Big Ten Wrestling Tournament Pre-Seeds Announced

By Rob Dougherty on March 3, 2021 at 9:16 am
Penn State will look to regain the Big Ten title.
Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten released their pre-seeds for the Big Ten Tournament scheduled to take place this weekend at the Bryce Jordan Center. Cael Sanderson announced on Tuesday that his lineup will include Greg Kerkvliet at heavyweight and Beau Bartlett at 149 pounds. The Nittany Lions will be looking to challenge the Iowa Hawkeyes, who are the obvious frontrunner to lifting a Big Ten team title. 

Weight Seed and Wrestler
125 No. 11 Robert Howard
133 No. 1 Roman Bravo-Young
141 No. 2 Nick Lee
149 No. 11 Beau Bartlett
157 No. 5 Brady Berge
165 No. 6 Joe Lee
174 No. 3 Carter Starocci
184 No. 1 Aaron Brooks
197 No. 7 Michael Beard
285 No. 7 Greg Kerkvliet

Overall, I think the seeds the Penn State wrestlers are relatively fair and balanced based on their results this season. The most controversial are probably all freshmen with No. 11 Robert Howard, No. 11 Beau Bartlett and No. 7 Greg Kerkvliet. However, they all did not start the season in the Penn State lineup, and seeding committees tend to punish wrestlers with limited action and without marquee wins. I anticipate all of them to finish on the podium and wrestle well ahead of their pre-seed.

One of the most anticipated matches of the Big Ten Tournament is going to happen in the quarterfinals at heavyweight when No. 7 Greg Kerkvliet should take on No. 2 Mason Parris (Michigan). Kerkvliet was seeded seventh due to only beating the No. 14 seed Garrett Kappes (Maryland) in conference. Parris is a former junior world champion and finished second at Big Tens last year to No. 1 Gable Steveson (Minnesota). This match has the possibility to have real fireworks and expect it to be a tight one late. It's the kind of match that could make or break Penn State's chances at causing an upset in the team title race. 

The 141-pound field is going to be very interesting as well. There's a lot of high end talent at this weight with No. 1 Jaydin Eierman (Iowa), No. 2 Nick Lee (Penn State), and No. 3 Sebastian Rivera (Rutgers). For Lee to get to the Big Ten final, he's going to have to defeat the 2020 133-pound Big Ten champion. These three are all on an elite level and any combination of them in the finals will be must see. 

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