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Pre-tournament seeds were released Tuesday for the Big Ten Championships this weekend.
Top-ranked Iowa leads the conference with four No. 1 selections for the tournament hosted by Penn State in University Park, Pa. Nine Hawkeyes are pre-seeded in the top three of their respective weights. Action begins Saturday with the finals set for Sunday at 3 p.m. (CT).
Spencer Lee (125), Jaydin Eierman at 141, Alex Marinelli (165) and 174-pounder Michael Kemerer are No. 1 seeds. Lee is looking for his second straight conference title, while Marinelli is looking to become the first Hawkeye to win three straight Big Ten crowns since T.J. Williams from 1999-2001 and the program's 19th three-time titlist. Eierman won three Mid-American Conference titles before coming to Iowa. Kemerer is a two-time conference finalist, trying to claim his first gold.
The Hawkeyes have had a challenging season and will compete for the first time in about a month. They have been focused throughout a pause and canceled duals.
'We've been talking about getting through anything, no matter what the circumstances, since I was a freshman,' Lee said. 'The coaches talk to us. It doesn't matter what's going on, what's going on in the world. You can only control what you can control. You just have to go out there and control what you can control, which is your mindset, how hard you train, how ready you get, going to bed early, your diet, so we're ready to go. It doesn't matter what's coming after us, we're going to do our best to win titles.'
Austin DeSanto (133), 149-pounder Max Murin and Kaleb Young at 157 are all seeded second. The Hawkeyes have No. 3 seeds in Jacob Warner (197) and heavyweight Tony Cassioppi. Nelson Brands is the ninth seed at 184.
Iowa is looking to capture its 37th Big Ten tournament team title and its second straight. The Hawkeyes went 5-0 in duals, sharing the regular-season conference championship with Penn State.
The Big Ten received 76 automatic berths to the NCAA Championships March 18-20 at Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Mo. Seven bids were awarded at 125, 133, 141, 157, 165, 174 and 184, six apiece at 149 and heavyweight and five at 197.
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