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BSD Wrestling’s Big Ten Tourney Roundtable Part 2

Our wrestling writers return for the second half of their 2019 Big Ten Tournament preview. This time they break down the back half from 165-285 and the team outlook.

NCAA Wrestling: Big Ten Wrestling Championship Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, the BSD Wrestle Writing Squad broke down this weekend’s Big Ten Tournament for weights 125 - 157.

Following are weights 165 - 285.

Please enjoy and, if you’re up for it, give us your own fab takes in the comments.


Saturday, March 9

Session I, 11 a.m. EST, BTN+ / Flo$

  • Championship R16 (1 Advancement Point (including for byes followed by wins in the next round), 2 Bonus Points available for each bout)
  • Championship Quarterfinals (1 Advancement, 6 Placement, 2 Bonus Points available)
  • Consolation R16 (.5 Advancement, 2 Bonus)

Session II, 7 p.m. EST, BTN+ / Flo$

  • Championship Semifinals (1 Advancement, 6 Placement, 2 Bonus)
  • Consolation R12 (.5 Advancement, 3 Placement, 2 Bonus)
  • Consolation Quarterfinals (.5 Adv. 3 Placement, 2 Bonus)

Sunday, March 9

Session III, 1 p.m. EST, BTN+ / Flo$

  • Consolation Semifinals (.5 Adv. 3 Placement, 2 Bonus)
  • 7th Place (1 Placement, 2 Bonus)
  • Any 9-12 mini-tourneys, as needed to fill out conference auto-qualifier spots (No team points available)

Session IV, 4 p.m. EST, BTN TV

  • Championship Finals (4 Placement, 2 Bonus)
  • 3rd & 5th Place (1 Placement, 2 Bonus)


165 Bracket Using Pre-seeds


Clay: Those of you who listen to the MatCast know two things about the way we feel about Cenzo Joseph. First, we care for him deeply as if he were our own son. Secondly, I will never, ever feel certain when watching him wrestle a big match despite winning two national titles in two years. So, in keeping with that feeling, I’m going off-menu with this pick while fully preparing to pick Cenzo in two weeks.

Pick: Alex Marinelli - Iowa

Cari: Now that IMar has graduated, it feels like this weight has lost its attention. It’s still super deep, not that it matters that much. What happens here has no bearing on what happens in Pittsburgh - Cenzo’s not losing in his hometown, in that tournament.

Pick: Cenzo

Bscaff: Five quality guys can’t fit into four spots, and definitely not two spots. Set your DVRs to go long, because the 165 semis are gonna take a while.

Pick - 1-Meatball, PSU, gets his first Big Ten title.

Jp: Frankly, I would have preferred Marinelli to have gotten the 1-seed, so we could see the Cenzo - Wick semifinals matchup we were denied in the dual. Instead, we’ll get another slow, tiresome, stress-inducing rematch with either Massa or Isaiah White that’ll flare up Clay’s ulcer. And when I say stress-inducing, it’s for the fans, cuz Cenzo dgaf. He’s as carefree as the little meatball in momma’s marinara.

Marinelli goes 3-0 against Wick, but falls in a classic to the 2x Keystone Classic Champion on Sunday afternoon.

Pick: Vincenzo Joseph, Pennsylvania State University

Dark Horse

Clay: This one gets really bleak, really quickly after fifth-seeded Logan Massa. I’ll pick Massa, but not with any confidence that he’ll really outperform his seed.

Cari: Bryce Martin could make some noise in the consis here.

Bscaff: Slim pickings here. 5-Seed Logan Massa, MICH

Jp: Dag, I never looked at the back end of the B1G at this weight before. Oof. Both TeShan Campbell and Joey Gunther are locks to advance to Nationals (to be fair, they also helped earn those 9 allocation spots).

Let’s go with 8-seed Brolsma to delight the hometown Goopher fans, by beating both Iowa and Ohio State en route to 6th Place.

