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Wrestling Updates

Three awesome pieces of news in the last 3 days.

Topical Press Agency

It's been a marvelous couple of days for the sport of wrestling.

  1. After the Big Ten said Penn State and Iowa couldn't have a wrestling dual this year, the two coaches took care of it themselves. So PSU and Iowa will wrestle a "non-conference" dual on 12/21, at Carver Hawkeye Arena. You're right, Jim Delany - conference members really do want to compete against each other more, not less. In unrelated news, BTN immediately announced they'll be broadcasting the event - LIVE.
  2. The International Olympic Committee voted wrestling back into the Olympics for 2020 and 2024, by a vote of 49 to 24 to 22 (wrestling - baseball/softball - squash). So, we'll have the world's greatest sport as part of the games for the next three Olympics, which is awesome news, and a huge win for all of those who put a ton of effort behind it. Congratulations. Becoming a permanent, "core sport", remains a goal.
  3. ESPN ain't stupid when it comes to money. They saw a 55% increase in TV viewership for the NCAA Finals, year over year, and a 13% increase in viewership for their online "ESPN3" platform - to over 12 million minutes consumed. The ESPN3 platform is pretty cool, allowing you, in past seasons, to choose up to 4 mats for online viewing at once. The only downside to that, was that the opening rounds featured wrestling on 8 mats - so you only got half of them. But this year and moving forward, ESPN has solved that dilemma, as they will now offer ALL 8 MATS in the prelims, and ALL 6 MATS in the quarters.
If you've made it this far, then your reward is getting to re-watch last year's 197lb NCAA Championship Final, featuring Penn State's Quentin Wright, vs. undefeated Dustin "Killer" Kilgore of Kent State, the 2011 champ (he took an Oly redshirt in 2012).  It's a good one.  Few experts gave Q much of a chance.  Kilgore was just too powerful, too awesome, and had destroyed everyone he wrestled that year, too easily.

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