March 6, 2013
ON THE MAT
The University of Iowa wrestling team travels to Champaign, Ill., to compete at the 2013 Big Ten Championships on Saturday and Sunday. The University of Illinois will host the conference tournament inside Assembly Hall. The two-day tournament begins Saturday at 10 a.m. (CT). Session II starts at 5 p.m. (CT) on Saturday. The third session begins at 11:30 a.m. (CT) on Sunday, and the finals will start at 1:30 p.m. (CT).
The Big Ten Championships will be broadcast on AM-800 KXIC and streamed online at hawkeyesports.com via Hawkeye All-Access. Steven Grace and Mark Ironside will have the live call from Assembly Hall.
BTN will provide live coverage of the finals beginning at 1:30 p.m. (CT) on Sunday.
BTN is streaming all sessions of the Big Ten Wrestling Championships. BTN.com is a subscription service that provides quality coverage of Big Ten sports. Hawkeye All-Access subscribers will be able to stream the match at no additional charge via hawkeyesports.com.
Live Hawkeye wrestling updates are available @IowaWRLive; @Hawks_Wrestling; facebook.com/iowahawkeyewrestling.
Live results will be available on the wrestling schedule page at hawkeyesports.com.
BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS RESULTS
Brackets and team standings will be available throughout the tournament at bigten.org and fightingillini.com.
BIG TEN CHAMPIONS
The Hawkeyes' 105 Big Ten champions have won a total of 190 conference titles. There have been seven four-time, 18 three-time and 28 two-time winners. The Hawkeyes have won 34 team titles, twice as many as the next closest school (Illinois, 17). Iowa won 25 consecutive conference championships from 1974-1998.
PLANTING THE SEEDS
The Big Ten Conference announced Monday that all 10 Hawkeye participants earned preliminary seeds at the 2013 conference tournament. Senior Matt McDonough was the top-seeded 125-pounder for the third consecutive season. McDonough defended the top seed in 2011 and 2012 by capturing the conference title. Derek St. John, the defending 157-pound Big Ten champion, returns as the top seed. Other seeded Hawkeyes include junior Tony Ramos (133-2nd), senior Mark Ballweg (141-3rd), sophomore Josh Dziewa (149-9th), sophomore Nick Moore (165-4th), sophomore Mike Evans (174-2nd), junior Ethen Lofthouse (184-5th), freshman Nathan Burak (197-6th), and sophomore Bobby Telford (285-4th).
WRESTLER OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP
Eight different Hawkeyes have been named Outstanding Wrestler of the Big Ten Championships. Head coach Tom Brands won the inaugural award in 1989 following his 126-pound conference title. Associate head coach Terry Brands won the honor following his 126-pound Big Ten title in 1992. Brent Metcalf was the last Hawkeye to earn the award. He is also the only Big Ten athlete to win the award twice (2008, 2009).
With a first-place performance at this weekend's Big Ten Tournament, Matt McDonough could become the 19th wrestler in school history to become a three-time conference champion. McDonough won the conference championship in 2011 and 2012, and placed runner-up his freshman season in 2010. A total of 25 Hawkeyes have won the Big Ten Tournament at least four times. Mark Ironside was the last four-time champion. He won the crown from 1995-98. Doug Schwab and T.J. Williams were the last three-time champions. Both wrestlers won the tournament from 1999-2001.
LAST OF THE UNBEATENS
Tony Ramos (23-0) enters the Big Ten tournament with a 23-0 record. He has scored bonus points in 21-of-23 wins, including 11 pins, eight major decisions, one technical fall and one forfeit. Ramos has won 23 straight this year after winning his final two matches of 2012. The combined 25-match winning streak is a career long. In the history of Iowa wrestling, 15 wrestlers have finished the season with a perfect record (minimum 20 matches). Four of those wrestlers were able to perform the feat twice. They include Mark Ironside, Lincoln McIlravy, T.J. Williams and Jim Zalesky. Iowa coaches Tom Brands and Terry Brands are among the 15 wrestlers. Tom went 45-0 in 1990-91, and Terry went 35-0 in 1991-92.
KING OF MOUNT ST. JOHN
Junior Derek St. John sits at the top of the tournament bracket as the No. 1 seed and defending Big Ten champion. St. John had to climb through the top three seeds (No. 3 Green, No. 2 Alton, No. 1 Welch) at the 2012 tournament to grab the conference crown. He enters this season's 157-pound bracket with a 22-1 record and a 20-1 career mark against the tournament field. St. John is coming off his first loss of the season, a 4-3 decision at the NWCA National Duals. Prior to that defeat, he had posted 22 straight victories since his last loss, a 4-1 decision in the 2012 NCAA finals.
BALLWEG'S SECOND LAP AROUND CONFERENCE TOURNEY
Senior Mark Ballweg is making his second career appearance at the Big Ten Tournament. Ballweg was bounced from the 149-pound bracket in 2011 after moving up a weight class. He enters this year's tournament at 141 pounds, where he owns a career record of 43-7. He is 18-4 this season with a team-high 10 major decisions. He owns a career record of 9-2 against this year's tournament field.
