B1G TOURNAMENT PREVIEW: 165 LBS-285 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.

165 (8 NCAA Qualifiers)

1) David Taylor, SR (PSU) 8-0, 1-0
2) Nick Moore, JR (IA) 8-0, 2-1
3) Dan Yates, SR (MI) 6-2, 1-0
4) Pierce Harger, JR (NW) 6-2, 2-2
5) Jackson Morse, JR (IL) 4-3, 2-0
6) Danny Zilverberg, SR (MN) 4-3, 1-0
7) Ryan LeBlanc, SR (IN) 4-4, 4-3
8) Austin Wilson, SO (NE) 3-5, 0-0
9) Frank Cousins, JR (WI) 2-4, 1-1
10) Pat Robinson, JR (PU) 1-1, 0-2
11) Joe Grandominico, SR (OSU) 1-7, 1-2
12) Robert Nash, SR (MSU) 0-8, 0-2

twade: No change from last week. Due to head-to-head results, the top 4 are pretty clear. It's possible Morse and Zilverberg could swap spots as they have fairly comparable B1G resumes and did not meet up during the season.

FINAL PRE-SEEDS

1) David Taylor, SR (PSU)
2) Nick Moore, JR (IA)
3) Pierce Harger, JR (NW)
4) Dan Yates, SR (MI)
5) Jackson Morse, JR (IL)
6) Danny Zilverberg, SR (MN)
7) Ryan LeBlanc, SR (IN)
8) Austin Wilson, SO (NE)
9) Pat Robinson, JR (PU)
10) Joe Grandominico (SR (OSU)
11) Bobby Nash, SR (MSU)
12) Ben Cox, RS JR (WI)

ROSS: Pretty good, aside from the Harger-Yates flip-flop at 3/4.

Predictions:

TONY: Everyone is chasing the Unicorn at this weight class and barring a Tonya Harding sighting, he should win this weight with ease. Moore should reach the finals and anything less than that would be a disappointment. The top four all should finish in order.

1) Taylor

2) Moore

3) Yates

174 (7 NCAA Qualifiers)

1) Robert Kokesh, JR (NE) 7-0, 0-0
2) Matt Brown, JR (PSU) 7-1, 2-0
3) Mike Evans, JR (IA) 4-1, 1-1
4) Logan Storley, JR (MN) 6-1, 1-1
5) Tony Dallago, SR (IL) 6-2, 0-0
6) Mark Martin, SO (OSU) 5-3, 4-1
7) Lee Munster, JR (NW) 2-2, 1-0
8) Scott Liegel, SR (WI) 3-5, 1-1
9) Collin Zeerip, JR (MI) 2-6, 4-2
10) Patrick Kissel, JR (PU) 1-6, 1-1
11) Kevin Nash, JR (MSU) 0-3, 0-2
12) Nate Jackson, RS FR (IN) 0-3, 0-0

twade: The only top 4 wrestler Kokesh faced this year was Evans. However, with Brown losing to Storley in the MN-PSU dual, Kokesh benefits from his undefeated B1G record and gets the #1 seed. Brown and Storley split during the season (with Brown winning at the Southern Scuffle) and since that was Brown's only B1G loss, he's the #2 seed. While it's possible Evans is seeded below Storley, I think his head-to-head win over the Gopher carries him to the 3 seed.

FINAL PRE-SEEDS

1) Robert Kokesh, JR (NEB)
2) Matt Brown, JR (PSU)
3) Mike Evans, JR (IA)
4) Logan Storley, JR (MN)
5) Tony Dallago, SR (IL)
6) Mark Martin, SO (OSU)
7) Scott Liegel, SR (WI)
8) Collin Zeerip, JR (MI)

ROSS: Perfect on 1-6, but a hiccup at 7-8, with Munster not getting seeded and Liegel and Zeerip moving up in response.

Predictions:

TONY: This will be a great weight class to watch in the early rounds. I think this bracket is wide open for the taking. Does Mike Evans have a shot? I think you can never count out The 'Stache, but he will have to be firing on all cylinders to win this weight class. I think the toughest match for him will come in the semifinals (versus Brown); if he can get past that he can beat Kokesh in the finals.

1) Kokesh

2) Brown

3) Evans

184 (7 NCAA Qualifiers)

1) Ed Ruth, SR (PSU) 8-0, 1-0
2) Ethen Lofthouse, SR (IA) 4-0, 2-1
3) Kevin Steinhaus, SR (MN) 6-1, 1-0
4) TJ Dudley, RS FR (NE) 7-1, 1-1
5) Domenic Abounader, FR (MI) 4-4, 1-0
6) Kenny Courts, SO (OSU) 5-3, 1-1
7) Jackson Hein, SR (WI) 3-1, 0-0
8) Nikko Reyes, RS FR (IL) 3-5, 0-1
9) John Rizqallah, JR (MSU) 2-6, 1-1
10) Luke Sheridan, JR (IN) 2-6, 4-2
11) Tanner Lynde, RS FR (PU) 0-8, 0-1
12) Jacob Berkowitz, SO (NW) 0-8, 1-1

twade: Ruth gave both Lofthouse and Steinhaus their only B1G losses this year. Lofthouse is the #2 seed based on the most recent head-to-head matchup, knocking off Steinhaus at the 2013 NCAAs.

FINAL PRE-SEEDS

1) Ed Ruth, SR (PSU)
2) Kevin Steinhaus, SR (MN)
3) Ethen Lofthouse, SR (IA)
4) TJ Dudley, RS FR (NE)
5) Domenic Abounader, FR (MI)
6) Kenny Courts, SO (OSU)
7) Jackson Hein, SR (WI)
8) John Rizqallah, JR (MSU

ROSS: Another almost-perfect set; the only blemish was the Steinhaus/Lofthouse switcheroo.