Our Guy

Clay: Cenzo was beating Marinelli fairly comfortably last year before making a mistake and going to his back. I wouldn’t expect him to make that mistake again and I think he’s improved since then. So, however, has Marinelli and I think The Bulls gets this one before some major payback in the 412.


Bscaff: the 2-time champ got a lot better this year, didn’t he? Think about that for a minute. Awfully impressive.

Jp: D.





Vincenzo’s never losing another college match.

I can type that because it won’t matter a lick to him if he does.

But he won’t.


174 Bracket Using Pre-seeds, which were only listed out to 8 because this weight only has 8 automatic bids. Yellow highlights indicate BSD guesses based on season performances.


Clay: Myles Amine is really darn good. Howeva...

Pick: Mark Hall - Penn State

Cari: I can’t tell if this weight’s not that deep, or I’m simply blinded by Mark Hall’s obvious path to victory. Either way, there are some decent opponents - but none who should seriously challenge PSU.

Pick: Mark Hall

Bscaff: Marky is too good for everyone in this bracket.

Pick: 1-Seed Marky, PSU

Jp: I’ve tried ten different ways to figure out how to pick against Mark Hall. It doesn’t work.

It fails, one could say.

Like opponents trying earn a victory against Mark Hall in a contest of wrestling the preferred style in America during the ought teens.

Pick: Mark Hall

Dark Horse

Clay: Ethan Smith has been close to a few good wins this year and the freshman from Latrobe, Pennsylvania is as confident as anyone on his feet.

Cari: Jake Covaciu, IN, could make the top eight here pretty easily.

Bscaff: 6-Seed Ethan Smith, OSU

Jp: I’m going Gophering again (Hello to BSD’s Minnesota Readers! We sure missed dueling with yinz in a dual this year. Looking forward to catching up and having you show us a good time this weekend).

5-seed Devin Skatzka, to finish 3rd.

Our Guy

Clay: Mark Hall is like a grilled cheese sandwich. Not always flashy. Not necessarily what you expect to get at some fancy establishment, but he gets the job done. That’s what he’ll do here.


Bscaff: Marky’s a little different than PSU’s other studs, isn’t he? Patient, I guess, is how I’d describe it. But daggone it, is he ever good.

Jp: Here’s the list of dudes who have taken Mark Hall down this year:

  • Matt Finesilver
  • Mikey Labriola

That’s it. Zahid Valencia’s not on it. Joseph Smith isn’t.

No Jordan Kutler, Drew Hughes or Myles Amine.

On offense, Hall averages 1 takedown every 1 minute and 4 seconds in neutral, and he averages 2:52 in riding time per 7 minutes. He’s a very well-rounded stone cold killer, and he will earn his second Big Ten Championship this weekend.


184 Bracket Using Pre-seeds, which were only listed out to 8 because this weight only has 6 automatic bids. Yellow highlights indicate BSD guesses based on season performances.


Clay: Myles Martin is reeeaaalllly good at wrestling and if not for some fella named Bo Nickal he’d probably be staring down the barrel of his third national title this year.

Pick: Myles Martin - Ohio State

Cari: Shak sure looked back to normal last weekend. Here’s the real test, with a generous seed and wrestling for his NCAA seed.

Pick: Myles Martin. With Bo at 197, it’s his year.

Bscaff: This weight is sneaky deep. Nick Gravina - round of 12 last year - is the 9-seed. Cam Caffey will be an All-American sooner or later, and he’s 10th. Tenth!

Pick: 1-Seed Myles Martin, OSU - his first ever Big Ten title.

Jp: Myles Martin’s last non-Bo-Nickal loss was March 13, 2017, when Sammy Brooks decisioned him in the national consolation quarterfinals, 6-2. He blew through the 2018 non-Nickal field and has repeated the feat so far here in 2019, with Nickal having vacated the weight.

