The Cyclones are set to compete at the Big 12 Championship March 7-8 at the Bok Center in Tulsa, Okla.
“I told our guys everybody is 0-0. That’s exciting. It’s a fresh slate,” head coach Kevin Dresser said. “Our guys are excited. We get to compete for a Big 12 Championship on Saturday and Sunday. Then, more importantly, we get a pecking order for Minneapolis. The month of March is crazy exciting to be a college wrestler.”
There will be a total of 54 automatic bids to the NCAA Championships up for grabs this upcoming weekend.
The breakdown of automatic bids for each weight looks like this:
In the Big 12 Pre-Seeds this is how the Cyclones ranked:
125 – No. 3 Alex Mackall
133 – No. 5 Todd Small
141 – No. 2 Ian Parker
149 – No. 4 Jarrett Degen
157 – No. 1 David Carr
165 – No. 6 Chase Straw
174 – No. 3 Sam Colbray
184 – No. 5 Marcus Coleman
285 – No. 2 Gannon Gremmel
What this all means for the Cyclones is that the only guys who will have to work a little harder to earn their ticket to nationals are Chase Straw at 165 pounds, who was seeded two spots shy of the qualifying mark, and Joel Shapiro at 197 pounds, who was unseeded in the preseeds.
They both have to give 100 percent or it’s nothing. Straw needs to finish in the top-4 and Shapiro needs to finish in the top-6.
For the rest of the Cyclones, if they just show up and wrestle at the level they were seeded, it should be no issue earning their bids.
The Cyclones have had a bumpy season with tough losses to two top-5 opponents and some injuries to their starting line-up but regardless the cardinal and gold were still able to finish tied for the best dual record in the Big 12.
“I think it says a lot about our guys. The fact that we really battled a lot of injuries this year was a completely different year than last year. I like the fact that we were resilient,” Dresser said. “We’re going into the Big 12 tournament with a healthy lineup for the most part and a full lineup and really the best lineup that we’ve been able to put on the mat.”
The Cyclones finished in second behind Oklahoma State at the Big 12 Championships last season.
Dresser is ready to make a run for the title OSU has held for seven years.
“When we go to the Big 12 Championships we need to fight to get that major or get that tech fall. If we’re on the other end then we need to fight to not get majored or not get tech falled. We’re not going to win all of them,” Dresser said. “It’s about going out there and competing at the highest level. It’s about fighting for your team.”
To access full brackets for the Championships you can find those here.
To watch the Big 12 Champions here is a breakdown of the schedule and where to watch:
Big 12 Championship Schedule
Session I (ESPN+)
11 a.m. – Preliminary matches / quarterfinals
Session II (ESPN+)
5 p.m. – Semifinals / first and second round consolations
Session III (ESPN+)
11 a.m. – Consolation semifinals / third, fifth, seventh-place matches / true placement matches
Session IV (Fox Sports affiliates)
6 p.m. – Finals