Six Illini Earn Pre-Seeds for Big Ten Championships
Feb. 28, 2011
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Six 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), Jimmy Kennedy (141) and Eric Terrazas (149) all earned No. 4 seeds in their respective weight classes, while Conrad Polz (165) and Tony Dallago (184) grabbed No. 5 seeds. Joe Barczak earned the No. 7 seed at 197 pounds.
Seeds will be finalized at the coaches' meeting on March 4, with brackets being finalized that afternoon. The Big Ten Championships will be held March 5-6 at Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, Ill.
Futrell was slotted as the No. 4 seed despite tying for the second-most wins against the field among Big Ten 133-pounders. However, his 7-4 mark against the field wasn't as strong as the 10-1 mark by Wisconsin's Tyler Graff, or the 7-1 records put together by Iowa's Tony Ramos and Penn State's Andrew Long. Futrell's four losses against the field have come to Graff (three times) and Long, while Futrell holds a win over Ramos from the Midlands Championships.
Kennedy has a 3-1 record against the field at 141, with his only loss coming to top-seeded Kellen Russell (Michigan) at the Las Vegas Invitational in early December. Iowa's Montell Marion, the No. 2 seed, also counts only a loss to Russell on his record, and Minnesota's Mike Thorn has lost twice to Russell and once to Marion. Kennedy and Thorn didn't wrestle in the teams' dual on Jan. 23 because Kennedy was recovering from an ankle injury suffered at Midlands.
Terrazas posted a 5-3 record against the 149-pound Big Ten field, with a loss to No. 1 seed Frank Molinaro (Penn State) and a 1-1 mark against No. 2 seed Andrew Nadhir (Northwestern). Terrazas didn't face Indiana's third-seeded Kurt Kinser because the Hoosier missed the teams' dual on Feb. 17 with an injury.
Polz has recorded the most wins against the field of any 165-pounder in the Big Ten, but his four losses put him as the No. 5 seed. However, his three losses to Ohio State's Colt Sponseller (seeded No. 2), Minnesota's Cody Yohn (No. 3) and Iowa's Aaron Janssen (No. 4) all were by one point. Wisconsin's Andrew Howe captured the No. 1 seed despite being sidelined with a hamstring injury since Jan. 16.
Dallago is 3-3 against the field, with wins over Purdue's A.J. Kissel, Penn State's Quentin Wright and Northwestern's Aaron Jones. The Illini redshirt-freshman has dropped matches to Minnesota's Kevin Steinhaus (No. 2 seed), Michigan State's Ian Hinton (No. 4) and Ohio State's Cody Magrum (No. 7).
Barczak is 4-1 against the field at 197 with wins over No. 8 seed Peter Capone (Ohio State) and three unseeded wrestlers. His lone loss against wrestlers in the tournament is to Purdue's third-seeded Logan Brown.