||MINNESOTA AT THE 2014 NCAA DIVISION I WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
THIS WEEK IN MINNESOTA WRESTLING
The No. 1 University of Minnesota Golden Gopher wrestling team will close out the 2013-14 competitive season at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. The championship, hosted by the University of Oklahoma, is set for March 20 through March 22 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla.
NINE GOPHERS AUTOMATIC QUALIFIERS FOR 2014 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
Nine Golden Gophers earned automatic qualifications at the Big Ten Tournament that was held March 8-9 in Madison, Wis. David Thorn (133), Chris Dardanes (141), Nick Dardanes (149), Dylan Ness (157), Danny Zilverberg (165), Logan Storley (174), Kevin Steinhaus (184), Scott Schiller (197) and Tony Nelson (285) will all take part in the national tournament thanks to standout performances at the conference championships.
ALL NINE GOPHERS SEEDED
All nine of Minnesota's wrestlers competing the 2014 NCAA Championships earned seeds for the tournament.
Reigning back-to-back heavyweight national champion Tony Nelson earned the highest seed for the Maroon and Gold, as he sits in the top spot going into the three day tournament. Nelson capped off a 26-4 season with his third Big Ten Championship title.
All-American Nick Dardanes picked up the No. 2 seed at 149 after a his third place finish at the conference tournament ending the 2013-14 season with a standout 32-3 overall record.
Scott Schiller will make his second NCAA Championship appearance as the No. 4 seed in the 197 weight class. Schiller, who finished in fifth place at last years championship earning All-American honors, went the majority of the season as the only undefeated Golden Gopher. He finished the season at 29-4 and placed third at the Big Ten Championships.
Two-time All-American Kevin Steinhaus hopes to add another honor during his final trip to the national stage. The 184-pounder, who finished fifth in 2012 and fourth place at the Big Ten Championships, secured the No. 7 seed for this weekend's championships.
All-Americans's Logan Storley (174) and Chris Dardanes (141) both picked up the No. 6 seed in their respective weight classes. Storley finished fourth at the conference championship while C. Dardanes earned third place.
Redshirt senior and All-American David Thorn obtained the No. 8 seed at 133 while redshirt junior Dylan Ness will look to improve during his third NCAA appearance as he sits at No. 9 at 157 pounds. Ness finished second in 2012 and fourth in 2013 at 149 before moving up a weight class this season.
Danny Zilverberg rounds out the Gophers national championship field as he will make his second NCAA appearance as a redshirt senior. Zilverberg finished third at the conference tournament and picked up the No. 15 seed for the national championships.
Reigning back-to-back heavyweight national champion, Tony Nelson, is the highest seed for the Maroon and Gold, picked as the No. 1 seed after winning his third Big Ten title and a 26-4 campaign this season.
Nelson looks to not only defend his two national championships but winning would etch his name into the Minnesota wrestling record books as a third national title would be a feat never accomplished before by a Golden Gopher.
The heavyweight will take on Blaize Cabell of the University of Northern Iowa in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on Thursday, March 20. Cabell boasts a 22-12 overall record and is unseeded going into the tournament.
EIGHT ALL-AMERICANS RETURN TO THE NATIONAL STAGE
Last year the Golden Gophers returned to campus after the 2013 NCAA Championships boasting a tournament-high eight All-Americans. Seven of those will return for another chance at the distinguished honor.
David Thorn, Nick Dardanes and Scott Schiller had earned their first All-America honors while Chris Dardanes, Dylan Ness and Logan Storley each picked up their second All-America distinction. Tony Nelson secured his third All-America accolade by winning his second NCAA Championship title.
Kevin Steinhaus, who earned his All-America honors in 2011 and 2012, will return to the national stage in hopes of adding a third honor to his wrestling career resume.
Thursday, March 20
11 a.m. - Session 1 (Eight Mats - Pigtails and First-Round)
6 p.m. - Session 2 (Eight Mats - Preliminaries: Wrestleback Preliminaries, Wrestlback First Round; Championship Round: Second Round, Consolation Round)
Friday, March 22
10 a.m. - Session 3 (Eight Mats - Quarterfinals and Wrestlebacks)
7 p.m. - Session 4 (Six Mats - Semifinals and Wrestlebacks)
Saturday, March 22
10 a.m. - Session 5 (Three Mats - Wrestleback Semifinals and 3rd-5th-7th Medal Rounds)
7 p.m. - Session 6 (One Mat - Finals and Award Ceremony)
FLASHBACK TO 2013
The Golden Gophers finished in third place at the 2013 NCAA Wrestling Championships held in Des Moines, Iowa. This was the second-best finish out of the past five years since winning the title in 2007. In 2012, the Gophers finished as the runner-up. (2012; 2nd, 2011; 7th, 2010; 7th, 2009; 14th, 2008; 10th). Nelson won his second national title and the Gophers had eight All-Americans.
ESPN will expand its TV and digital coverage of the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on March 20-22 by televising all six sessions and carrying every match on ESPN3, both for the first time. ESPN will televise the semifinals and championship finals while ESPNU will air the preliminary sessions and medal round. The entire tournament will be available on WatchESPN.