I’m gonna move on before I say Bo Nickal one more time.

Dark Horse

Clay: I like Cari’s pick with Gravina, but I like Cam Caffey better. He’s got a very viable path to the semifinals, especially if Shak isn’t 100 percent.

Cari: Nick Gravina. He’s a dirty wrestler and I still dislike him from last year’s bout against Bo, but he could easily make the top five here - if he’s healthy.

Bscaff: 10-Seed Cameron Caffey, MSU

Jp: Jelani Embree is a fun Wolverine to root for and looks capable of out-placing Cash Wilcke.

Our Guy

Clay: If I had to guess, I’d say Shak is somewhere between 80-90 percent this week. That alone is enough to get him to the semfinals thanks to a fortuitous draw. Is it enough to get him past Venz, we’ll see. I don’t think he beats MyMar healthy or not, so I’ll give him fourth here with losses to Venz and Parker.

Cari: I think Shak’ll get to the semis pretty easily - but his patience will be tested on Saturday night. If he does make the finals, he’ll do well to limit Martin to a regular decision. If he doesn’t, third place isn’t bad for someone coming back from an injury.

Bscaff: Shak put a little too much pressure on himself last year. I hope we get the relaxed and confident Shak this post-season, and that he leaves Minnesota close to 100 percent on the ol’ health meter.

Jp: Because of a minor knee injury in the middle of February, Rasheed’s sample size is a bit under-Nolfian, at 17. But here are his opponents’ takedown stats from Lemon Pie’s chart:

Shakur Rasheed’s 2019 takedowns, takedowns per 7 minutes and takedowns per 60 seconds in neutral.

Additionally, he averages a takedown every minute in neutral, 3:40 in riding time every 7-minute bout, and has earned 4NF thirteen times in those 17 matches.

Will those gaudy stats help him against Myles Martin? Perhaps. But his legs are long, and Myles Martin has gotten to everybody’s legs.

What about the other side? Will a Post-Nickal Myles Martin be better prepared to stay out of dangerous Rasheed positions? One might think.

It’s sure gonna be fun to find out.


197 Bracket Using Pre-seeds, which were only listed out to 8 because this weight only has 5 automatic bids. Yellow highlights indicate BSD guesses based on season performances.


Clay: Heh.

Pick: Bo Nickal - Penn State

Cari: This weight is so bogus. There’s not much else to say except, so much for that challenge, Bo!

Pick: Bo.

Bscaff: The story is that there is no story. The story reduces to just two words: Bo Nickal.

1-Bo, PSU

Jp: Bo Nickal will win his 3rd Big Ten Championship.

Dark Horse

Clay: This weight. Woooooooof. Jackson Striggow could give Warner a run for his money in the quarters.

Cari: I dunno, Wilton? I think the seeding committee got it pretty much right at this weight.

Bscaff: This field is terrible. 8-Seed Wilton, MSU

Jp: I dunno either! I guess 6-seed Striggow has a better chance to place 4th than 5-seed Schultz does to place 3rd.

Our Guy

Clay: He protec but he also attac. Most importantly, he put you on bac.


Bscaff: Bo is fearless - literally fearless. And it’s not an ignorant, moronic fearless, either. He’s smart. He’s kind. He’s generous. And he’s absolutely fearless. What a treat he’s been to watch.

Jp: I’d just like to redirect you to bscaff’s ode above.


285 Bracket Using Pre-seeds, which were only listed out to 8 because this weight only has 7 automatic bids. Yellow highlights indicate BSD guesses based on season performances.


Clay: Oh man, oh man, oh man this is a tough one. Steveson has been fantastic but and it’s hard to be critical of an undefeated true freshman at heavyweight, and yet I feel like his hype may be a biiiit much. He’s beating guys comfortably, but not blowing them out in the Nolf or Nickal manner. His match with Derek White came down to one big move and he looked good against Hemida but not unbeatable. I’m not picking against him at home, but I may well in Pittsburgh.

