clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Your First Big Ten Wrestling Tournament

BSD gives you, the new wrestling fan, a lay of the land.


Greetings, new collegiate wrestling fan.  You've arrived just in time for the greatest part of the year - the post season.  This weekend begins the final leg of a fight to be crowned best in the nation.  More than 70 wrestlers start the post season at each of 10 weight classes.  Only one gets his hand raised in the last match of the year.

What Is Big Tens?

It's the conference championship.  Each of the 14 conference teams sends a 10-man lineup to Columbus, OH this weekend.  Each of the ten men slots into a bracket.  On Saturday morning, the fighting begins, and continues until Sunday evening.  Place winners from each of the 10 weights, according to the table below, earn a trip to the National tournament in 2 weeks, where the field grows from 14 to 33, and the fighting starts all over again.  (Example: a wrestler at 125lbs must place in the top 5 to earn an automatic invitation to Nationals).

Weight Class
Automatic Bids to NCAAs
5 12 8 7 8 8 10 10 9 9

How Do I Watch Big Tens?

The tournament is broken into multiple sessions.  You wake up, weigh in, and go fight (session 1).  You get a short break so fans can eat lunch, then you go back out there and fight some more (session 2).  Here's your date/time viewing guide for this weekend's action.

Session 1: Saturday, 3/7, 10amET.  Video: BTNPlus

Session 2: Saturday, 3/7, 6pmET.  Video: BTNPlus

Session 3: Sunday, 3/8, 1pmET.  Video: BTNPlus

Session 4: Sunday, 3.8, 3pmET.  On Big Ten Network, and BTNPlus

Who Are The Favorites?

BSD joined forces with BlackHeartGoldPants (Iowa) and Land Grant Holy Land (Ohio State) to preview each of the 10 weight classes.  Below are links to each preview:

Weight Preview
125 Story Link
133 Story Link
141 Story Link
149 Story Link
157 Story Link
165 Story Link
174 Story Link
184 Story Link
197 Story Link
285 Story Link

How Does Scoring Work?

We have you covered.  Here's The Pants' guide to college wrestling tournament scoring.  The short answer is this: each wrestler in each of 10 weights scores points by winning a match and advancing in the bracket (advancement points).  When you advance far enough, you place.  You get points for that, too (placement points).  While you're winning and advancing and placing, if you destroy your opponent in a match - just lay the wood to him - you're awarded extra points for being a bad, bad man (bad=good).  These extra points are called "bonus" points.

Add up each wrestler's advancement, placement, and bonus points.  Do that for all 10 wrestlers on a team.  And that's your "team" score.  The team with the highest score wins.  Done, and done.

How Do Things Look For Penn State?

After four consecutive Big Ten championships, Penn State enters this year's tournament as an underdog.  Our Lions will be in contention throughout, but we'll need to wrestle well to bring home a 5th straight trophy.  Here is how the team points project (without bonus points for being a bad man) if the brackets have no upsets - that is, every match goes chalk (note: there's no way on Earth that every match goes chalk).

Team Projected Points
Iowa 120
Ohio State 118
Minnesota 97
Penn State 81.5
Nebraska 78
Illinois 76.5
Wisconsin 75
Michigan 71
Northwestern 55
Rutgers 30.5
Purdue 29.5
Indiana 12.5
Maryland 5.5
Michigan State 0

More than likely, this tournament will remain up for grabs as the final session starts on Sunday, at 3pmET.  Be sure to swing by BSD to follow along.  We'll be posting live updates in Open Threads for every session, all weekend.   It's a blast.  Hope to see you there.