Just waking up to seeing March is here has me with a little more pep in my step (there I go talking gangsta again). Here are some story lines going into my favorite weekend of the year. Yes, I said favorite. If you buy me a beer, I'll gladly give you my reasons for thinking that way.
Only one repeat Big Ten Champ?
- It's very possible that we have only one repeat Big Ten Champion defending his 2017 title. It's odd to think especially in a year where we could get two guys (Tomasello & Martinez) winning their 4th titles (only 14 have done it and only four have done it in the last twenty years). With Gilman gone, Tomasello back to 125, Ashnault gone, Nolf hurt, 165 a complete bear trap, Bo Jordan needing to avenge two losses, Brooks gone, and Moore & Snyder facing previously thought unexpected challenges, it's very possible Zain Retherford is the only 2018 champ that won the same weight class in 2017.
If the Gods are Truly Crazy, Team Race Magic Again for Snyder
- Captain America Kyle Snyder not only had to beat the "unbeatable" Sadulaev (Russia) for the 2017 97 kg World Championship it was also the match to decide the team title. Snyder did it in one of the better sports moments one can witness. Even superheros have challenges and now for Snyder it's to avenge the loss to the mountain Adam Coon (Michigan) if he is to win his third NCAA heavyweight title. What if the Big Ten (or NCAA) team title came down to this match?
NCAA Finals Order Decided
- Speaking of Snyder & Coon, the NCAA Finals are ending at 285 right? In the last few years, the NCAA has done a great job deciding the finals order to end with the most marquee match. This year we're probable starting at 125 like the ole' days. Win or lose this weekend, if Snyder & Coon only lose to each other there isn't a better way to finish the NCAA Finals. Olympic Gold medalist in his last college match facing a gigantic challenge to go out on top and Michigan vs Ohio State doesn't hurt.
Conference Tournaments Team Titles in Question
- The Big Ten tournament without Nolf means Ohio State is the favorite. Penn State still has plenty of firepower and Michigan & Iowa could score more points than expected by most. Lehigh is looking to end Cornell's run of EIWA dominance. Rider is favored to end Edinboro's run of EWL dominance. NC State is slightly favored to take back the ACC title from Virginia Tech. The SOCON is a toss-up between several teams. It seems like a high amount of team titles with that much debate.
Party Bus, T-Shirts, Adult Beverages and More
- When we knew the 2018 Big Ten Championships were going to be at Michigan State, less than an hour drive from my house, I knew we needed to do something. The growth of Bloodround always amazes me, and we already have a Grand Rapids based crew that travels to Big Ten tournaments. So we have a 12-passenger commercial van, a designated driver, t-shirts to sell, and plenty of refreshments. If you see us, please say hello. We love talking Wrestling with people from everywhere. I don't know exactly where we will be between sessions, but sometimes I remember to tweet it out.
Speaking of Twitter
- I try to do a good job tweeting Wrestling content, thoughts, jokes and more in an effort to help grow the sport of Wrestling. I take a much more professional approach for the NCAA Finals, World Team Trials, World Championships and the other marquee events in the Wrestling calendar. For the Big Tens though, I'm much more fan oriented for the weekend so don't expect too many great updates.
Have fun, enjoy, and hope to see you out there!