Iowa Aims for No. 24 in Des Moines
March 17, 2013
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ON THE MAT
The University of Iowa wrestling team competes at the 2013 NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, beginning March 21. The three-day event, hosted inside Wells Fargo Arena, begins Thursday at 11 a.m. Session II starts at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Session III and IV begin Friday at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., respectively. Session V begins Saturday at 10 a.m., and the finals begin Saturday at 7 p.m. All times listed as Central.
THURSDAY, MARCH 21
Start of Session I 11 a.m.
Start of Session II 6:30 p.m.
FRIDAY, MARCH 22Start of Session III 10 a.m.
Start of Session IV 6 p.m.
SATURDAY, MARCH 23Start of Session V 10 a.m.
Start of Session VI 7 p.m.
hawkeyesports.com, the official website of the Iowa Hawkeyes, will have exclusive video highlights for all sessions from the NCAA Wrestling Championships.
The NCAA Tournament will be broadcast in its entirety on AM-800 KXIC and streamed online at hawkeyesports.com via Hawkeye All-Access. Steven Grace and Mark Ironside will have the live call from Wells Fargo Arena.
ESPN COVERAGE OF THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS
The ESPN family of multi-media networks will provide exclusive and full coverage of the first round, second round, quarterfinal, semifinal, medal round and final match from the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, March 21-23.
The 2013 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships begins with ESPN3's exclusive live coverage of the First and Second Rounds on Thursday, March 21, at noon and 6:30 p.m. (CT). For the fifth year the multi-screen sports network will provide an exclusive four-screen, four-mat viewing experience unique to wrestling in the First, Second and Quarterfinal Rounds.
For the seventh consecutive year, two of the four Quarterfinals, as well as the Semifinals, will be televised on ESPNU in a side-by-side format to maximize the HD viewing experience, allowing viewers to catch the action in two matches at the same time.
During the Finals on ESPN Saturday, March 23 at 7 p.m. (CT), referees will wear a microphone, providing fans with even more access and understanding of the action.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS OUTSTANDING WRESTLERS
Ten different Hawkeyes have been named the NCAA Championships Outstanding Wrestler. They include Chuck Yagla (1976), Bruce Kinseth (1979), Jim Zalesky (1984), Barry Davis (1985), Mary Kistler (1986), Tom Brands (1992), Terry Steiner (1993), Lincoln McIlravy (1997), Joe Williams (1998) and Brent Metcalf (2008).
The Hawkeyes have crowned at least one All-American every year since 1972, a span of 41 seasons. Iowa totaled 241 All-America honors during that stretch. The Hawkeyes return five of six All-Americans from last year. Matt McDonough (1st-125), Tony Ramos (3rd-133), Derek St. John (2nd-157), Ethen Lofthouse (7th-174) and Bobby Telford (5th-285) return from last year's squad. Montell Marion (2nd-141) was lost to graduation. Iowa's record for All-Americans in a single season is nine -- the Hawkeyes crowned nine All-Americans six times, most recently in 1995.
39 YEARS OF DOMINANCE
Since 1974, only seven schools have captured the NCAA Championship. During that 38-year span, the Hawkeyes have won 23 team titles, including nine straight from 1978-86. The other schools include Oklahoma State (7), Minnesota (3), Iowa State (2), Penn State (2), Arizona State (1) and Oklahoma (1).
RETURN TO THE WELL
Four of Iowa's NCAA tournament participants won state titles inside Wells Fargo Arena during their prep careers. Mark Ballweg (Waverly-Shell Rock) , Matt McDonough (Linn-Mar), Nick Moore (Iowa City West) and Derek St. John (Iowa City West) won a combined 10 Iowa high school state titles at Wells Fargo Arena. Moore won four titles from 2007-10. McDonough won three titles from 2006-08. St. John won consecutive titles in 2007-08, and Ballweg put the stamp on his senior season with a championship in 2008. Ballweg also won a state title as a freshman in 2005, the last year the state tournament was held inside Veterans Memorial Auditorium.
