B.J. Futrell is one of 10 Illini to earn pre-seeds for this weekend's Big Ten Championships, hosted by Purdue in Mackey Arena.
Feb. 27, 2012
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - All ten University of Illinois wrestlers have earned pre-seeds for the Big Ten Championships as voted by the conference coaches, the Big Ten office announced Monday. B.J. Futrell (133) earned the No. 3 seed, while Jesse Delgado (125) notched the No. 4 seed. Conrad Polz (165) and Mario Gonzalez (197) grabbed the No. 5 spot and Daryl Thomas (141) earned the No. 6 seed. Both Eric Terrazas (149) and Tony Dallago (184) were slotted the No. 7 seed in their respective weight classes, while Jackson Morse (157) and Jordan Blanton (174) grabbed the No. 8 spot. Pat Walker (HWT) earned the No. 11 seed at heavyweight.
Seeds will be finalized at the coaches' meeting on March 2, with brackets being finalized that afternoon. The Big Ten Championships will be held March 3-4 at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind.
Delgado posted a 6-3 record against the 125-pound Big Ten field, with two of his three losses coming from the No. 1 and No. 2 seeded wresters in Matt McDonough (Iowa) and Zach Sanders (MINN), respectively. Despite falling to McDonough at the National Duals, the freshman defeated the Hawkeye during the regular season. Delgado also posted a win over the No. 5 seed Levi Mele (Northwestern) at the Midlands Championships.
Futrell was slotted as the No. 3 seed with the third-best wins against the field among Big Ten 133-pounders. However, his 7-3 mark against the field wasn't as strong as the 10-1 mark by Iowa's Tony Ramos and Ohio State's Logan Steiber. Futrell's three losses against the field came from Ramos this season.
Thomas has a 5-5 record against the field at 141, with wins over five unseeded wrestlers. The Illini redshirt-junior dropped tight matches to the No. 1 seed Kellen Russell (Michigan) and No. 4 seed Nick Dardanes (Minnesota).
Terrazas posted a 4-3 record against the 149-pound Big Ten field, with losses against No. 3 Dylan Ness (Minnesota), No. 6 seed Taylor Walsh (Indiana) and No. 9 Dan Osterman (Michigan State). Terrazas didn't face top-seeded Frank Molinaro of Penn State, however defeated the No. 2 seed, Eric Grajales of Michigan and No. 4 seed Ivan Lopouchanski of Purdue.
Morse is 3-6 against the field at 157, with wins over Michigan's Brandon Zeerip, Indiana's Sawyer Morris and Wisconsin's Shawn Perry.
Polz is tied for the third-most wins against the field of the 165-pounders in the Big Ten, but his two losses put him as the No. 5 seed. However, his losses were to No. 2 seed Mike Evans (Iowa) by four points and No. 4 seed Ben Jordan (Wisconsin) by two points.
Blanton holds a 3-4 record against the Big Ten 174-pound group, with victories over Northwestern's Lee Munster (No. 9), Indiana's Ryan LeBlanc (No. 10) and Wisconsin's Frank Cousins (No. 12). The redshirt-junior has dropped three of his four to Iowa's Ethen Lofthouse (No. 3).
Dallago is 5-3 against the field, with wins over No. 8 Ian Hinton (Michigan State) and four unseeded wrestlers. His three losses against wrestlers in the tournament come from top-seeded Kevin Steinhaus (Minnesota), No. 4 Grant Gambrall (Iowa) and No. 6 Braden Atwood (Purdue).
Gonzalez is 5-3 against the field at 197 with one of his wins coming over Minnesota's Sonny Yohn, the top-seed in the weight class. His four other wins come over unseeded wrestlers and his two of his three losses come by No. 2 seed Matt Powless (Indiana) and No. 4 seed Max Huntley (Michigan).
Walker posted a 1-7 record against the heavyweights in the Big Ten, with his win coming over Wisconsin's Cole Tobin (No. 12). One of his losses was by one point to the No. 1 seed Tony Nelson (Minnesota) and by two points against No. 3 Ben Apland (Michigan) and No. 5 Mike McMullan (Northwestern).
Session one of the Big Ten Championships will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 3. A weight-by-weight breakdown of the Big Ten's qualifiers show the conference getting six automatic bids at 125, seven at 133, five at 141, nine at 149, six at 157, eight at 165, nine at 174, seven at 184, seven at 197 and ten at 285.