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COLUMBUS, Ohio - It's officially championship season. Ohio State will defend its 2015 conference championship this weekend when it ventures to Carver Hawkeye Arena for the 2016 Big Ten Championships Saturday-Sunday, March 5-6.
2016 Big Ten Championships Schedule of Events
Saturday, March 5
Session 1: 11 a.m. ET/10 a.m. CT
Session 2: 7 p.m. ET/6 p.m. CT
Sunday, March 6
Session 3: 1 p.m. ET/Noon CT
Session 4: 4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT
BTN will provide extensive coverage of the 2016 Big Ten Championships. The opening sessions will be steamed live on BTN Plus via BTN2Go while the finals will be carried live starting at 4 p.m. Updates will also be available through the team's official Twitter account, @wrestlingbucks. Live scoring will also be available all weekend on TrackWrestling.
The Big Ten announced its preliminary seeds on Monday. Nine Buckeyes are ranked in their respective wright classes, including four in the top three. Nathan Tomasello (125) and Micah Jordan (141) are No. 1 seeds while Kyle Snyder is No. 2 at 285 and No Jordan is No. 3 at 165.
The pre-seeds, as voted on by the conference's coaches, rank the top eight wrestlers in eight weight classes, along with all 14 starters in two weight classes due to the Big Ten receiving nine or more NCAA Championships qualifier allocations in those classes.
125: #1 Nathan Tomasello | 18-0 overall, 8-0 vs. the field
133: #7 Johnni DiJulius | 14-5, 5-4 vs. the field
141: #1 Micah Jordan | 20-1, 6-0 vs. the field
149: NR Cody Burcher | 10-7, 0-2 vs. the field
157: #4 Jake Ryan | 15-2, 3-2 vs. the field
165: #2 Bo Jordan | 14-1, 6-1 vs. the field
174: #4 Myles Martin | 24-5, 5-2 vs. the field
184: #6 Kenny Courts | 15-7, 5-4 vs. the field
197: #6 Mark Martin | 16-5, 3-1 vs. the field
285: #2 Kyle Snyder | 3-0, 2-0 vs. the field
BUCKEYES IN A NUTSHELL
• Ohio State finished off its dual schedule on Monday, Feb. 22 with a convincing 26-13 triumph over Edinboro. The Buckeyes won six of 10 matches, highlighted by a pins from Nathan Tomasello and Bo Jordan and major decisions from Micah Jordan and Myles Martin.
• The Buckeyes' lineup features one wrestler - top-ranked Nathan Tomasello at 125 lbs. - that is still unbeaten (18-0). Two others - Micah Jordan (141 lbs.) and Bo Jordan (165 lbs.) have just one loss while redshirt freshman Jake Ryan has only two losses. In all, eight of Ohio State's 10 starters are ranked in this week's InterMat polls.
• The combination of Tomasello, M. Jordan, B. Jordan and Snyder have combined to go 16-2 this year vs. ranked opponents (Tomasello 8-0; M. Jordan 4-1, B. Jordan 3-1, Snyder 1-0).
• Ohio State has outscored its opponents 340-208 this season and has put 30 points on the board on three occasions -- Nov. 13 vs. Virginia, Jan. 24 vs. Michigan State and Feb. 12 vs. Wisconsin
• The crowd of 5,650 on Feb. 12 vs. Wisconsin was a season high and the fourth highest total in program history. Three of the four highest attended duals have occurred in the last two seasons - Jan. 4, 2015 vs. Iowa, Jan. 11, 2015 vs. Penn State and Feb. 12, 2016 vs. Wisconsin. For the season, Ohio State is averaged 3,315 fans/match.
• With 11 wins this year, the Buckeyes have recorded double-digit wins for the fifth consecutive year and the seventh time in eight seasons.
BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIPS HISTORY
Ohio State won its third-ever Big Ten title last season and first in 64 years. The Buckeyes had four finalists and two champions. A look at their finishes over the last five years:
2015: 1st | Two champions, four finalists
2014: 4th | Two champions, two finalists
2013: 4th | Two champions, two finalists
2012: 5th | One champion, one finalist
2011: 8th | Zero champions, two finalists
In its 95-year history, 28 different student-athletes have won a total of 41 Big Ten titles. In the Tom Ryan-era, six different individuals have claimed nine championships.
TOMASELLO GOES FOR TITLE #2
The defending Big Ten and NCAA champion at 125 pounds, Tomasello brings a 36-match winning streak with him to this year's championships. It is the longest streak nationally amongst 125 pounders and the fourth longest across all weight classes. During that time, Tomasello has beaten 18 ranked wrestlers and won 24 matches by bonus points.
A title by Tomasello this weekend would put him in the elite company of two-time conference champions in school history, joining Perry Martter (1921-22), Dan Whitacre (1926-27), George Bollas (1945-46), Bryce Keough (1949, 1951), Mitch Clark (1997-98) and Tommy Rowlands (2002, 2004).
The Big Ten Championships is one of eight qualifying tournaments across the country. The NCAA has awarded the conference 71 of the 284 automatic qualifying bids for the national championship in New York City on March 17-19. The Big Ten was allotted more bids than any other conference. Nine Big Ten wrestlers receive automatic bids at 133 and 174 pounds; seven get bids at 125, 141, 157, 184, and 285; and the top six get bids at 149, 165, and 197.
IN THE COACHES' EYE
Six Ohio State wrestlers are ranked in the top 15 of their respective weight class in the NCAA Division I Coaches' Rankings released Feb. 25 by the NCAA. Tomasello is ranked first at 125, B. Jordan is third at 165, M. Jordan is fourth at 141, DiJulius is 11th at 133, Ryan is 12th at 157, and Myles Martin is 14th at 174. The coaches' rankings are among the criteria used by the NCAA when selecting at-large participants for the 2016 NCAA Wrestling Championships. The coaches rank the top 33 wresters in each weight class, Courts and Mark Martin also made the list. Courts is ranked 17th at 184. Martin is 28th at 197.
• In 385 total matches, Ohio State wrestlers are scoring first nearly 66 percent of the time and have outscored their opponents 1,210-663 in the first period.
• The Buckeyes have over twice as many takedowns as their opponents (751 for, 353 against).
• Ohio State wrestlers have combined to outscore their opponents 2,623-1,768 in 385 matches with a .631 winning percentage. The Buckeyes are averaging 6.8 points per match.
• Of 244 total matches won, 38 have come via fall, 34 by tech fall with 48 major decisions.