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Ten Interesting Facts from the NCAA tournament

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or 14 Facts and it’s the NCAA wrestling tournament

NCAA Wrestling: NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships
Who needs an ACL? Not this guy!
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Ten (14) interesting things about the NCAA (wrestling) tournament

  1. The number of freshmen in the Penn State Nittany Lions stupendous, fabulous, awesome, incredible, ballyhooed freshman class that placed better than freshman Chris Cannon of the Northwestern Wildcats.
  2. The number of offensive points scored by Carter Starocci in his semi and final matches as he did his best Oklahoma State Cowboy impersonation on his way to the title.
  3. Third place finish by Yayha Thomas as a 25 seed. Great tournament by the Wildcat.
  4. Penn State went 4-0 and took home four individual titles, but finished second to Iowa who only had one national winner individually. The final session was another very successful one for Cael and his crew.
  5. The potential number of titles that Carter Starocci can achieve by backing around the mat with the extra year of eligibility.
  6. Number of wins to secure fifth place by Illinois’ Dylan Duncan. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I hate that the semifinals and blood round matches go on concurrently. I love the blood round more than anything. I’m not going to lie. A senior who has worked his way up the chain year after year and finally breaks through to achieve All American in his last chance gets me right in the feels.
  7. Spencer Lee (Iowa) and the Minnesota Gophers Gable Steveson combined for 7 bonus point victories as they cruised to undefeated seasons and individual championships.
  8. Out of 10 weights, 8 finals involved at least one Big Ten wrestler. The Big Ten ended up with seven national champs as Sammy Sasso of Ohio State Buckeyes was the only finalist who lost to someone outside of the conference.
  9. The Purdue Boilermakers had nine national qualifiers. Despite a great first session for PU, the rest of the tournament wasn’t very kind and they failed to land an All American.
  10. Number of years between titles that there would’ve been for the Iowa Hawkeyes had there been a tournament last year.
  11. Number of years between national titles for Iowa Hawkeyes.
  12. Twelve Big Ten teams finished in the top 30. (1) Iowa; (2) Penn State; (5) Michigan Wolverines; (7) Minnesota; (9) Ohio State; (10) Northwestern; (12) Nebraska Cornhuskers; (13) Rutgers; (18) Illinois; (23) Wisconsin Badgers; (26) Purdue; (30) Michigan State Spartans presented by Rocket Mortgage
  13. Team points scored by Lucas Byrd of the Illinois Fighting Illini. He was upset (10 over 7) in sudden victory in his second match and came back and beat five additional opponents including a win over the 5, 8, and 9 seeds. In addition to the fifth place points, Byrd got one major decision and pinfall in his final match to get to 13.
  14. The number of teams of the 60 that entered that finished below the Indiana Hoosiers including powerhouses like Little Rock and Clarion. Hey, at least your wrestling team competed in the NCAA tournament, which is more than your basketball team and the Maryland Terrapins can say.