This is my third and final blog for a Big Tens preview by weight.

It is tournament time. The Big Tens will be in Ann Arbor, Michigan this Saturday and Sunday, March 4-5. It is a tradition for this tournament to have great if not amazing competition. 

The Big Ten was awarded 88 of the 284 automatic qualifiers to the 2023 NCAA National Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma on March 16-18. There will also be 46 at-large bids for all of the qualifiers. Each of the ten weight classes at Nationals will have 33 wrestlers seeded out 1-33.

Iowa faced eight Big Ten teams in the regular season. I have listed the results of those matches. I also listed the Big Ten Pre-Seeds and where the wrestlers are ranked nationally by InterMat.



Nelson Brands is ranked #12 in the country and gets the seven pre-seed. This is yet another real tough weight for Big Tens. The six wrestlers pre-seeded ahead of Brands are all in the top ten nationally for rankings. The Big Ten has seven automatic qualifiers and there are five At-Large bids for Nationals at 174.

Simply put, Brands will have to wrestle up to seed to qualify for Nationals. With no room for error Brands will have to be top of his game. I really liked what I saw when Brands defeated #7 Dustin Plott of Oklahoma State, 3-2. 

I look for Nelson Brands to have a solid tournament and wrestle above his pre-seed.


Big Ten Pre-Seed/InterMat Ranking

174 lbs. (7 NCAA Qualifiers)

  1. Carter Starocci (PSU) – #1
  2. Mikey Labriola (NEB) – #2
  3. Ethan Smith (OSU) – #5
  4. Bailee O’Reilly (MINN) – #8
  5. Edmond Ruth (ILL) – #9
  6. DJ Washington (IND) – #10
  7. Nelson Brands (IOWA) – #12
  8. Troy Fisher (NU) – #15
  9. Max Maylor (MICH) – #29
  10. Jackson Turley (RU)
  11. Ceasar Garza (MSU)
  12. Dominic Solis (MD)
  13. Josh Otto (WIS)
  14. Cooper Noehre (PUR)


Nelson Brands vs. Big Ten opponents

#7 Edmond Ruth (Illinois) L-D 2-1 TB1 

Cooper Noehre (Purdue) W-D 5-0 

Ankhaa Enkhmandakh (Northwestern) W-D 8-2 (Enkhmandakh is not competing at Big Tens)

#3 Mikey Labriola (Nebraska) L-D 3-2 

#1 Carter Starocci (Penn State) L-D 2-1

Joseph Walker (Michigan) W-D 5-1 5-4 (Walker is not competing at Big Tens)


Aiden Riggins vs. Big Ten opponents

#11 Bailee O’Reilly (Minnesota) L-D 4-1


Drake Rhodes vs. Big Ten opponents

Josh Otto (Wisconsin) L-D 6-5 



Abe Assad comes in with a pre-seed of fifth. The Big Ten has nine automatic qualifiers and there are seven At-large bids for Nationals.

Of the entire team I believe Assad has the most potential to wrestle above his pre-seed. I have been telling you about the potential of Assad in this blog for several years. He has the goods. I now notice confidence that I did not see in the past. I like his attitude. 

As a fan I would love to see Assad have a big tournament that would lead to a push into Nationals. He certainly has all of the tools needed to be elite on the national level. 


Big Ten Pre-Seed/InterMat Ranking

184 lbs. (9 NCAA Qualifiers)

  1. Aaron Brooks (PSU) – #1
  2. Kaleb Romero (OSU) – #5
  3. Isaiah Salazar (MINN) – #9
  4. Matt Finesilver (MICH) – #8
  5. Abe Assad (IOWA) – #10
  6. Layne Malczewski (MSU) – #13
  7. Lenny Pinto (NEB) – #15
  8. Brian Soldano (RU) – #14
  9. Dylan Connell (ILL) – #22
  10. Tyler Dow (WIS)
  11. Evan Bates (NU)
  12. Ben Vanadia (PUR)
  13. Clayton Fielden (IND)
  14. Kevin Makosy (MD)


Abe Assad vs. Big Ten opponents

#29 Dylan Connell (Illinois) W-D 3-1

Ben Vanadia (Purdue) W-Pin, 4:15

Evan Bates (Northwestern) W-MD 10-2

#13 Lenny Pinto (Nebraska) W-D 6-5

Tyler Dow (Wisconsin) L-Pin


Drake Rhodes vs. Big Ten opponents

#1 Aaron Brooks (Penn State) L-TF 22-7 1-2

#10 Isaiah Salazar (Minnesota) L-MD 13-5

 #9 Matt Finesilver (Michigan) L-TF 15-0 1



197 has to be the most open weight in the Big Ten and nationally. Seeding 197 is going to be a challenge. Of all the weights that may see changes from the pre-seeds to final seeds I would have to put 197 at the top of the list.