MCDONOUGH AMONG THE BEST
Senior Matt McDonough owns a career record of 118-6. His .952 winning percentage ties head coach Tom Brands for fourth best in program history among wrestlers with a minimum 95 decisions. Iowa's top wrestlers in program history based on winning percentage include:
1. T.J. Williams (98-1-0) .990
2. Brent Metcalf (108-3-0) .973
3. Lincoln McIlravy (96-3-0) .970
4. Tom Brands (158-7-2) .952
Matt McDonough (118-6) .952
6. Terry Brands (137-7) .951
SEED EQUALS RESULT
Senior Matt McDonough is the top seed at this year's championships. In each of the last three conference tournaments, McDonough has wrestled to his seed. He justified his No. 1 seed with Big Ten titles in 2011 and 2012, and finished runner-up as the No. 2 seed in 2010.
The Hawkeyes have three wrestlers making their first career appearance at the Big Ten tournament. Josh Dziewa (149), Nick Moore (165) and Nathan Burak (197) are all first-timers. Burak is a true-freshman with a 4-5 mark against the tournament field. Dziewa is making his first appearance of the season at 149 pounds. He is 15-2 competing at 141. Moore saw action at 157 in five Big Ten duals last season, but he was supplanted in the lineup when Derek St. John returned from injury prior to the conference tournament.
THREE WITH AN EYE ON FOUR
Senior Matt McDonough is a three-time NCAA finalist. He won NCAA titles in 2010 and 2012, and finished runner-up in 2011. With a top eight finish at the 2013 NCAA tournament, McDonough would become the 18th four-time All-American in school history. With a trip to the NCAA finals he would join Ed Banach, Duane Goldman and Lincoln McIlravy as the school's only four-time NCAA finalists. A third national title would make McDonough the seventh wrestler in school history to earn three NCAA Championships (Ed Banach, Tom Brands, Barry Davis, Lincoln McIlravy, Joe Williams, Jim Zalesky).
According to the March 5 Intermat rankings, five of the nation's top-ranked wrestlers, and six No. 2s, are competing at the 2013 Big Ten Tournament. The Big Ten owns the top spot at 133, 157, 174, 184 and 285 pounds. The nation's top three 133-pound wrestlers are in the Big Ten bracket, and eight of the top 11 wrestlers in the country fill out the 174-pound bracket. Bobby Telford, seeded fourth at 285, is one of seven Big Ten heavyweights ranked in the top 20.
HAWKEYES WIN BIG TEN DUAL TITLE
Iowa captured its fifth Big Ten regular season title in the last six years when it defeated Nebraska 31-7 Feb. 10 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The perfect conference record marked the fifth time in six seasons the Hawkeyes finished the Big Ten regular season with an undefeated mark.
HAWKEYE WRESTLING HISTORY
Iowa's overall dual meet record is 926-222-31 (.799) in 102 seasons. The Hawkeyes have won 23 national titles and 34 Big Ten titles. Iowa's 51 NCAA Champions have won a total of 79 NCAA individual titles, crowning six three-time and 16 two-time champions. The Hawkeyes' 105 Big Ten champions have won a total of 190 conference titles. There have been seven four-time, 18 three-time and 28 two-time Iowa winners. Iowa's 147 All-Americans have earned All-America status 297 times, including 17 four-time, 31 three-time and 37 two-time honorees.
ATTENDANCE LEADERS AT IT AGAIN
The seventh-largest dual crowd in NCAA history saw Iowa defeat top-ranked Penn State on Friday, Feb. 1. The Hawkeyes drew a sellout crowd of 15,077, the sixth-largest wrestling crowd in Carver-Hawkeye Arena history. Through seven home dates in 2012-13, Iowa averaged 8,750 fans per dual. This season marked the fifth straight year Iowa averaged over 8,000 fans, and the seventh straight season the Hawkeyes led the nation in attendance.
39 YEARS OF DOMINANCE
Since 1974, only seven schools have captured the NCAA Championship. During that 38-year span, the Hawkeyes have won 23 team titles, including nine straight from 1978-86. The other schools include Oklahoma State (7), Minnesota (3), Iowa State (2), Penn State (2), Arizona State (1) and Oklahoma (1).
BRANDS MOVES UP A RUNG
Iowa's 25-12 win over Illinois on Feb. 8 was Tom Brands' 128th dual victory as Iowa's head coach. The win pushed Brands past Jim Zalesky for third all-time. Brands owns a career record of 131-13-1 at Iowa. His .907 winning percentage ranks second to Dan Gable (.938).
All-Time Dual Victories (min. 100)
355 -- Dan Gable (1977-97)
160 -- Dave McCuskey (1953-72)
131 -- Tom Brands (2006-present)
127 -- Jim Zalesky (1998-2006)
2012 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS REVIEW
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Iowa crowned a pair of individual champions and placed third overall behind first-place Penn State and runner-up Minnesota at the 2012 Big Ten Championships. Matt McDonough (125) defended his conference title with a 6-1 win over Minnesota's Zach Sanders, and St. John won his first Big Ten championship with a 4-3 decision over top-seeded Jason Welch of Northwestern. St. John, the No. 6 seed, ran through the top three seeds en route to the top of the medal stand. McDonough and St. John were two of Iowa's six conference finalists. Tony Ramos (133), Montell Marion (141), Mike Evans (165) and Bobby Telford (285) all earned runner-up finishes at their respective weights. Other placewinners included Ethen Lofthouse (3rd, 174) and Grant Gambrall (5th, 184). Iowa did not place at 149 or 197 pounds.