March 4, 2014
BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS (Tournament Central)
Sat-Sun., March 8-9 -- at Big Ten Championships (Madison, Wis.), 10 a.m. CST/11 a.m. CST
The No. 7-ranked University of Michigan wrestling team (11-4, 6-2 Big Ten) will kick off the postseason this weekend, traveling to Madison, Wis., to participate in the 2014 Big Ten Championships, to be hosted by the University of Wisconsin on Saturday and Sunday (March 8-9) at the Kohl Center.
The Big Ten Championships will take place in three sessions over the course of two days. Wrestling will begin on Saturday (March 8) with the first session slated to start at 10 a.m. CST with the first and quarterfinal rounds of all weights. Consolation action and semifinal matches will take place Saturday evening at 5 p.m. The Sunday (March 9) session will feature consolation finals at 11 a.m. and championship finals slated for approximately 1 p.m. The finals will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network, while rounds I-III will be streamed live via the MGoBlue.com All-Access Player and on BTDN.
U-M has won 11 Big Ten team championships (1929, '38, '44, '53, '55, '56, '60, '63, '64, '65, '73) and has produced the second-most individual champions (124) in the conference (Iowa is first with 190). Michigan has finished in the top five in 10 of the past 15 seasons but has not finished higher than third place since the 2008-09 season.
Michigan's Projected Lineup
|Wgt.||Name||Year/Elig.||Hometown (High School)|
|125||Conor Youtsey||So./Fr.||Parma, Mich. (Mason)|
|133||Rossi Bruno||So./So.||Brandon, Fla. (Brandon)|
|141||Steve Dutton||Sr./Jr.||Miller Place, N.Y. (Rocky Point)|
|149||Eric Grajales||5th/Sr.||Brandon, Fla. (Brandon)|
|157||Brian Murphy||Fr./Fr.||Carol Stream, Ill. (Glenbard North)|
|165||Dan Yates||5th/Sr.||Hesperia, Mich. (Hesperia)|
|174||Collin Zeerip||Sr./Jr.||Fremont, Mich. (Hesperia)|
|184||Domenic Abounader||Fr./Fr.||Gates Mills, Ohio (St. Edward HS)|
|197||Chris Heald||Sr./Jr.||West Bloomfield, Mich. (West Bloomfield)|
|Hwt||Adam Coon||Fr./Fr.||Fowlerville, Mich. (Fowlerville)|
Michigan is in search of its 12th Big Ten Championships title in school history, and first since 1973, when the Wolverines sent two individuals to the winner's podium and earned 76 points to beat runner-up Iowa by seven points. U-M owns the fourth-most conference team titles in Big Ten history with 11.
With 124 conference individual titles in program history (coming from 82 different wrestlers), the Wolverines boast the second most of any Big Ten school behind Iowa with 190. U-M has claimed at least one champion in eight of the last 10 seasons and has boasted three individual champions in two of the last six seasons.
For the second straight year, half of Michigan's lineup will make its Big Ten Championships debut -- Conor Youtsey (125 pounds), Steve Dutton (141), Brian Murphy (157), Dominic Abounader (184) and Adam Coon (Heavyweight).
The University of Wisconsin will serve as the host of the Big Ten Championships for the sixth time in conference history and first time since 2003. In the first championships held at Madison in 1964, Michigan captured the team title behind two individual champions. But since then, the Wolverines have never finished higher than fourth, most recently taking sixth at the 2003 meet with a score of 90.5 points.
The Wolverines earned nine top-eight seeds for the Big Ten Championships, including four top-four seeds in No. 1 Adam Coon (Hwt) and No. 4s in Conor Youtsey (125), Steve Dutton (141) and Dan Yates (165).
Freshman Adam Coon has won each of five matches since suffering his first and only collegiate loss. He enters the postseason with a 28-season record. He is 10-1 against nationally ranked wrestlers this season, including a 7-1 mark against heavyweights currently ranked among the nation's top 10.
Coon sealed three Michigan dual wins against top-10 opponents this season in the final match -- against No. 2 Minnesota, at No. 7 Nebraska and at No. 6 Pittsburgh.
Coon is a perfect 6-0 in overtime matches this season. On the other side, he boasts 10 bonus wins with six pins and four major decisions.
Coon suffered the first -- and only -- loss of his collegiate career with a 5-1 decision against Michigan State's No. 9-ranked Mike McClure (Jan. 24). Coon's 23-match win streak represents the best start for a Wolverine true freshman in program history, topping Kellen Russell's 18-0 start in 2007-08.
Senior/junior Steve Dutton is 6-2 this season at 141 pounds after making his Michigan debut early in the Big Ten dual season. Dutton started his season with three straight major decisions before falling to Ohio State's No. 3 Logan Stieber and Penn State's No. 2 Zain Retherford. He bounced back with three straight wins, including decisions over Iowa's ninth-ranked Josh Dziewa (3-2, Feb. 9) and Pittsburgh's No. 17 Edgar Bright (6-1, Feb. 15).
Sophomore/freshman Conor Youtsey has defeated ranked wrestlers in three of his last five matches, earning a 2-1 TB decision over Ohio State's No. 15 Nick Roberts (Jan. 31), knocking off Nebraska's ninth-ranked Tim Lambert, 2-0 (Feb. 7), and defeating Pittsburgh's No. 19 Anthony Zanetta, 5-3 SV (Feb. 15).
Sophomore Rossi Bruno (133), fifth-year senior Eric Grajales (149) and freshman Adam Coon (Hwt) all placed at both Wolverine major tournament appearances this season -- Midlands and the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. Coon captured the heavyweight title at both.
The Wolverines, who entered the second semester with the No. 19 national ranking, faced teams ranked in the nation's top 15 in seven of their last eight duals, posting a 6-2 mark in those contests. Among the victories, U-M defeated three top-10 opponents -- No. 2 Minnesota (19-14, Jan. 19), No. 7 Nebraska (17-16, Feb. 7) and No. 6 Pittsburgh (18-13, Feb. 15).
Michigan's 6-2 Big Ten dual record is its best since the 2005-06 season when it went 8-0 en route to its third straight conference dual title.
Fifth-year senior Dan Yates enters his final collegiate postseason with a 110-44 career record and owns a share of the 24th spot among U-M's all-time career wins leaders. He needs six more wins to reach the 23rd position, currently held by two-time All-American A.J. Grant (116-58, 2000-03).
Five Wolverines appeared in every dual and tournament appearance this season -- sophomore/freshman Conor Youtsey (125), sophomore Rossi Bruno (133), fifth-year senior Eric Grajales (149), senior/junior Chris Heald (197) and freshman Adam Coon (Hwt).
Michigan has had six different wrestlers make their varsity debuts this season. All six -- freshmen Adam Coon, Brian Murphy and Domenic Abounader, sophomore/freshmen Conor Youtsey and Angelo Latora and junior/sophomore Ben Ralston -- claimed their first varsity win in first-semester action.
U-M Individual Rankings
LAST TIME OUT
The Wolverines closed the dual-meet portion of their 2013-14 schedule with a 18-13 win at No. 6-ranked Pittsburgh on Feb. 15. Michigan jumped out a significant early lead with five straight wins, before freshman heavyweight Adam Coon sealed the victory with a 9-6 decision in the final match. Sophomore/freshman Conor Youtsey (125), sophomore Rossi Bruno (133) and senior/junior Steve Dutton (141) claimed decision wins against ranked opposition at the opening three weights. [ Full Recap ]
Thu-Sat., March 20-22 -- at NCAA Championships (Oklahoma City, Okla.)