Wrestling Update 2/24/11

Submitted by AceUofMer on February 24th, 2011 at 4:42 PM

No Wrestling taking place this weekend as everyone prepares for Big Ten's next weekend. Seeding for will be announced at the beginning of the week and I'll have a tournament preview after that. I have been working on possible seeding results, but might as well just wait on the official word and see how the brackets will look after that.

The NCAA did recently announce the NCAA tournament qualifier allocations for each conference. These guarantee the X number of top placers at each weight make it into NCAA's. Every conference gets at least 1, going to the champion. The Big Ten has received 64 spots this year. The second leading conference is Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association with 45. Big 12 3rdwith 33. Pac-10 26. ACC 21.

Each Weight contains 33 spots. After the automatic qualifiers are decided, The remaining at-large spots will be given out. Automatic bids are anywhere from 27-29 spots depending on weight. Leaving about 4-6 at-large bids left after conference meets.

Here is how the Big Ten allocations look and where Michigan's wrestler rank there:

  • 125 – 5 spots. One of the Big Ten's lowest numbers for qualifiers with 2-3 serious contenders. UM's Boyle comes in around 5thhere. Can't have any setbacks in the tournament.

  • 133- 8 spots. Loaded weight for the B10. About 4 serious contenders. UM's Stevens ranks about 7thwith a strong possibility of placing higher.

  • 141 – 6 spots. Top heavy weight for the B10. Top 4 guys in the conference rank in the top 4 in the nation. Number 5 ranks 7thnationally. After that is a big drop off. UM's Russell ranks #1 and has beat all the top contenders already.

  • 149 – 8 spots. One of the more open weights with a clear, but, not overly impressive favorite. Will be a competitive weight. Michigan's Grajales ranks anywhere from 4th-8th. Probably a good thing there is a lot of spots here as he can be very inconsistent.

  • 157 – 6 spots. 2 serious contenders and a grab bag after that. UM's Zeerip is going to come in around the cutoff here. A good tournament and he can crack the top 4.

  • 165 – 5 spots. Probably the weakest weight for the B10. I originally had UM's Yates ranked about 5th. However, Wisconsin's Andrew Howe is rumored to make it back from injury in time for this meet. If he is close to being healthy enough, he's the clear favorite as the returning national champ, making a lot tougher task for Yates to get in. I think if he misses out here, he'd be looking good for an at-large given the questions surrounding Howe leaving 6 at-large spots here.

  • 174 – 8 spots. Pretty competitive weight here. A clear favorite, then things get closer. UM's Zeerip shouldn't have a problem making the 8. A good tournament should get him into the top 4.

  • 184 – 6 spots. Top contenders will make this a competitive weight, but, after that it gets a little weaker. The low spots here is bad news for UM's Collins. I don't have in the top 8 here.

  • 197 – 6 spots. 6 B10 wrestlers ranked in the top 11 here with UM's Biondo being the 6th. So he can't afford any setbacks. After the top 6 though, things drop off quite a bit.

  • Hwt – 6 spots. Always a weird weight. The favorite is prone to get upset. UM's Apland can beat anyone here, but probably ranks around 6th. Unless he tanks, he should manage a spot.

Michigan has a good chance at getting 9 of their 10 weights into NCAA's. That's good for them as their strength is in numbers to have a good showing at the national level. As far as Big Ten's, I'll have more in the preview, but, they will be fighting for that 4th spot at best. Should be a good tournament between PSU and Iowa with Minnesota just on the outside of them. Wisconsin could make a good run with the return of Howe, giving them a legit shot at 4 B10 Champions.(133,165,184,197). Michigan is hurt by only having 1 real shot at a B10 title. Those placement points are vital.