Last Updated 3:07 PM, March 05, 2021

2021 Big Ten college wrestling tournament: Schedule, pre-seeds, preview, athletes to watch

A look back at the Iowa Hawkeyes wrestling dynasty
7:39 pm, February 21, 2021

2021 Big Ten wrestling championship schedule and how to watch

The entire Big Ten Tournament will be live from Penn State on the Big Ten Network.

Sat., March 6 Session I (First Round, Quarterfinals)
Session II (Semifinals, Wrestlebacks)
10 a.m
7:30 p.m.
Sun., March 7 Session III (Consolation Semifinals, 7th-Place Matches)
Session IV (Finals)
12 p.m.
4 p.m.

For tournament pre-seeds, click here

7:57 pm, February 21, 2021

These are the returning Big Ten champions in 2021

Each weight will be stacked with athletes from across the conference who could compete for Big Ten titles, but these are the guys who have run through the conference brackets successfully in the past and will look to be repeat champs.

125 Pounds: Spencer Lee, Iowa

After winning his first Big Ten title in 2020, Spencer Lee is back and better than ever. The two-time NCAA champion has dominated all of his opponents this year in the first period, recording a pin against each competitor in less than three minutes. The Iowa senior continues to be a leader for his team and will play a key role in the Hawkeyes' quest to defend their conference championship from 2020. Lee will undoubtedly roll into this tournament as the favorite, and the question will just be whether or not he's challenged at all in his fourth appearance at the Big Ten tournament. 

141 pounds: Sebastian Rivera, Rutgers

Sebastian Rivera is Mr. Big Ten Tournament. The Rutgers graduate student won his first conference title in 2019 after beating none other than Spencer Lee in the 125-pound finals. He went on to take third in the NCAA tournament that year before bumping up to 133 pounds the following year. In 2020, Rivera faced a stacked 133-pound bracket that included NCAA champion Seth Gross and All-Americans Roman Bravo-Young and Austin DeSanto, but Rivera once again prevailed. He beat Gross in the semifinals before taking down Bravo-Young in the finals to claim his second crown at a second weight. This year, up at 141 pounds, Rivera will look to win again, but this time he'll have another loaded bracket that includes All-Americans Jaydin Eierman and Nick Lee. Can he win three titles at three different weights? 

157 pounds: Ryan Deakin, Northwestern

Northwestern's Ryan Deakin's Big Ten tournament win against Purdue's Kendall Coleman capped off his dominant junior season, and while Deakin was expecting to build on that momentum at the NCAA tournament before the cancellation, he's picked up this year right where he left off. He's now 3-0 with his most impressive victory being his recent major decision against No. 6 Brayton Lee. Though Deakin has not been tested as much in 2021 as he was in 2020, he'll be a favorite to challenge for a repeat title. His biggest threat will be Iowa's Kaleb Young, who has been having a strong, undefeated season, though Young needed extra time to take down Lee, and Deakin separated himself from the common opponent almost immediately. The Big Ten tournament will be a chance for Deakin to show off his skills and demonstrate whether or not he's as superior in his weight class as he's expected to be. 

165 pounds: Alex Marinelli, Iowa

Like Sebastian Rivera, Alex Marinelli has been a king of the Big Ten tournament over the last several seasons. In both 2019 and 2020, Marinelli beat Penn State's Vincenzo Joseph in the championship match, earning the top seed for the NCAA tournament. This year, with Joseph graduated, Marinelli will be an even bigger favorite and will be expected to defend his crown once again. Marinelli has wrestled just two matches so far this year, winning both in convincing decision fashion 8-4 and 7-3. Without four matches on his resume, Marinelli will need to wrestle all of his matches at the tournament or win the Big Ten tournament to earn his spot in the NCAA tournament, but he's accomplished that goal twice in the last two years. 

184 pounds: Aaron Brooks, Penn State

Despite only being a sophomore, Aaron Brooks has been an anchor in the 2021 Penn State lineup, posting an undefeated 5-0 record with 80% bonus. He's someone that head coach Cael Sanderson and Co. have been to count on in duals and tournaments to show up and wrestle with the Penn State style of dominance in every match. The Nittany Lion NWCA All-American finished his freshman year last year with just one loss, which he avenged at the Big Ten tournament on his way to his first conference title. He's strong, he's skilled and he's ready to make same noise at this same tournament again. Brooks will be the No. 1 seed at the weight, while the athletes behind him have swapped wins all season. The closest match Brooks has had was a 10-5 win over Jaden Bullock, but even in that match when Bullock scrambled and attempted to challenge the Nittany Lion, Brooks stayed in control. Expect Brooks to make some noise in his weight and put up big points in his chase for a second title this year. 

285 pounds: Gable Steveson, Minnesota

Gable Steveson has solidified himself as the most dangerous heavyweight in the country so far this season, but there's one guy who Steveson hasn't seen yet in 2021 who might have something to say about that title. Michigan's Mason Parris has had an outstanding season of his own, posting a 6-0 record with 100% bonus rate, just three wins shy of matching Steveson's 9-0 record with 100% bonus. Both men have been absolutely impressive, but Steveson has the edge going into the Big Ten tournament given the 1-0 record that he holds against Parris after his win in last year's tournament. Steveson has hinted that this will be his last year of college wrestling, and if that's the case, he'll absolutely want to go out with fireworks by defending his Big Ten title and dominating his way through the heavyweight bracket at the 2021 NCAA wrestling tournament. 