NCAA TITLE MINUS BIG TEN CHAMPIONSHIP
Eighteen times in the history of Iowa wrestling a Hawkeye has gone on to win the NCAA individual title without winning the conference title. It has happened as recently as 2010, when Brent Metcalf and Matt McDonough both responded from losses in the Big Ten tournament by running to the top of the NCAA bracket. Other Hawkeyes to win the national title the same year they were held without the conference crown include:
2008 Mark Perry (165)
1997 Lee Fulhart (190)
Jessie Whitmer (118)
Joe Williams (158)
1994 Joel Sharrat (190)
1993 Lincoln McIlravy (142)
Terry Steiner (150)
1991 Mark Reiland (167)
1990 Tom Brands (134)
1976 Brad Smith (142)
1975 Dan Holm (158)
1962 Sherwyn Thompson (HWT)
1959 Jim Craig (177)
1958 Gary Kurdelmeier (177)
1957 Simon Roberts (147)
1954 Richard Govig (123)
NO. 24 WOULD BE NO. 2
The Hawkeyes have won 23 NCAA team titles, but among those championships seasons, only the 1999 Hawkeyes can say they won the team title without also capturing the Big Ten tournament championship in the same season. The 1999 team lost to Minnesota (139-121) at the conference tournament, but flipped the score and won the NCAA title by two points over the second-place Gophers two weeks later (100.5-98.5).
Sophomores Doug Schwab and T.J. Williams each won their first national titles that season, while sophomore Eric Juergens, and seniors Lee Fullhart and Jamie Heidt earned All-America honors.
NINE IN THE TOP 4
Though they were held without a conference champion for the first time in seven years, the Hawkeyes placed nine wrestlers in the top four at the 2013 Big Ten Championships. No other school placed more than seven wrestlers inside the top four.
The Hawkeyes have three wrestlers making their first career appearance at the NCAA Championships. Senior Mark Ballweg (141) earned an NCAA automatic berth following a runner-up finish at the conference tournament, and sophomore Nick Moore (165) and freshman Nathan Burak (197) qualified for the national tournament with fourth-place finishes at the Big Ten Championships.
THE RULE OF 3
Senior Matt McDonough will attempt to join one of the most elite lists in the storied history of Iowa wrestling when he chases his third NCAA title. McDonough won the national tournament in 2010 and 2012. A third title in 2013 would make him the seventh wrestler in school history to win three NCAA championships.
The six members of the three-time championship club include Ed Banach (80-81, 83), Barry Davis (82-83, 85), Jim Zalesky (1982-84), Tom Brands (1990-92), Lincoln McIlravy (1993-94, 1997) and Joe Williams (1996-98). McDonough enters the tournament as one-of-16 wrestlers in program history to win two national titles.
THREE WITH AN EYE ON FOUR
Senior Matt McDonough is a three-time NCAA finalist. He won NCAA titles in 2010 and 2012, and finished runner-up in 2011. With a top eight finish at the 2013 NCAA tournament, McDonough would become the 18th four-time All-American in school history.
With a trip to the NCAA finals he would join Ed Banach, Duane Goldman and Lincoln McIlravy as the school's only four-time NCAA finalists. A third national title would make McDonough the seventh wrestler in school history to earn three NCAA Championships (Ed Banach, Tom Brands, Barry Davis, Lincoln McIlravy, Joe Williams, Jim Zalesky).
RAMOS RUN ENDS AT 26
Junior Tony Ramos, an All-American in 2012, enters the 2013 tournament as the No. 2 seed and a 26-1 record. Among his 26 wins, he has a team-high 12 pins, eight major decisions and one technical fall. Only four of his wins did not result in bonus points (he also won by forfeit against Missouri's Nathan McCormick).
Ramos (26-1) saw his perfect record come to an end in the finals of the Big Ten Tournament. Ramos won his first 26 matches of the season and was aiming to become the 16th wrestler in program history to finish a season with a perfect record.
BALLWEG BACK AT THE WELL
Senior Mark Ballweg returns to Wells Fargo Arena and the scene of his 2008 Iowa state title. Ballweg is a two-time Iowa state champion. He won his first title as a freshman in 2005 at Veterans Auditorium. The tournament was moved to Wells Fargo Arena in 2006, but Ballweg had to wait two years to return to the top of the medal stand. He was defeated in the state tournament by Matt McDonough in 2006 and Nick Moore in 2007. Ballweg enters his first NCAA Championships as the No. 7 seed at 141 pounds.
ST. JOHN TARGETS RETURN TO THE FINALS
Junior Derek St. John returns to the national tournament as the No. 2 seed. St. John finished runner-up at the 2012 NCAA Championships, dropping a 4-1 decision to Cornell's Kyle Dake. St. John was a No. 2 seed last season, and a No. 6 seed in 2011, when he placed fourth at the national tournament.
THE HOUSE THAT MOORE BUILT
Competing for Iowa City West High, sophomore Nick Moore put together a 183-1 prep record that included four state titles. Moore won all four titles and never lost a prep match under the roof of Wells Fargo Arena.
Sophomore Mike Evans advances to the NCAA tournament for the second time in as many years, but this season he enters at a new weight class. Evans competed at the 2012 tournament as the No. 5 seed at 165 pounds, but was bounced after three matches. He won his opening round match, but lost consecutive 3-2 decisions and missed the All-American stand.
