2021 Big Ten Wrestling Tournament: Finals Open Thread

By RossWB on March 7, 2021 at 2:52 pm
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@BigTenNetwork (Twitter)

WHAT: 2021 Big Ten Wrestling Tournament -- Finals
WHEN: 3:00 PM Central
WHERE: Bryce Jordan Center (State College, PA)
ONLINE: FoxSports.com (mirror of BTN), BTN+ (individual mats -- consolation matches only)
RADIO: 800 AM KXIC, iHeart.com, iHeart Radio app 

Time for the Big Ten Tournament finals. Iowa has six wrestlers going for Big Ten championships. 

125 #1 Spencer Lee vs #7 Devin Schroeder (Purdue)
133 #2 Austin DeSanto vs #1 Roman Bravo-Young (Penn State)
141 #1 Jaydin Eierman vs #2 Nick Lee (Penn State)
157 #2 Kaleb Young vs #1 Ryan Deakin (Northwestern)
165 #1 Alex Marinelli vs #3 Ethan Smith (Ohio State)
174 #1 Michael Kemerer vs #3 Carter Starocci (Penn State)

Alex Marinelli is a two-time Big Ten champion and Spencer Lee is a one-time Big Ten champion; none of Iowa's other four wrestlers have won a Big Ten championship before, though Eierman was a three-time MAC champion in his time at Missouri. Lee faced Schroeder in last year's Big Ten final and beat him via technical fall. DeSanto and Bravo-Young have split their previous four matches. Young actually owns a 2-1 lifetime record against Deakin and beat him in both of their last two matches, back at the 2019 NCAA Tournament. Marinelli beat Smith in their only previous meeting. Eierman and Kemerer have never faced Lee and Starocci, respectively. 

In terms of favorites, Spencer is a big favorite at 125. Marinelli should be a moderate favorite at 165. DeSanto is an underdog at 133 and despite his winning career mark against Deakin, I would definitely make Young the underdog in their match today. The Deakin of today looks much better than the Deakin Young narrowly beat twice two years ago. Eierman and Kemerer might be slight favorites at their weights, but both are facing very talented opponents. 

Iowa also has three wrestlers going for 3rd place: 

184 #9 Nelson Brands vs #5 John Poznanski (Rutgers)
197 #3 Jacob Warner vs #4 Cam Caffey (Michigan State)
285 #3 Tony Cassioppi vs #7 Greg Kerkvliet (Penn State)

There's no past history among the competitors in any of those matches. 

Team score: 

1 Iowa 139.0
2 Penn State 116.0
3 Nebraska 102.5
4 Michigan 86.0
5 Michigan State 72.5

As you can see, Iowa enters the final session in very good shape to claim a second-straight Big Ten championship. It's not officially theirs, but a different outcome would require a lot of wins (and bonus points) from Penn State and a lot of losses from Iowa. 

I'll try to post updates in the comments below, but join us in our Discord channel (or click here) to talk about the action live!

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