Pick: Gable Steveson, Minnesota

Cari: The finals at this weight, like many others in this tournament, may very well be the finals of the NCAAs in a few weeks. The top few in the conference are very good - but the rest of the ranked wrestlers have had subpar years this year.

Pick: Steveson, Minnesota

Bscaff: Well, he made it. Sam Stoll made it to the post season without fracturing his spine, falling off a cliff, or shooting himself in the knee. But now he has to qualify for NCAAs, and it doesn’t look like an easy row to hoe.

Pick: 2-Seed Ant’knee, PSU

Jp: Why set my Homer Hat on the table now? I’m rocking that lid on my dome all dang weekend, belee dat!

Pick: Anthony Cassar

Dark Horse

Clay: This weight is insane. Not bad. Not good. Just insane. The preseason No. 1 (Stoll) shot himself in the knee. The preseason No. 2 (Nevills) is riding the pine. The preseason No. 3 (Dhesi) has wrestled about 10 matches all year. Same with Hemida. I’ll take the unseeded Hemida as my clear darkhorse here and it’s wild that he’s going to be drawn in and potentially wreck this bracket.

Cari: Stoll!

Just kidding, he may win one but won’t make the NCAA tournament. Probably David Jensen, who is far better than how he’s looked more recently.

Bscaff: I can’t believe I’m doing this: 6-Seed Sasquatch, JNW

Jp: Sam Stoll can still lean on and push his way to a 6th place, right?

Our Guy

Clay: Anthony has been better than I could’ve possibly imagined this year. He’s dominated everyone except for Derek White and embarrassed some really, really good wrestlers. His physical ability paired with his confidence is a dangerous combination and I wouldn’t be the least shocked if he won both the Big Ten and NCAA Tournaments.

Cari: Keep him supplied with flash tattoos, and watch him roll. He and Gable Steveson will have bonus points upon bonus points headed into this bout - but it’ll be a decision, and a close one. And I’m betting the loser wins in Pittsburgh.

Bscaff: Ant’knee makes the finals, and treats us to one whale of a concluding match against Steveson.

Jp: I can’t wait to see the coaching that Cassar received for his Steveson bout. I would seriously pay high dollar to watch a practice session where Casey & Cael prepare Cassar for what they’ve seen from Steveson on film.

Derek White won the hand fight battle with Antknee and kept him off his legs. Steveson won the hand fight with White and chucked him through the air. This is the top tier. Everybody else has been victimized by both these guys.

It’s gonna be for real fireworks.

Final Takery

Clay: Assuming nothing freaky happens, Penn State will cruise to a team title here. But there is a ton of variance at the top. A “bad” tournament for PSU could see as few as two champions (three). I think many would probably project four champs. It’s not out of the question that PSU wins as many as seven or eight weights. Now, don’t bet on that. But outside of 125 and 184 I don’t think there are any weights Penn State can’t win. The Nittany Lions will have tall tasks at 133 and 149, but if they won 141, 157, 165, 174, 197 and 285 would anybody be shocked?

Bscaff: Prepare yourselves for PSU to have a “bad” round. Maybe it’s the quarterfinals, maybe it’s the semifinals. We can’t know today. But, historically speaking, we’re going to get one bad round here at Big Tens, and the BSD comments will be a roiling sea of confusion and doubt. So prepare yourselves for that, friends. But don’t ever be fooled by it, because two weeks hence, our Lions roll through NCAAs like the Mongols sweeping across the steppe.

Jp: I went strong with my homer hammer and picked 7 Penn State Champions, from 9 Penn State Finalists. At this point in the Cael Dynasty, why the hell not?

But the secondary market is going to be exhilarating to observe as well. Iowa, Michigan & Ohio State are going to be in a fierce battle, and they’ve all got excellent wrestlers who will be a treat to watch. Especially head to head against Penn State and each other.