The Big Ten has nine automatic qualifiers and there are four At-Large bids for Nationals at 197. With ten nationally ranked wrestlers this is a tough weight to predict. I look for a lot of close matches at this weight for the tournament like we will most likely see at 157.

I like Warner to put it all together to end his career on a high note. He has everything you could want for a skill set to win it all at Nationals. It’s go time. Not much else to say.


197 lbs. (9 NCAA Qualifiers)

  1. Max Dean (PSU) – #3
  2. Silas Allred (NEB) – #10
  3. Zac Braunagel (ILL) – #15
  4. Cameron Caffey (MSU) – #13
  5. Jacob Warner (IOWA) – #12
  6. Jaxon Smith (MD) – #14
  7. Gavin Hoffman (OSU) – #19
  8. Braxton Amos (WIS) – #20
  9. Michial Foy (MINN) – #23
  10. Nick Willham (IND)
  11. Billy Janzer (RU)
  12. Andrew Davison (NU) – #29
  13. Brendin Yatooma (MICH)
  14. Hayden Filipovich (PUR)


#10 Zac Braunagel (Illinois) L-D 3-1 

Hayden Filipovich (Purdue) W-MD 16-4

#18 Silas Allred (Nebraska) W-D 3-2

#4 Max Dean (Penn State) L-D 2-0

#28 Michial Foy (Minnesota) L-D 2-1

Bredin Yatooma (Michigan) W-TF 16-1 12-4 


Zach Glazier vs. Big Ten opponents

#28 Andrew Davison (Northwestern) L-D 7-6


Colby Franklin vs. Big Ten opponents

#13 Braxton Amos (Wisconsin) L-D 4-0



The Big Ten is continuing the tradition of being the dominant conference for Hwt. #1,2,3,and 4 in the entire country. For pre-seeds we have the #4 and #10 wrestlers in the entire country clashing in the quarterfinals. That is a conference owning a weight class.

With nine automatic qualifiers for the Big Ten and four At-large bids for Nationals available we will see some great wrestling at Hwt.

I like where Tony Cassioppi is at right now. He dropped a close match to Parris and Kerkvliet in the regular season. As I mentioned in an earlier blog everything is fixable here. This will be one fun weight to watch play out. 


285 lbs. (9 NCAA Qualifiers)

  1. Mason Parris (MICH) – #1
  2. Greg Kerkvliet (PSU) – #2
  3. Tony Cassioppi (IOWA) – #3
  4. Lucas Davison (NU) – #4
  5. Trent Hillger (WIS) – #10
  6. Boone McDermott (RU) – #19
  7. Tate Orndoff (OSU) – #16
  8. Jacob Bullock (IND) – #25
  9. Jaron Smith (MD)
  10. Hayden Copass (PUR)
  11. Garrett Joles (MINN) – #33
  12. Ryan Vasbinder (MSU)
  13. Matt Wroblewski (ILL)
  14. Austin Emerson (NEB)


Tony Cassioppi vs. Big Ten opponents

Matt Wroblewski (Illinois) W-STALL DQ

Purdue W-Forfeit 

#4 Lucas Davison (Northwestern) W-D 3-2

Cale Davidson (Nebraska) W-Pin, 6:39

#11 Trent Hilger (Wisconsin) W-D 4-1

#2 Greg Kervliet (Penn State) L-D 4-1

#1 Mason Parris (Michigan) L-D 9-7 


Bradley Hill vs. Big Ten opponents

#32 Garrett Joles (Minnesota) L-D 5-0


Big Ten Championships

Saturday, March 4

Session I – 9 AM

Session II 

Consolations and Wrestlebacks – 4:30 PM

Semifinals – 6:30 PM


Sunday, March 5

Session III Consolation Semifinals and 7th place – Noon

Session IV 1sr/3rd/5th place matches – 3:30 PM

*****All times listed are CST


It is great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.

Go Hawks!