The Big 12 tournament kicks off this morning with 50 entries to the NCAA Championships in Pittsburgh on the line. Eight Cyclones earned allocations for the conference and will be wrestling to cash in the spot they earned, while at 157 and 165 Chase Straw and Logan Schumacher will be doing their best to ruin someone else’s weekend by stealing a spot. For some guys this weekend is a chance to move up the rankings and improve their seed for NCAAs, for others it is a fight to extend their season a few more weeks and earn the title of NCAA Qualifier. Everyone has something to wrestle for when they take the mat this morning. March Matness has begun!
Where: Bok Center, Tulsa, OK
Stream: Flowrestling ($$)
Live Brackets/Scores: FloArena (Free)
- Session 1 (Pigtails and Quarterfinals) - 11:00 AM-2:00 PM, Saturday, March 9th
- Session 2 (Semifinals, Consolation Rounds 1 & 2) - 5:00 PM-9:00 PM, Saturday, March 9th
- Session 3 (Consolation Semifinals, 3rd & 5th Place Matches) - 12:00 PM-2:00 PM, Sunday, March 10th
- Session 4 (Finals) - 7:00 PM-9:00 PM, Sunday, March 10th
Iowa State Lineup
|Weight||ISU Wrestler||Record||Seed||# of Allocations at the Weight|
|Weight||ISU Wrestler||Record||Seed||# of Allocations at the Weight|
|125||#22 Alex Mackall||21-9||5||5|
|133||#10 Austin Gomez||18-4||2||5|
|141||#12 Ian Parker||21-5||2||6|
|149||#11 Jarrett Degen||23-5||3||7|
|174||#23 Marcus Coleman||24-10||4||4|
|184||#11 Sam Colbray||23-5||1||4|
|197||#5 Willie Miklus||19-2||2||7|
|HWT||#26 Gannon Gremmel||24-11||3||6|
Weight By Weight Breakdown
What Would Define A Good Day at 125?
There are five spots available at this weight and Mackall earned one of them. So all he needs to do is wrestle to seed. Any outcome that has Mackall alive in to the consolation semifinals on Sunday is a good day at this weight.
Mackall is seeded 5th and didn’t draw a pigtail. Barring an upset, he’ll open up against the 4 seed, #17 Rico Montoya of Northern Colorado. These two met at the Scuffle with Montoya coming away with a 4-0 win. So Mackall will be the clear underdog in this one. But with five allocations available at this weight, a loss wouldn’t be a huge blow.
Mackall is in the consolations so potentially has two matches tonight. In his first match he’ll Robie Garcia of Fresno State. Mackall pinned Garcia in their one meeting this year so he’ll be favored in that one. If he picks up a win there he’ll get the winner of the match between Gregory Coapstick of SDSU and Mitch Brown of Utah Valley. Mackall hasn't wrestled Brown but pinned Coapstick in the SDSU dual. He should be favored against either wrestler and has an excellent shot to stay alive for tomorrows medal matches.
What Would Define A Good Day at 133?
For Gomez this tournament is all about adding to his seeding resume for NCAAs. To make that happen, a good day for Gomez would be going 2-0 and earning a spot in the finals.
Gomez is seeded 2nd and didn’t draw a pigtail. He’ll open against the winner of #7 Twomey of Air Force and US Skudlarczyk of UNI. He should beat either easily to reach the semifinals.
Gomez will get #13 ranked Montorie Bridges of Wyoming in the semifinals. These two haven’t met. Looking over Bridges matches he doesn't appear to be a high scoring guy, which is good for the Gomez style. Both of these guys expect to make deep runs in Pittsburgh so a win here would not only help Gomez in seeding, it would help give some extra confidence that Gomez can score ISU some team points at NCAAs.
What Would Define A Good Day at 141?
Like with Gomez at 133, for Parker this tournament is all NCAA seeding improvement. So Parker is in the same situation where going 2-0 and moving on to the finals on Sunday is what it would take for today to be a good day.
Parker is seeded 2nd and didn’t draw a pigtail. He’ll open against the winner of #7 O’Shea of Air Force and US Degen of NDSU. He should beat either easily to move in to the evening session.