8:41 pm, February 21, 2021

Individual Big Ten Tournament Records

Most Consecutive Falls: 7 - Dave Porter, Michigan (1966-67-68)

Fastest Fall (in seconds) - 16 Robert Kokesh, Nebraska over Taylor Massa, Michigan 2015 (174 quarterfinals)

Fastest Fall (in seconds) - Championship Match: 43 - Mike Potts, Michigan State over Al Jenson, Minnesota 1984 (Heavyweight)

A complete list of Big Ten championship records can be found in a .PDF here.

7:52 pm, February 21, 2021

2021 Big Ten wrestling standings

Penn State 6-0-0 100%
Iowa 5-0-0 100%
Nebraska 7-1-0 87.5%
Michigan 5-1-0 83.33%
Minnesota 7-2-0 77.8%
Illinois 5-3-0 62.5%
Ohio State 5-4-0 55.6%
Purdue  4-5-0 44.4%
Michigan State 2-5-0 28.6%
Indiana 2-6-0 25.0%
Northwestern 2-6-0 25.0%
Wisconsin 1-6-0 14.3%
Rutgers 0-4-0 0%
Maryland 0-8-0 0%
8:50 pm, February 21, 2021

These are the big moments from the 2021 dual season

Opening weekend: Defending Big Ten champions Sebastian Rivera and Gable Steveson kicked off their 2021 season with dominating victories. Read more about those performances and more here.

First dual for the Hawks: Iowa opens its season with a statement win over Nebraska while Illinois tops Ohio State in a conference upset. Relive the best moments of the week here

Shakeups in Week 3 of Big Ten action: Ohio State beats Rutgers after heroics at heavyweight, and Eric Barnett shakes up the 125-pound rankings with a pin over Devin Schroder. Here are complete recaps of the duals from the week.

Return of Penn State: Iowa's domination continues, and Penn State makes its return to the mat. Here's what you missed from this week of college wrestling

Spencer Lee picks up his fourth pin: Iowa, Penn State, Minnesota and Nebraska notch victories as the top teams in the Big Ten separate themselves. More individual results and dual highlights can be found here. 

With Iowa on hold, Penn State makes a statement: Could Penn State challenge Iowa? The Hawks have a dominant squad, but the Nittany Lions looked to be in championship form against Ohio State and Michigan. Read more about the defending NCAA champions and their 2021 title quest here

7:00 pm, February 21, 2021

Big Ten wrestling championship history


Iowa Hawkeyes Dan Gable Dan Gable coaches his Iowa Hawkeyes to a Big Ten conference title

Year Team
1913 Illinois
1914 Indiana
1915 Indiana
1916 Indiana
1917 Illinois
1918 N/A
1919 N/A
1920 Illinois
1921 Indiana
1922 Illinois
1923 Ohio State
1924 Illinois
1925 Illinois
1926 Illinois
1927 Illinois
1928 Illinois
1929 Michigan
1930 Illinois
1931 Indiana
1932 Illinois
1933 Indiana
1934 Indiana
1935 Illinois
1936 Indiana
1937 Illinois
1938 Michigan
1939 Indiana
1940 Indiana
1941 Minnesota
1942 Purdue
1943 Indiana
1944 Michigan
1945 Purdue
1946 Illinois
1947 Illinois
1948 Purdue
1949 Purdue
1950 Purdue
1951 Ohio State
1952 Illinois
1953 Michigan
1954 Purdue
1955 Michigan
1956 Michigan
1957 Minnesota
1958 Iowa
1959 Minnesota
1960 Michigan
1961 Michigan State
1962 Iowa
1963 Michigan
1964 Michigan
1965 Michigan
1966 Michigan State
1967 Michigan State
1968 Michigan State
1969 Michigan State
1970 Michigan State
1971 Michigan State
1972 Michigan State
1973 Michigan
1974 Iowa
1975 Iowa
1976 Iowa
1977 Iowa
1978 Iowa
1979 Iowa
1980 Iowa
1981 Iowa
1982 Iowa
1983 Iowa
1984 Iowa
1985 Iowa
1986 Iowa
1987 Iowa
1988 Iowa
1989 Iowa
1990 Iowa
1991 Iowa
1992 Iowa
1993 Iowa
1994 Iowa
1995 Iowa
1996 Iowa
1997 Iowa
1998 Iowa
1999 Minnesota
2000 Iowa
2001 Minnesota
2002 Minnesota
2003 Minnesota
2004 Ioaw
2005 Illinois
2006 Minnesota
2007 Minnesota
2008 Iowa
2009 Iowa
2010 Iowa
2011 Penn State
2012 Penn State
2013 Penn State
2014 Penn State
2015 Iowa
2016 Penn State
2017 Ohio State
2018 Ohio State
2019 Penn State
2020 Iowa