FULL COVERAGE SCHEDULE
Thursday, March 20
11 a.m. - Session 1 - ESPNU/ESPN3
6 p.m. - Session 2 - ESPNU/ESPN3
Friday, March 22
10 a.m. - Session 3 - ESPNU/ESPN3
7 p.m. - Session 4 - ESPN/ESPN3
Saturday, March 22
10 a.m. - Session 5 - ESPNU/ESPN3
7 p.m. - Session 6 - EPSN/ESPN3
Gophersports will provide a Championship Central for all information regarding the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships including a live blog, @GopherWrestling Twitter feed, links to media, brackets and much more. This can be found at gophersports.com/sports/m-wrestl. Live updates throughout the national championship will be available through Twitter by following @GopherWrestling or using the hashtag #GopherTough.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP WEBSITE
For more information on the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, visit the NCAA Championships page at http://www.ncaa.com/sports/wrestling/d1.
BIG TEN CONFERENCE RECEIVES 74 NCAA QUALIFIER ALLOCATIONS
On March 1, the NCAA announced the automatic qualifier allocations for the 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. For the second year in a row, the Big Ten Conference received the most allocations of any conference with 74. The allocations were based on the year's competition data. Wrestlers that place within the qualifier allocation for their weight class at the Big Ten Championships received an automatic bid for the NCAA championships to be held March 20-22.
The Big Ten breakdown is as follows: seven for 125, eight for 133, six for 141, six for 149, eight for 157, eight for 165, seven for 174, seven for 184, eight for 197 and nine for heavyweight. Throughout the nine conferences receiving allocations, there were a total of 290 wrestlers earning automatic bids for the national tournament with 29 in each weight class.
FINAL RANKINGS/POLL RESULTS
The final InterMat individual rankings as well as the final regular season USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll were announced. The Big Ten capped off the regular season with nine of its 12 schools ranking within the Top 25. The final two weeks of the poll, the Gophers amassed all ten first-place votes as the top five teams remained unchanged including Penn State, Iowa, Cornell and Northern Iowa remained in their competition order and hold down the Top 5.
GOPHERS BACK-TO-BACK-TO-BACK NATIONAL DUALS CHAMPS
For the third year in a row, the Golden Gopher wrestling team brought home the EAS/NWCA National Duals crown. The Gophers, who were the top-ranked team going into the tournament, defeated Cornell in the championship 24-15 en route to their eighth National Duals title. The Gophers dominated North Dakota State University, 35-3, winning nine bouts during the quarterfinals. Next, the Maroon and Gold battled Big Ten foe, Ohio State, defeating the Buckeyes 25-10 to advance to the championship dual.
GOPHERS FINISH THIRD AT 2014 BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS
March 8-9, 2014 - Madison, Wis. -- After two days of competition at the 2014 Big Ten Wrestling Championships at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis. the University of Minnesota wrestling team finished the conference tournament in third place. Penn State won their fourth-consecutive Big Ten title with 140.5 team points followed by Iowa with 134.0 and Minnesota collected 114.5 points on the weekend.
Redshirt senior Tony Nelson captured the only Big Ten title for the Golden Gophers. While his road to his third consecutive heavyweight conference title looked a bit different than years past, the defending national champion looked more like himself on the mat in the championship bout than he has all year.
Despite sending nine wrestler to the semifinals, Nelson was the only wrestler to compete for an individual title for the Maroon and Gold. Chris Dardanes (141), Nick Dardanes (149), Danny Zilverberg (165) and Scott Schiller all brought home third place crowns while David Thorn (133), Logan Storley (174) and Kevin Steinhaus (184) all finished fourth.
FINAL TEAM STANDINGS
1. Penn State 140.5
2. Iowa 135.0
3. Minnesota 118.5
4. Ohio State 86.5
5. Nebraska 79.0
6. Illinois 78.5
7. Wisconsin 73.0
8. Michigan 71.5
9. Northwestern 58.0
10. Indiana 37.0
11. Purdue 34.5
12. Michigan State 21.5
2014 ALL-BIG TEN TEAM
Jesse Delgado, Illinois; Tony Ramos, Iowa; Tony Nelson, Minnesota; James Green, Nebraska; Robert Kokesh, Nebraska; Jason Tsirtsis, Northwestern; Nick Heflin, Ohio State; Logan Stieber, Ohio State; Ed Ruth, Penn State; David Taylor, Penn State
NELSON WINS THIRD BIG TEN TITLE
Nelson made his mark earning his third heavyweight title in as many years. He began the quest for his third conference title as the No. 5 seed. He defeated Adam Chalfant of Indiana in order to capture the conference crown.
Nelson was able to avenge an earlier loss to Indiana's Adam Chalfant in the championship bout. Chalfant was able to hand Nelson his only loss in regulation during the dual meet season on Feb. 2 in Minneapolis. Nelson's other three losses came in extra minutes. He would go on to defeat Chalfant this afternoon in sudden victory, 2-1. Nelson will now turn his eyes to the NCAA Championships to be held in Oklahoma City, Okla. March 20-22.
GOPHERS CLINCH A SHARE OF THE BIG TEN DUAL CHAMPIONSHIP
After defeating both Penn State and Iowa, the Golden Gophers clinched a share of the 2014 Big Ten Dual Championship. The Gophers ultimately share the award with both Iowa and Penn State. The Maroon and Gold ended the regular season with a 14-1 overall record and 7-1 in Big Ten competition. Throughout the season, the Gophers went undefeated at home and lost only once on the road to Michigan.