Tom Brands stated in his weekly press conference:
“It’s that time of year.”
That would be the tournament season for Iowa Wrestling. The stakes will go way up at the Big Ten Conference Tournament this weekend in Minneapolis, MN. Not that their was not a lot of meaning in everything leading up to this point, but now everyone is playing for keeps. One slip up here and there is a chance your season is over.
If anything, the Big Ten is getting tougher each year. Of the ten weight classes in Division I college wrestling, nine number one ranked wrestlers are from the Big Ten. There are four weight classes that have the #1 and #2 ranked wrestler in country. Two of those weight have the #1-2-3 ranked wrestlers in the country (157,165). Hwt is crazy especially when you factor in that the Big Ten has only seven automatic qualifiers for the NCAA Tournament.
Iowa Head Wrestling Coach Tom Brands:
“It’s that time of year. We’re excited where it is that time of year when the next event is a qualifier. It’s important. You get your name on the wall if you win this tournament. It’s that time of year when you have to be at your best.”
I want to go over several points that I made in my Iowa Wrestling Fan Podcast that I released yesterday.
1. This is the healthiest that Iowa Wrestling has been all year. By far. Iowa has fought through injuries and illness all season. The Iowa wrestling team looks strong, peaked, and hungry to me.
2. To refer to my blog from last week, Iowa Wrestling has went through the peaks and valleys. We have had several wrestlers go through some rough stretches during the regular season. The best part of that is that every one of those wrestlers are now wrestling their best of the season. The overall grind and tough times that Iowa has endured will now pay off at tournament time.
3. I still believe the Oklahoma State dual meet was a blessing in disguise. A loss can sometimes be a good thing in the overall big picture of a season. There was not a single thing that I saw in that dual meet that is not fixable. By fixable I mean from a technique standpoint. The conditioning, strength, overall skill set, and mentality is there. Sometimes an event like that can bring a team closer together. I believe that is the case.
I believe that Iowa will have a very good Big Ten Tournament. Now Iowa could have a very good Big Tens and still place 4th in the team race. I have two main concerns for the Big Tens and where the team places is not one of them.
- Qualify all 10 weight classes for the 2019 NCAA National Championships in Pittsburgh, PA on March 21-23.
- Get all of our wrestlers out of Big Tens healthy.
Big Ten Championships
Session I – 10 AM Saturday, March 9
Session II – 6 PM Saturday, March 9
Session III – Noon Sunday, March 10
Finals – 3 PM Sunday, March 10
All times are CST.
Live Stream for all of the matches on BTN2GO
Finals will be televised by BTN.
The Big Tens cannot start soon enough.
It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.