Big Ten Wrestling Championships Start Saturday

    Go Hoosiers! Returning All-American Matt Powless
    Go Hoosiers!
    Returning All-American Matt Powless
    Go Hoosiers!

    March 1, 2012

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Postseason action for Hoosier Wrestling begins on March 3 at the Big Ten Championships, hosted by Purdue University inside Mackey Arena. The conference tournament will qualify 74 wrestlers for the NCAA Championships, the most of any league in the country. The next closest conference, the EIWA, earned just 46 automatic bids to the NCAAs.

    Complete Brackets Get Acrobat Reader

    INDIANA'S LINE-UP; National Rankings (Intermat/RPI/Coaches Panel)
    125 lbs - Zach Zimmer, r-Fr. (12-14)
    133 lbs - Joe Duca, r-Fr. (10-18)
    141 lbs - No. 7 seed Matt Ortega, r-Sr. (23-14)
    149 lbs - No. 6 seed Taylor Walsh, r-Fr. (24-8); 18/14/19
    157 lbs - Sawyer Morris, r-Fr. (5-16)
    165 lbs - Preston Keiffer, r-Fr. (8-10)
    174 lbs - Ryan LeBlanc, r-So. (26-11); -/32/28
    184 lbs - Luke Sheridan, Fr. (16-13); -/29/-
    197 lbs - No. 2 seed Matt Powless, r-Sr. (30-3); 3/5/3
    285 lbs - No. 7 seed Adam Chalfant, r-So. (21-9); -/30/21

    All-Session Tickets - Reserved Seating, $40
    All-Session Tickets - Adult General Admission, $36
    All-Session Tickets - Youth General Admission, $24
    Sessions 1 & 2 - Reserved Seating, $18
    Sessions 1 & 2 - Adult General Admission, $15
    Sessions 1 & 2 - Youth General Admission, $12
    Session 3 - Reserved Seating, $22
    Session 3 - Adult General Admission, $18
    Session 3 - Youth General Admission, $15

    The Big Ten Network will offer its most extensive Big Ten Wrestling Championships coverage ever, with all four sessions Saturday and Sunday, March 3 and 4, at Purdue University receiving either live television or online coverage.

    As part of the Big Ten Digital Network's subscription package and for the first time, BTN will provide live, whip-around Student U streaming coverage of the Big Ten wrestling preliminaries, beginning at 10 AM ET Saturday. Streaming coverage of select matches in sessions two and three will continue at 5 PM ET Saturday and at 1 PM ET Sunday, respectively.

    On Sunday, session four of the Big Ten Wrestling Championships will be carried live at 3 PM ET on BTN. The network's Tim Johnson, Jim Gibbons and Shane Sparks will call the action from Mackey Arena.

    Saturday, March 3:
    Big Ten Championships: Session 1, 10:00 a.m. - Student U/BTN Digital
    Big Ten Championships: Session 2, 5:00 p.m. - Student U/BTN Digital

    Sunday, March 4:
    Big Ten Championships: Session 3, 1 p.m. - Student U/BTN Digital
    Big Ten Championship Finals: Session 4, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. - BTN

    Complete Match Notes Get Acrobat Reader

    Five Hoosiers can be found in the top-33 (number of wrestlers qualifying for the NCAAs in each weight class) of the final RPI and NCAA Coaches Panel Rankings of the regular season. Here is where they stacked up:

    197 lbs - #5 Matt Powless
    149 lbs - #14 Taylor Walsh
    184 lbs - #29 Luke Sheridan
    285 lbs - #30 Adam Chalfant
    174 lbs - #32 Ryan LeBlanc

    197 lbs - #3 Matt Powless
    149 lbs - #19 Taylor Walsh
    285 lbs - #21 Adam Chalfant
    174 lbs - #28 Ryan LeBlanc

    197 lbs - #3 Matt Powless
    149 lbs - #18 Taylor Walsh

    Matt Powless has not lost a match since Jan. 2 at the Southern Scuffle, rattling off 10 straight since his last defeat. Eight of those 10 W's have come with bonus points as well, including four pins. It marked his 30th win of the season, making it three consecutive 30-plus-wins years for Powless.

    Matt Powless closed out the regular seaosn with the 119th win of his career, giving him a share of sixth-place in the school's all-time rankings for career wins. He pulled even with current volunteer coach Brandon Becker, who also gathered 119 W's during his four years donning the Cream and Crimson (2005-08). Next on the list is Coyte Cooper (2000-04) in fifth place with 123 triumphs. Assistant coaches Pat DeGain (115) and Joe Dubuque (114) are also in the school's top-10.

    Matt Ortega and Taylor Walsh are within striking distance of the record books as well. Ortega's 26 career pins place him five away from cracking the top-10 while 11 falls for Walsh are two shy of the single-season top-10.

    Duane Goldman, the all-time winningest coach in school history, tallied the 250th victory of his coaching career early this season when his Hoosiers topped South Dakota State, 31-13, on Feb. 3. Goldman's career duals record is now 254-135-5 (.654).

    A year after leading the Big Ten (and all of Division-I wrestling) with 13 major decisions in 2010-11, senior Matt Powless is amongst the conference leaders once again this season. He is joined by Ryan LeBlanc and Taylor Walsh in the top-10 of a conference statistical ranking:

    Matt Powless - 30 wins (3rd); 9 MDs (t-7th)
    Taylor Walsh - 11 pins (t-5th)
    Ryan LeBlanc - 26 wins (t-9th)




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