Feb. 26, 2013
After winning its second consecutive National Duals Championship this past weekend, the Minnesota Wrestling team has reclaimed the top spot in the final regular season USA Today/NWCA/AWN Division I Coaches Poll.
Minnesota picked up wins over No. 7 Virginia Tech, No. 2 Iowa and No. 1 Oklahoma State en route to winning the tournament at Minnesota’s very own Williams Arena on the Minneapolis campus. The tournament showcased eight of the top 10 teams in the country.
As the No. 3 seed, the Gophers defeated the sixth-seeded Hokies 28-8 in the opening round quarterfinals on Friday night. Saturday was a day of déjà vu. Just as the team did last year, Minnesota upset the No. 2 Hawkeyes in the semifinals (22-15) and dished out an even bigger shock against the No. 1 Cowboys in the championship dual, winning 28-9 to capture the crown.
Both victories avenged home losses from earlier in the season.
The Gophers received eight of the possible 10 first-place votes, while Oklahoma State and Penn State received one each to slide to second and third, respectively. Missouri, who beat Iowa to place third at the National Duals, finishes the regular season with a No. 4 ranking. Iowa trails at fifth.
The Maroon and Gold now hope to continually gain momentum as they prepare for the Big Ten Championships in two weeks. The event, which will take place from March 9-10, will be hosted by the University of Illinois.