Parker gets a rematch with #16 Dom Demas of Oklahoma in the semifinals at 141. When these two met in Norman it went to overtime with Parker winning 4-3 in overtime. The top half of the 141 bracket is totally busted - the #1 seed got upset in a pigtail and the #4 seed injury defaulted out of the tournament. So whoever wins this one will be the favorite in the Big 12 finals tomorrow night.
What Would Define A Good Day at 149?
Degen’s success comes from his ability to take advantage of matchups, so his NCAA seed is going to matter a lot less than who he happens to draw. Because of that, while higher is always better, his resume doesn’t matter a huge amount. All Degen needs to do to have a successful day is avoid injury and stay alive in to the second day. Anything else is just gravy for team points.
Degen is seeded 3rd and didn’t draw a pigtail. He’ll open against the winner of #20 Jeffries of Oklahoma and Ontiveros of Utah Valley. Cheer for Ontiveros in that one, because Jeffries is a terrible stylistic matchup for Degen. Even though Degen has a superior overall resume and higher ranking he is 1-2 against Jeffries in his career. So despite the higher seed Degen is likely to be the underdog in this match if Jeffries is on the other side of the mat.
Degen has also reached he semifinals and will get the 7 seed, #19 Henry Pohlmeyer of SDSU, who upset #9 Max Thomsen of UNI 5-4 in their quarterfinal match. When these two met in early February at the SDSU dual Degen won by pin. Hopefully we’ll see a similar result tonight.
What Would Define A Good Day at 157?
There’s only one spot available at this weight. So for Straw it is reach the finals or bust.
Straw is the #3 seed and drew a pigtail. He’ll open against US Paden Moore of UNI, who he beat 9-4 at the dual recently. That’ll then give him the 6 seed, Krueger of Wyoming in the quarterfinals. These two have never met but, as you’d expect from the seeding, Straw has a better overall record and better results against common opponents. As long as Straw wrestles to his abilities he’ll get a win in this one.
Straw kept hope alive through Session 1 and is Iowa State’s 4th semifinalist. He’ll take on #31 Jacob Wright of Fresno State. This is likely to be a tight match - when these two met back in January Wright won 5-4 in ride outs. But there’s only one spot for the taking here and only the guy who wins this match remains alive for it. Hopefully Straw can keep his groove going and end the day with another win.
What Would Define A Good Day at 165?
There are five spots available at this weight so any outcome that has Schumacher still alive at the end of Session 2 is a good day.
Schumacher is unseeded and drew in to a pigtail. He’ll open up against the 8 seed, unranked Jeremy Thomas of Oklahoma. Thomas has a losing record and to be honest I’m not entirely sure why he got the 8 seed over Schumacher. So this is a very winnable match for Logan. And winning is very important to keep his hopes alive for the weekend because a loss in this pigtail would drop him in to a consolation bout between the loser of returning All American Joe Smith and #10 ranked Demetrius Romero of Utah Valley. That would probably end Schumacher’s season.
Schumacher is in the consolations and like Mackall has the potential for two matches tonight. He’ll start with a very winnable match against Macoy Flanagan of Northern Colorado, who was also unseeded and has a 6-15 record on the year. A win there would almost surely give him West Virginia’s #26 ranked Nick Kiussis in the blood round. Kiussis only beat Schumacher 3-2 when ISU made the trip to Morgantown so there’s definite upset possibility there.
What Would Define A Good Day at 174?
This weight initially had five allocations but that dropped to four due to Oklahoma State making a lineup shift. So even though Coleman earned an allocation he’s going to need to overperform to avoid being the guy who is left out in the cold on Sunday. To set himself up for that he needs to win his first match. A good day for Coleman would be for him to make the semifinals. Winning there would be great, but what’s important is getting there.
Coleman is seeded 4th and did not draw a pigtail. He’ll open the day against the winner of 5 seeded #22 Hastings of Wyoming and unseeded Grove of SDSU. Assuming Hastings is the one that advances, this is likely to be a very close match - these two are right next to each other in the last coaches panel, with Hastings at #22 and Coleman at #23. Since the Big 12 is down to only 4 spots available at this weight a win here is very important because with a loss Coleman would drop in to an area of the consolations that would pit him up against #7 Lujan of UNI or #12 Bastain of Utah Valley in the consolation semifinals, meaning he would need a substantial upset to avoid having to hope for an at large bid.
