The Michigan State wrestling team will head to the Big Ten Championships this weekend (March 5-6) in Evanston, Ill.  Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

The Michigan State wrestling team will head to the Big Ten Championships this weekend (March 5-6) in Evanston, Ill. Photo courtesy of MSU SID.

 

 

Date: Saturday-Sunday, March 5-6 

Location: Evanston, Ill. • Welsh-Ryan Arena 

Session 1: Saturday, 11 a.m. ET (First round, quarterfinals) 

Session 2: Saturday, 6 p.m. ET (Semifinals, wrestlebacks)

Session 3: Sunday, 2 p.m. ET (Consolation semifinals, seventh-place matches)

Session 4: Sunday, 4 p.m. ET (first, third and fifth-place matches)

Coverage: Session 4 will be televised live on the Big Ten Network;

Twitter updates all weekend @wrestlingmsu

 

 

MICHIGAN STATE HEADS TO EVANSTON FOR BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS

        The Michigan State wrestling team will head to the Big Ten Championships this weekend (March 5-6) in Evanston, Ill. The event will be held at Welsh-Ryan Arena.

        The Big Ten Championships are the most prestigious conference championships in the nation, year in and year out. Eight teams from the Big Ten are currently ranked in the Top 25 of the NWCA/USA Today Coaches’ Poll, including three in the top five (No. 2 Iowa, No. 4 Penn State, No. 5 Minnesota).

 

SPARTANS TO WATCH

• Junior Ian Hinton has qualified for the NCAAs the past two seasons at 174 pounds. This season, he moved up a weight class to 184 as he seeks his third straight appearance at nationals; he earned the highest pre-seed on the team at No. 4. Hinton was an at-large qualifier in 2009 and took sixth place at last year’s Big Ten Championships to qualify in 2010. He was second on the team this season with 44 dual meets points (13-4 dual record) and won seven of his last nine dual meet matches. Hinton has victories this season over Purdue’s A.J. Kissel (currently ranked 12th) and Binghamton’s Nathan Schiedel (currently ranked 16th).

 

• Dan Osterman, who is ranked 20th at 149 pounds, leads the way for MSU with his 22 wins on the season and is a No. 7 pre-seed. Osterman also led the Spartans with a 15-3 record in dual meets and compiled a team-best 53 dual meet points. The sophomore from Carson City, Mich., went 1-3 at the Big Ten Championships at 141 pounds last year as a freshman to place eighth and will be looking for his first bid to the NCAA Championships.

 

• Sophomore heavyweight Joe Rizqallah entered the starting lineup for MSU in the second half of the season and made quite an impact. He has some of the most notable wins for the Spartans this season, including an 8-2 upset win over Penn State’s Cameron Wade, who earned the top seed overall at heavyweight for the Big Ten Championships. Rizqallah was named a No. 7 pre-seed for his first Big Ten Championships appearance.

 

• In one of the toughest weight classes in the Big Ten at 174 pounds, junior Curran Jacobs will be looking for his first trip to the NCAA Championships. A No. 8 pre-seed, Jacobs is tied with Osterman for the team lead with 22 wins and went 11-6 in dual meets. Seven wrestlers at 174 enter Big Tens ranked in the top 20. In the first Big Ten dual of the season, Jacobs defeated Iowa’s Ethen Lofthouse, who is currently ranked 14th in the nation. The top eight wrestlers from the 174-pound weight class will advance to the NCAAs.

 

BIG TEN ANNOUNCES PRE-SEEDS FOR BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS

• Five Michigan State wrestlers earned pre-seeds for the Big Ten Championships, the conference office announced on Monday.

• Ian Hinton is the highest-seeded Spartan, coming in at fourth in the 184-pound weight class.

• Three Spartans earned No. 7 seeds: Dan Osterman (149), Sean McMurray (157) and Joe Rizqallah (heavyweight).

• At 174 pounds, junior Curran Jacobs earned a No. 8 seed.

 

NCAA QUALIFIER INFORMATION

        The NCAA announced the qualifier allocations for the 2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships on Feb. 23. Each qualifying tournament was awarded spots per weight class based on current year data. Each wrestler was measured on the following: Division I winning percentage; rating percentage index (RPI); and coaches ranking.

        This year, the following allocation numbers per weight class for the Big Ten are: 125 (5), 133 (8), 141 (6), 149 (8), 157 (6), 165 (8), 174 (8), 184 (6), 197 (6), and heavyweight (6).

        After all of the qualifying events have concluded, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee will meet in-person to select the remaining 48 at-large qualifiers, which will be announced on March 9. All weight classes will consist of 33 wrestlers (total of 330).

        The NCAA Championships will be held March 17-19 in Philadelphia.

 

MICHIGAN STATE: BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS HISTORY

• Michigan State has won eight Big Ten titles, including seven in a row from 1966-72.

• Spartans have won 67 Big Ten individual championships in program history.

• MSU’s first Big Ten title came in 1961 under Coach Fendley Collins, while the rest came under the guidance of Grady Peninger.

• Michigan State finished seventh at last year’s Big Ten Championships in Ann Arbor.

• Coach Minkel’s highest finish at the Big Ten Championships was second in 1995; MSU also placed third in 1996 and tied for third in 2003.

• MSU’s last Big Ten Champion was Franklin Gomez, who won two 133-pound titles (2008, 2009).