Predictions:

TONY: Lofthouse ends up receiving the #3 seed but it shouldn't change where he finishes. Lofthouse is healthy and based off what I heard from the room last week, he is firing on ALL cylinders. I think Lofthouse will reach his first B1G finals, but he will be out matched in the finals. Brands and Co. are going to have to come up with a serious gameplan if they want to beat Ruth this weekend (or at the NCAA Tournament).

1) Ruth

2) Lofthouse

3) Steinhaus

197 (8 NCAA Qualifiers)

1) Morgan McIntosh, SO (PSU) 7-0, 1-0
2) Nick Heflin, SR (OSU) 7-1, 2-0
3) Scott Schiller, JR (MN) 7-1, 0-1
4) Mario Gonzalez, SR (IL) 2-0, 1-1 (Loss was by INJ DEF)
5) Braden Atwood, JR (PU) 5-3, 5-1
6) Nathan Burak, SO (IA) 6-2, 1-0
7) Alex Polizzi, JR (NW) 4-4, 1-2
8) Timmy McCall, JR (WI) 4-4, 0-0
9) Nick McDiarmid, JR (MSU) 3-5, 2-0
10) Caleb Kolb, SR (NE) 1-6, 0-0
11) Chris Heald, JR (MI) 1-7, 1-2
12) Garret Goldman, SO (IN) 0-5, 0-1

twade: With Heflin beating Schiller at National Duals, he's now my #2 seed. It's unclear where the seeding committee will slot Gonzalez - he doesn't have much of a resume (B1G dual wins are over McCall and Kolb). His loss was by injury default to Braden Atwood at Midlands. There's a chance the seeding committee would use that to slot Atwood ahead of Gonzalez, but I have a hard time seeing that happening. Burak seems to be locked into a top 6 spot - he has wins over everyone in the 7-12 positions. There's a chance he gets slotted ahead of Gonzalez, but Gonzalez has a 2-1 career record over Burak.

FINAL PRE-SEEDS

1) Morgan McIntosh, SO (PSU)
2) Nick Heflin, SR (OSU)
3) Scott Schiller, JR (MN)
4) Braden Atwood, JR (PU)
5) Nathan Burak, SO (IA)
6) Mario Gonzalez, SR (IL)
7) Alex Polizzi, JR (NW)
8) Timmy McCall, JR (WI)
9) Nick McDiarmid, JR (MSU)
10) Caleb Kolb, SR (NE)
11) Chris Heald, JR (MI)
12) Garret Goldman, SO (IN)

ROSS: The seeding committee here looked less kindly at Gonzalez's recent record and injury, slotting him at 6th; Atwood and Burak are the benficiaries, sliding up to 4th and 5th, respectively. Burak also gets to avoid Schiller, which seems like a good idea after the whupping Schiller put on him at the dual meet (16-5).

Predictions:

TONY: Burak ended up getting the #5 seed ahead of Gonzalez, which I am surprised but as you can see twade thought it was a possibility. Given his seed, he does have a shot at reaching the semi-finals and he could match-up well with McIntosh. Schiller is my favorite at this weight class, even with his loss to Heflin.

1) Schiller

2) McIntosh

3) Heflin

HWT (9 NCAA Qualifiers)

1) Adam Chalfant, SR (IN) 7-1, 1-0
2) Mike McMullan, JR (NW) 7-1, 0-0
3) Adam Coon, FR (MI) 7-1, 1-0
4) Bobby Telford, JR (IA) 5-3, 1-1
5) Tony Nelson, SR (MN) 4-4, 1-0
6) Mike McClure, SR (MSU) 5-3, 1-1
7) Conor Medbery, SO (WI) 4-4, 1-0
8) Jimmy Lawson, JR (PSU) 2-2, 0-2
9) Collin Jensen, RS FR (NE) 3-4, 0-0
10) Nick Tavanello, RS FR (OSU) 2-6, 1-1
11) Alex White, SR (PU) 1-7, 0-0
12) Christopher Lopez, SO (IL) 0-8, 0-1

twade: There's quite a bit of movement in the top 4 as a result of Telford losing to Medbery last Sunday. Chalfant is your new #1 and jumps both McMullan and Coon. He owns a head-to-head win over McMullan and his loss (to Telford) is "better" than Coon's only B1G loss (to McClure).

FINAL PRE-SEEDS

1) Adam Coon, FR (MI)
2) Adam Chalfant, SR (IN)
3) Mike McMullan, JR (NW)
4) Bobby Telford, JR (IA)
5) Tony Nelson, SR (MN)
6) Mike McClure, SR (MSU)
7) Connor Medbery, SO (WI)
8) Jon Gingrich, JR (PSU)
9) Collin Jensen, RS FR (NE)
10) Nick Tavanello, RS FR (OSU)
11) Alex White, SR (PU)
12) Chris Lopez, SO (IL)

ROSS: Got 1-3 out of order, but the others were right.

Predictions:

TONY: This weight class is just packed full of great wrestlers. Tony Nelson at the #5 seed!? Who would havethought that at the beginning of the season? Telford is going to have his hands full early with Nelson in the quarters. After watching their match in Iowa City, I am sticking with my statement that Telford will not lose to Nelson again. But if he wins that match, he'll likely get Coon in the semifinals. I think Bobby will get the job done, though.

1) Telford

2) Chalfant

3) Coon

BTW, you can check out the full version of Tony's preview image here.

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