COLUMBUS, Ohio - Coming off its fourth top-three finish at the NCAA Championships in the last 10 years and bolstered by the return of three national champions and a Olympic champion, the Ohio State wrestling team will appear on BTN four times during the 2016-17 regular season. A full BTN Plus streaming schedule will be released at a later time.
The Buckeyes' home opener against Missouri on Thursday, Dec. 8 is slated to kick off the Scarlet and Gray coverage. It will mark the first time in wrestling history that an Olympic champion (Kyle Snyder) will return to compete in a collegiate match. Missouri, a consensus top 10 team in preseason polls, also has an Olympian of its own - senior J'Den Cox, who won bronze in Rio last August. Cox competes at 197 lbs. Match time is set for 7 p.m.
As the curtain lifts on 2017, Ohio State makes its second BTN appearance on Sunday, Jan. 8 at home against Rutgers at noon. The Scarlet Knights and Buckeyes met most recently during the 2014-15 season, a 23-17 come-from-behind win for the Buckeyes in New Brunswick, N.J. Rutgers returns 141-pound Big Ten champion Anthony Ashnault.
Three weeks later, Ohio State and Iowa renew their rivalry at Carver Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City with a BTN dual that is slated to start at 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. CT). In the WIN Preseason Tournament Power Index, the Hawkeyes and Buckeyes were ranked third and fourth overall, respectively, and separated by just 4.5 points. The dual could potentially feature a match-up of the No. 1 and No. 2 ranked wrestlers at 133 lbs.
Ohio State's regular season home finale against defending Big Ten and NCAA champion Penn State on Feb. 3, which will take place at Value City Arena at the Jerome Schottenstein Center, is scheduled to air live on BTN beginning at 6 p.m. Potentially seven returning All-Americans could wrestle in the dual, including four on Ohio State's side. It would also feature a rematch of the 174 lb. NCAA final last year between Myles Martin and Bo Nickal (both wrestlers plan to move up to 184 lbs. this year).
The Buckeyes' 2016-17 lineup will include three grapplers - Martin, Snyder and Nathan Tomasello - that have won NCAA titles and another - redshirt junior Bo Jordan - that has finished third in consecutive years. Six NCAA qualifier return and two talented redshirt freshmen - Ke-Shawn Hayes and Kollin Moore - are expected to be key contributors.
A Big Ten school has claimed each of the last 10 NCAA Championships, including the 2015 Buckeye squad that had three finalists, two champions and four All-Americans. Last year at Madison Square Garden in New York, 79 wrestlers from all 14 Big Ten schools competing competed in the NCAA Championships. The Big Ten competitors included 53 seeded grapplers with five No. 1 seeds across 10 weight classes.
OHIO STATE 2015-16 BTN SCHEDULE
Thurs. Dec. 8, 2016 | Missouri at Ohio State | 7 p.m.
Sun. Jan. 8, 2017 | Rutgers at Ohio State | Noon
Fri. Jan. 27, 2017 | Ohio State at Iowa | 8 p.m. ET
Fri. Feb. 3, 2017 | Penn State at Ohio State | 6 p.m.
Fans interested in becoming a season ticket holder can contact the Ohio State Athletic Ticket Sales Department at 1-800-GOBUCKS (select option 2) or AthleticSales@osu.edu for further information. Single-match tickets will be available later in the year on www.ohiostatebuckeyes.com/tickets.