A pair of strong tournaments featuring the top Division I wrestling teams in the country will highlight the final week of 2010. Overall, a total of 20 teams ranked in last week’s National Wrestling Coaches Association top-25 poll will compete in one of the two events.
In Greensboro, N.C., 30 teams will hit the mat at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center on Dec. 29-30 to battle for the team title at the 2010 Southern Scuffle. In the Midwest, 14 top-ranked squads will take the mat on the same two days in Evanston, Ill., as part of the 48-team Midlands Championships hosted by Northwestern University.
The Southern Scuffle field is highlighted by top-ranked Cornell while third-ranked Minnesota and No. 4 Penn State round out the trio of top-five teams slated to compete this week. In all, six teams currently ranked in the top 25 will be in attendance, including Michigan (No. 15), Oregon State (No. 13) and Kent State (No. 23). Virginia is also receiving votes in the most recent NWCA poll.
Along with the team title, more than 50 nationally ranked wrestlers will be competing in the Scuffle. Perhaps the most watched weight class will be 149 pounds, where 2009 NCAA champion Darrion Caldwell of NC State could face 2010 champion Kyle Dake of Cornell.
Among the 32 teams competing at Welsh-Ryan Arena for the Midlands Championship will include top-10 squads No. 4 Wisconsin, No. 6 Iowa, No. 8 Oklahoma, No. 9 Illinois and No. 10 Lehigh. Other teams in the top 25 include Iowa State (No. 12), Nebraska (No. 14), Purdue (No. 16), Central Michigan (No. 17), Missouri (No. 18), Rutgers (No. 19), Northwestern (No. 20), Pittsburgh (No. 21) and American (No. 22).
A total of 26 teams in the Midlands field boast 97 ranked wrestlers, including four top-ranked matmen, five ranked No. 2 and 51 in the top 10.
Southern Scuffle participants
|The Citadel||NC State|
|George Mason||Penn State|
Midlands Championships participants
|Cal State Bakersfield||Nebraska|
|Cal Poly||Northern Illinois|
|Central Michigan||Northern Iowa|
|Iowa State||Virginia Military Institute|