2020 Big Ten Championships



2020 Big Ten Championships, March 7-8, Piscataway, N.J.

2020 Nationally-Ranked Wrestlers/Top 8: 64 / 36

2019 NCAA Qualifiers/Champs/All-Americans: 89/6/44

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Team Race: The Big Tens should once again become a preview of the NCAAs considering the top four ranked schools — Iowa, Penn State, Ohio State and Wisconsin — are from this conference.

But the conference tourney at Rutgers will most likely come down to a team race between the Hawkeyes and Nittany Lions who feature 17 ranked wrestlers, 14 in the Top 8 of a weight class. 

Iowa has won 35 league titles, including 25 straight from 1974-98, with the last coming in 2015 when Iowa tied Ohio State. Penn State’s six titles have come in the past decade (2011, ‘12, ‘13, ‘14, ‘16 and ‘19.)

Top Individual Matchups: The only weight that returns both finalists is 165. Ironically, Penn State’s Vincenzo Joseph has never won a Big Ten title despite winning two NCAAs and appearing in three national finals. The Nittany Lion will most likely earn the No. 1 Big Ten seed after Joseph edged Marinelli, 7-5, on Jan. 31.

Meanwhile at 174 pounds, another 2019 Big Ten champ — Mark Hall of Penn State — will also most likely not earn a No. 1 Big Ten seed after Iowa’s Michael Kemerer, a 2017 Big Ten runner-up at 157 pounds who redshirted last year, upset the Nittany Lion, 11-6, in Iowa City this winter.

There are three weights that include WIN’s top-3-ranked wrestlers, including at 165 where Wisconsin’s Evan Wick looks to challenge Joseph and Marinelli.

That will also be the case at 133 pounds and heavyweight. 

Wisconsin’s Seth Gross, who redshirted last year after winning an NCAA title for South Dakota State, has edged both Penn State’s Roman Bravo Young and Iowa’s Austin DeSanto this winter, but the Badger did lose to the Hawkeye earlier in the season. And RBY was beating DeSanto when he earned an injury default over the Iowa 133-pounder.

At heavyweight, Penn State’s defending champ Anthony Cassar saw his season end, leaving three youngsters to challenge each other. That includes Minnesota sophomore Gable Steveson, the 2019 runner-up, as well as Michigan sophomore Mason Parris and Iowa redshirt freshman Anthony Cassioppi.

Steveson and Parris have not met this year, but the Wolverine pinned the Hawkeye, who was scheduled to face the Gopher big man on Feb. 14.

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