It is no secret that the state of Ohio loves their wrestling, and no matter which program your heart lies with, nearly every wrestling fan in the state is relishing at the thought of a NCAA Championship title residing in Ohio.
First things first though, to make a run at the D1 NCAA title, Tom Ryan's Buckeyes most first use 'home turf' advantage and qualify at least nine of the ten wrestlers to give Iowa, Missouri, and Minnesota a battle in St. Louis at Nationals.
Ohio Wrestling News will provide a breakdown based solely on the pre-seeds that were released on Monday by the BIG 10 wrestling conference. The seeds may or may not hold up. Friday evening when the official brackets are released, we will then go and fill out each bracket in its entirety with our tournament predictions.
The tournament team title will likely come down to what Iowa does at 141 and 157. Ohio State will need the likes of Demas, Martin, and Courts to really shine.
The exciting part year in and year out in the BIG 10 is that in most classes, nearly anyone in the top 5-6 seeds or further out has a legitimate shot of making the championship finals.
BIG 10 coaches will feel right at home this weekend in Columbus as Joe McFarland of Michigan, Jim Heffernan of Illinois, Drew Pariano of Northwestern, and Roger Chandler of Michigan State are all Ohio High School wrestling legends. Heffernan was a part of the St. Edward Ohio dynasty in the 1980's, and won state titles in 1981-1982. It was 20 years ago this weekend that Pariano won his 3rd state title for Fairview Park High School. McFarland is a native of North Olmsted Ohio, while Roger 'The Hammer' Chandler was a 1992 Ohio State Champion for St. Edwards. Chandler was recruited to Indiana University where McFarland was the head coach at the time.
There are dozens of Ohio native wrestlers scattered throughout the brackets including highly ranked OWN predicted: Logan & Hunter Stieber, Dominic Abounader, Bo & Issac Jordan, and Ryan Taylor of Wisconsin. All of them have won state champions in their prep days of wrestling.