Big Ten wrestlers vie for 74 NCAA tournament berths

Big Ten receives 10 more berths than a year ago; 74 is more than any other conference

The NCAA has announced the Big Ten Conference will receive 74 automatic berths to the NCAA Wrestling Championships at Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo., Mar. 15-17. The University of Iowa will compete in the Big Ten Championships hosted by Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., Mar. 3-4, which serves as a national qualifying tournament.

The automatic berths by weight are:

125 - 6

133 - 7

141 - 5

149 - 9

157 - 6

165 - 8

174 - 9

184 - 7

197 - 7

Hwt. - 10

The number of qualifiers is more than any other conference and 10 more than 2011. The NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee will select 40 remaining at-large bids, rounding out the 33-man brackets for each weight.

Here is the news release from the UI SID:


IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The NCAA has announced the qualifier allocations for the 2012 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. The Big Ten is receiving 74 automatic qualifiers for the March 15-17 NCAA Championships in St. Louis, more than any other conference and 10 more than it received a year ago.

The Big Ten will receive at least five automatic qualifiers at every weight, including a conference-high 10 qualifiers at 285 pounds and a conference-low five qualifiers at 141 pounds. The top nine wrestlers at 149 and 174 earn automatic bids, as do the top eight wrestlers at 165. The top seven wresters at 133, 184 and 197 earn a berth, and the top six wrestlers at 125 and 157 automatically qualify.

The Big Ten Championships on March 3-4 in West Lafayette, Ind., is one of 10 qualifying tournaments across the country. After all of the qualifying events have concluded, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee will meet in-person to select the remaining 40 at-large qualifiers. All weight classes will consist of 33 wrestlers.

The NCAA also released its 2012 RPI rankings. The Hawkeyes have six wrestlers ranked in the top 10, including top-ranked Tony Ramos (133). Matt McDonough (125) and Ethen Lofthouse (174) were each ranked second at their respective weights. Montell Marion was ranked No. 5 at 141, and Mike Evans (165) and Bobby Telford (285) were each ranked tenth.

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