It was expected all year that the Big Ten title would come down to the top three teams: Iowa, Minnesota, and Ohio State. Minnesota is more poised for big points in the NCAA's so they as expected took 3rd while Iowa & Ohio State ended up in a tie for the crown. Who would sit on top of the next tier was interesting to keep your eye on. Penn State, Illinois, Nebraska, Northwestern, and Wisconsin all seemed to have the individuals to do it, but it was Michigan (ranked behind the above teams listed) who was sitting in 4th when the dust settled. It is worth noting they were closer to Minnesota than they were to 5th place Penn State.
In a year where the Wolverines rarely put out the same lineup in consecutive weekends, Michigan put together for the Big Ten Championships the solid top to bottom lineup few knew they had. They have qualified automatically nine of the ten weights while they are expected to get Fisher an at-large big to make it a complete lineup headed to St Louis.
A pair of sophomores led they way. Domenic Abounader took home the Big Ten title at 184 and now has won 13 of his last 14 matches after a late start to the year due to injury. Adam Coon was unable to hold on to a lead with less than a minute remaining to eventual champ McMullan (Northwestern) in the semi-final before avenging a earlier season loss for 3rd over the #1 seed Medbery (Wisconsin). The tournament showing should give Coon a top five seed at the NCAA tournament.
The Wolverines head in to the NCAA's with six wrestlers ranked in the top ten in Intermat's rankings poised for a strong championship run. This, along with the Big Ten Conference performance, is very impressive for a team that features just one senior and one junior (especially considering the loss of All-American Dutton). The young team is delivering ahead of schedule and things look bright for the Wrestling Wolverines.