Ness, JR (MN)
4) Derek St. John, SR (IA)
5) Dylan Alton, JR (PSU)
6) Taylor Walsh, JR (IN)
7) Zac Brunson, RS FR (IL)
8) Brian Murphy, FR (MI)
9) Alex Griffin, RS FR (PU)
10) Ben Sullivan, RS FR (NW)
11) Randy Languis, JR (OSU)
12) Roger Wildmo, SO (MSU)

ROSS: 1-5 were spot-on, but there was a bit of disagreement on 6-8.

Predictions:

TONY: Listen, I know DSJ hasn't been the same this year and no one can quite put their finger on what has happened. What I do know is DSJ will be ready for the Big Ten Tournament. He will have a tough road, but ultimately I think he will get to the finals and lose to Green. Green just seems to be too aggressive for DSJ's style, so unless something changes fast I don't see DSJ beating Green.

1) Green

2) DSJ

3) Jordan

You can see the full version of Tony's preview image here.

NEXT: 165-285

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