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Big Ten Wrestling Standings 2/17/2015: Brackets

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With Big Tens less than three weeks away, it's time to break out the brackets.

Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

This coming weekend is our last dual action of the season.  At the moment, 125 of the 126 scheduled conference duals are in the books.  Only Indiana at Purdue remains from the official Big Ten dual slate.  Unofficially, the NWCA National Duals, held this weekend in Iowa City, and broadcast on Big Ten Network, might provide a few more Big Ten vs. Big Ten matchups.  With Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio State, and Illinois among the eight remaining teams, expect a bit more juggling to the standings after Sunday.

But that's it.  No more duals after this weekend.  There's one week off, and then everyone heads to Columbus, OH for coaches meetings and weigh-ins.

Since we're so close to the post-season, we're breaking out the brackets.  Now, for our bracket visuals, we've seeded all 14 wrestlers into the 16-man bracket.  But, as a reminder, this won't be the way it works at Big Tens.  The conference will only seed wrestlers based on the number of NCAA qualifying bids earned.  Typically, this means that the conference will seed the top 8 wrestlers ONLY, and the remaining 6 wrestlers will be slotted into the bracket at random.  Thus, a 1-seed can have a first round matchup, while a 5-seed may not. But, since we can't predict "random", we've seeded to 14 based on earned results, in order to get the closest sense of things as we can.

Enough preamble.  Let's get to the brackets.

125 LBS

125l

Our Guy: Jordan's in great shape with the 5-seed.  He should have a quarterfinal rematch with Nebraska's Lambert, and that ought to get him to the semi-finals.

Estimated NCAA Bids: 6

Overall: the top seed is up for grabs this weekend.  Delgado, Tomasello, and Gilman are all at National Duals, and Delgado has been wrestling with only one arm.  One loss by Delgado, and Gilman probably takes the top spot.


133 LBS

133l

Our Guy: Jimmy could land anywhere from 3rd to 5th.  It almost doesn't matter, because in this weight class, everyone is getting a tough quarterfinals opponent.

Estimated NCAA Bids: 11

Overall: Yes, that's 11 estimated NCAA bids.  I expect nearly the entire conference to rate in the upcoming Coaches' rankings.  Big Tens are always a meat grinder, but this weight uses the industrial version.

141 LBS

141l

Our Guy: the 7-seed is a world of difference from the 8- and 9-seeds.  The 7-seed gets Nebraska's Abidin in the quarters, while the 8 vs 9 winner gets Logan Stieber.  Abidin's in his first D1 post-season after spending time in the JuCo ranks.  Stieber's the undefeated 3x NCAA Champion.  And the difference for Kade between the 7th and 8th seeds is the Sunday dual loss to Purdue's Lawrence.  Win that match, and Kade's the clear 7-seed.  But, of course, he didn't. There's your proof that duals "matter", coaches (some of whom complain that duals don't "matter").

Estimated NCAA Bids: this is the hardest one to predict.  Six are sure things.  Wrestlers 7 thru 11 are all "on-the-bubble".  Let's call it 8 bids.

Overall: this weight is the opposite of 133, with clear strata and few upsets lurking.

149 LBS

149l

Our Guy: Zack's been right on the cusp most of the season, and pulled off his biggest upset Sunday, decking Okie State's Kindig.  He could make a run here.

Estimated NCAA Bids: 7

Overall: the wildcard, as it's been all year, is Hunter Stieber.  Tom Ryan announced that Stieber the Younger will be wrestling at Big Tens - but not before then.  Where do you slot the 2x All American, who has just 3 matches this season?

157 LBS

157l

Our Guy: Dylan Alton tried to come back last Sunday, but clearly wasn't ready, losing by tech to a guy he'd pinned at the Scuffle.  We'll have to play the wait-and-see game here to find out which direction the coaches go.

Estimated NCAA Bids: 8

Overall: Illinois' Martinez is on fire, having just pinned Kent State's #4 Ian Miller.

165 LBS

165l

Our Guy: you need at least a 7-seed to get an easier first round match, and Garett's just not there.  He's probably going to have to get the job done in the consolations.

Estimated NCAA Bids: 9

Overall: A lot of seniors in this bracket, four of whom are top-10 ish guys.  But the top 2 for my money are a soph and a frosh, both named Jordan.

174 LBS

174l

Our Guy: there's a 99% chance the bottom half of this bracket is Hulk Hands vs. Evans.  And based on the dual two weeks ago, you'll take those chances.

Estimated NCAA Bids: 7

Overall: two years ago, Logan Storley entered as the 1-seed, and lost his opening round match to Michigan's Dan Yates.  So, never say never.  But, yeah.  This sure looks like Kokesh-Storley, Brown-Evans.

184 LBS

184l

Our Guy: so, I hope you didn't give up on Matt McCutcheon already.  Because this bracket looks like he gets a  semi-final against Nebraska's TJ Dudley - the guy he was tech falling before Dudley's coaches threw in the towel.

Estimated NCAA Bids: 8

Overall: this is the opposite of 174.  Instead of four top ranked, entrenched seniors, we have zero.  And last Friday, the (projected) 1-seed, Brooks, just lost to Michigan's Abounader, the (projected) 5-seed.  In other words, there don't appear to be a ton of sure things in this bracket.

197 LBS

197l

Our Guy: Morg has the 2-seed in the bag.  And depending upon National Duals, he might even grab the 1-seed.

Estimated NCAA Bids: 9

Overall: Rutgers' Campolattano hasn't wrestled in a month, and is no sure bet for Big Tens.  But, if he does make the lineup, how sweet would it be to have Iowa's Burak draw him in the first round?

285 LBS

285l

Our Guy: it's been 3 years, and we still don't know who our heavy will be.  That about sums things up.

Estimated NCAA Bids: 10

Overall: According to Buckeye coach Tom Ryan, Tavanello will be back on the mat this weekend.  His return, and Penn State's perpetual Jon-or-Jimmy decision, leaves this bracket subject to big changes, from the 5-seed on down.