This year Evans enters the 174-pound bracket as the Big Ten runner-up and the No. 3 seed. He started his sophomore season at 165, but moved up a weight after two matches. He debuted at No. 7 in the 174-pound polls he enters the tournament as the No. 3 seed with a 19-4 record.
AN ENCORE AT 184
Junior Ethen Lofthouse qualified for the NCAA Championships in each of his first two seasons, and in 2012 he earned All-America honors at 174 pounds. This year Lofthouse enters the 184-pound bracket as the No. 12 seed. He has put together a 17-7 record and placed third at the Big Ten Championships.
BURAK COULD MAKE IT FOUR IN A ROW
Iowa freshman Nathan Burak is Iowa's lone freshman in the postseason lineup. If he's able to string together an All-America effort at the national tournament, he'll be Iowa's fourth freshman All-American since 2010. Matt McDonough won the national title in 2010, Derek St. John placed fourth in 2011, and Bobby Telford placed fifth in 2012. Burak is 17-15 as Iowa's 197-pounder. He placed fourth at the Big Ten Championships, posting a 3-2 record. Among his two postseason losses, one was in sudden victory to the eventual conference runner-up, and the other was a 3-2 decision to the defending conference champion.
A CHANCE FOR REVENGE ON THE NATIONAL STAGE
Sophomore Bobby Telford enters the NCAA Championships as the No. 6 seed and a 19-6 overall record. Among the 33 heavyweight qualifiers, only the top three seeds have defeated Telford this season. To get to the top of the podium, Telford may have to avenge each of those losses. He could potentially meet No. 3 Alan Gelogaev in the quarters, No. 2 Tony Nelson in the semis, and No. 1 Dom Bradley in the finals.
HAWKEYE WRESTLING HISTORY
Iowa's overall dual meet record is 926-222-31 (.799) in 102 seasons. The Hawkeyes have won 23 national titles and 34 Big Ten titles. Iowa's 51 NCAA Champions have won a total of 79 NCAA individual titles, crowning six three-time and 16 two-time champions. The Hawkeyes' 105 Big Ten champions have won a total of 190 conference titles. There have been seven four-time, 18 three-time and 28 two-time Iowa winners. Iowa's 147 All-Americans have earned All-America status 297 times, including 17 four-time, 31 three-time and 37 two-time honorees.
ATTENDANCE LEADERS AT IT AGAIN
The seventh-largest dual crowd in NCAA history saw Iowa defeat top-ranked Penn State on Friday, Feb. 1. The Hawkeyes drew a sellout crowd of 15,077, the sixth-largest wrestling crowd in Carver-Hawkeye Arena history. In seven home dates this season, Iowa averaged 8,750 fans per dual. This season marked the fifth straight year Iowa averaged over 8,000 fans, and the seventh straight season the Hawkeyes led the nation in attendance.
MCDONOUGH AMONG THE BEST
Senior Matt McDonough owns a career record of 120-7. His .945 winning percentage ties for sixth best in program history among wrestlers with a minimum 95 decisions. Iowa's top wrestlers in program history based on winning percentage include:
1. T.J. Williams (98-1-0) .990
2. Brent Metcalf (108-3-0) .973
3. Lincoln McIlravy (96-3-0) .970
4. Tom Brands (158-7-2) .952
5. Terry Brands (137-7) .951
6. Matt McDonough (120-7) .945
Barry Davis (162-9-1) .945
8. Chris Campbell (122-6-3) .943
9. Jim Zalesky (131-8-1) .939
10. Ed Banach (141-9-1_ .937
BRANDS MOVES UP A RUNGTom Brands' 131 dual victories is the third-highest total in program history. Iowa's 25-12 win over Illinois on Feb. 8 was Tom Brands' 128th dual victory as Iowa's head coach. The win pushed Brands past Jim Zalesky for third all-time. Brands owns a career record of 131-13-1 at Iowa. His .907 winning percentage ranks second to Dan Gable (.938).
All-Time Dual Victories (min. 100)
355 -- Dan Gable (1977-97)
160 -- Dave McCuskey (1953-72)
131 -- Tom Brands (2006-present)
127 -- Jim Zalesky (1998-2006)
HAWKEYES WIN BIG TEN DUAL TITLE
Iowa captured its fifth Big Ten regular season title in the last six years when it defeated Nebraska, 31-7, Feb. 10 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The perfect conference record marked the fifth time in six seasons the Hawkeyes finished the Big Ten regular season with an undefeated mark.