Coleman was upset in the quarters and joins Mackall and Schumacher in the consolations. He’ll start the night against unranked Kayne MacCallum of Air Force. There’s no reason he can’t pick up a win there to advance to a match against the winner of a match against Dom Kincaid of Fresno State and James Wujeck of West Virginia. Coleman has seen both of them this season, beating Kincaid 14-1 and pinning Wujeck. So there’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to keep himself in the bracket for tommorow.
What Would Define A Good Day at 184?
Like Gomez and Degen, for Colbray this tournament is all about picking up some extra bullet points for his NCAA resume. To do that he needs to go 3-0 on the day and punch his ticket to the finals.
Colbray is Iowa State’s lone 1 seed in the tournament and he drew a pigtail. He’ll open up against unranked Thompson of Air Force in a match that he should be able to win handily. That’ll then give him the 8 seed, unranked MacCullum of Oklahoma. When these two met in the dual Colbray came away with a 14-4 win, so this should be an opportunity for Colbray to score some bonus points for the team as he moves in to the evening session.
Colbray is also in to the semifinals and gets #16 Tate Samuelson of Wyoming. This is a big match for Colbray, who has been quietly putting together a great season. A win here would really solidify him in to the conversation for making the blood round at NCAAs.
What Would Define A Good Day at 197?
Despite his high ranking, Miklus doesn’t actually have all that great of a NCAA seeding resume - his best win is over Jacobe Smith of Oklahoma State and Smith has now moved down to 184. So this weekend is all about getting a couple good wins to improve his chances of a top ten seed in Pittsburgh. To have a good day today Miklus needs to go 3-0 and earn a spot in tomorrow's finals.
Miklus is the 2 seed and drew a pigtail. He’ll open up against unseeded but ranked #30 McLaughin of Air Force. These two have never met but looking at results and common opponents there’s no reason for Miklus not to get bonus points here. That would set up a quarterfinal match against the 7 seed, #27 Seely of Northern Colorado. This again should be a chance for Miklus to cruise to a solid win and put himself in to the semis.
Miklus joins most of the lineup in the semifinals. He’ll get a rematch against #14 ranked Josh Hokit of Fresno State. As mentioned above, Miklus has a suprisingly sparse resume for NCAA seeding purpose so a win here is essential for him to get a good seed in Pittsburgh.
What Would Define A Good Day at HWT?
Looking over the landscape of conference tournaments there are likely to be a lot of heavyweights that are going to be fighting for the four at large spots at this weight. So Gremmel needs to make sure he places within the top six and avoids becoming a part of that scrum. To make that happen he just needs to get a pair of wins today to survive in to day 2. His NCAA seed is unlikely to move much regardless of what happens so who he beats and how he does it doesn’t matter a whole lot, he just needs to get the wins.
Just like Degen at 149, Gremmel has earned the 3 seed but is likely to face a 6 seed that he’ll be the underdog against. Gremmel’s first match will be against the winner of 6 seeded Isley of UNI and unseeded but ranked #29 Metz of NDSU. Cheer for Metz in that one because Gremmel beat Metz 7-3 in the dual but lost to Isley 2-0 in overtime a few weeks ago. There are six spots available at this weight so Gremmel would likely be able to come back in the consolations and still earn a spot if he does take a loss to Isley, but a win in that match would assure him a spot in the top six and an allocation. So for peace of mind it would be great to see Gremmel turn that loss around and get a win to move in to the semifinals.
Gremmel is Iowa State’s 7th semifinalist as he finally was able to take out Isley in a 2-0 Heavyweight dance. He’ll get a rubber match against #24 AJ Nevills of Fresno State. Gremmel beat him 6-5 at the dual this season but Nevills beat him 7-6 last season. If trends continue one of them will win 5-4. Hopefully it’s Gremmel.
We’ll update this article throughout the day as Session 2 matchups come in to focus and then have a Day 2 preview up sometime before Session 3 action kicks off at noon tomorrow.
How Many Cyclones Will Make the Big 12 Championship Finals This Weekend?
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