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Shannon Scovel | NCAA.com | March 3, 2023

2023 Big Ten wrestling championships: Brackets, preview, how to watch

The most exciting college wrestlers to watch this season

The Big Ten wrestling championships, the deepest Division I conference wrestling tournament in the country, kicks off Saturday morning with 140 starters all vying for their shot at a conference title and a ticket to the 2023 NCAA wrestling championships. Here's what you need to know about the schedule of the tournament and the biggest storylines at each weight. 

FOLLOW IT ALL: Live updates throughout the Big Ten wrestling championships

2023 Big Ten wrestling championships brackets

Click or tap here for see the bracket for each weight.

How to watch the Big Ten wrestling championships

Saturday, 10 a.m. Session I First Round, Quarterfinals, Wrestlebacks Big Ten Network
Saturday, 5:30 p.m. Session II Consolation Matches, Wrestlebacks B1G+
Saturday, 7:30 p.m.  Session II Semifinals Big Ten Network
Sunday, 1 p.m.  Session III Consolation Semifinals, 7th-place Matches B1G+
Sunday, 4:30 p.m.  Session IV 1st-, 3rd- and 5th-Place Matches Big Ten Network

Pre-seeds and preview

125 pounds

Main storyline: Three-time NCAA champion Spencer Lee leads the way at 125 pounds with an undefeated record on the season. Lee won Big Ten titles in 2020 and 2021 and will be the favorite to repeat as champion this year. After Lee, the weight is wide open, with Nebraska's Liam Cronin rightfully earning the No. 2 seed after regular season wins over All-Americans Eric Barnett, Patrick McKee and Michael DeAugustino. McKee and Barnett are particularly wild, so don't be surprised if they shake up this bracket. Add in the unpredictable and funky Matt Ramos, and this weight will be fun. 


  1. Spencer Lee (Iowa)
  2. Liam Cronin (Nebraska)
  3. Matt Ramos (Purdue)
  4. Eric Barnett (Wisconsin)
  5. Patrick McKee (Minnesota)
  6. Michael DeAugustino (Northwestern)
  7. Malik Heinselman (Ohio State)
  8. Braxton Brown (Maryland)
  9. Dean Peterson (Rutgers)
  10. Jack Medley (Michigan)
  11. Gary Steen (Penn State)
  12. Tristan Lujan (Michigan State)
  13. Jacob Moran (Indiana)
  14. Maximo Renteria (Illinois)

133 pounds

Main storyline: Like Lee, Penn State's Roman Bravo-Young is also looking for his third Big Ten title after topping Austin DeSanto in the finals in 2021 and 2022. Bravo-Young is also undefeated on the year and has notable wins over Mendez, Ragusin and Teske this season. Can Mendez make a push for the finals as a true freshman for the Buckeyes? With his teammate Malik Heinselman out for the season with an injury, Mendez will want to put as many team points on the board as he can for the Bucks. Topping Bravo-Young will be a tough task, but the battle for a spot in the finals will be the storyline to follow at this weight. 


  1. Roman Bravo-Young (Penn State)
  2. Jesse Mendez (Ohio State)
  3. Lucas Byrd (Illinois)
  4. Chris Cannon (Northwestern)
  5. Dylan Ragusin (Michigan)
  6. Aaron Nagao (Minnesota)
  7. Joe Heilmann (Rutgers)
  8. Brody Teske (Iowa)
  9. RayVon Foley (Michigan State)
  10. Taylor LaMont (Wisconsin)
  11. Henry Porter (Indiana)
  12. Kyle Burwick (Nebraska)
  13. Dustin Norris (Purdue)
  14. Jackson Cockrell (Maryland)

ALLOCATIONS: What this year's mean for the upcoming NCAA championships

141 pounds

Main storyline: A two-time Pac-12 champion, Iowa's Real Woods enters his first Big Ten tournament as the top seed, and he'll aim to add his name to the long list of Hawkeye champions at this event. Woods has a history of firing fast off the first whistle, and if he can keep scoring points like he's done, he can seperate himself in a weight class full of competitors who would like to keep battles close. Penn State's Beau Bartlett, the No. 2 seed, was able to slow Woods down in their last meeting, losing just 4-1 to the All-American. This isn't necessarily the deepest weight in the tournament, but it's one that could be key for Iowa from a team points perspective. 


  1. Real Woods (Iowa)
  2. Beau Bartlett (Penn State)
  3. Brock Hardy (Nebraska)
  4. Frankie Tal Shahar (Northwestern)
  5. Jakob Bergeland (Minnesota)
  6. Danny Pucino (Illinois)
  7. Joseph Olivieri (Rutgers)
  8. Parker Filius (Purdue)
  9. Dylan D'Emilio (Ohio State)
  10. Cole Mattin (Michigan)
  11. Joseph Zargo (Wisconsin)
  12. Jordan Hamdan (Michigan State)
  13. Cayden Rooks (Indiana)
  14. Kal Miller (Maryland)

149 pounds

Main storyline: This might be the most interesting weight in the entire tournament. Ohio State's Sammy Sasso earned the No. 1 seed because of No. 2 Austin Gomez of Wisconsin taking an injury default loss to Yahya Thomas of Northwestern, but all three of these guys are competitive with one another when healthy and could make a push for the conference title. Sasso won the Big Ten tournament in 2021 and Gomez took the gold in 2022. Penn State's Shayne Van Ness and Iowa's Max Murin, though, aren't going down without a fight. This stacked bracket will have electric matches from the opening session. The NCAA allocated nine tournament spots for this weight for good reason — 149 pounds could get wild. 


  1. Sammy Sasso (Ohio State)
  2. Austin Gomez (Wisconsin)
  3. Yahya Thomas (Northwestern)
  4. Max Murin (Iowa)
  5. Shayne Van Ness (Penn State)
  6. Michael Blockhus (Minnesota)
  7. Graham Rooks (Indiana)
  8. Ethen Miller (Maryland)
  9. Chance Lamer (Michigan)
  10. Tony White (Rutgers)
  11. Dayne Morton (Nebraska)
  12. Jake Harrier (Illinois)
  13. Peyton Omania (Michigan State)
  14. Jaden Reynolds (Purdue)

157 pounds

Main storyline: While 149 pounds might be the most interesting weight class of the tournament, the 157-pound weight class is technically the deepest in the country. With 10 allocation spots, Peyton Robb, Levi Haines, Kendall Coleman, Chase Saldate, Cobe Siebrecht, Will Lewan, Michael Carr, Trevor Chumbley, Garrett Model and Derek Gilcher will just need to wrestle to seed to earn their spots. Minnesota's Brayton Lee, the No. 11 seed and a 2021 All-American, could be on the outside looking in, unless he can pull off a few upset wins. Lee has the potential to be a serious bracket-buster here, making a deep weight potentially even deeper. Ohio State's Paddy Gallagher, the No. 12 pre-seed, also battled No. 1 Peyton Robb tough in one of the last dual meets of the season, and, as a freshman, Gallagher could absolutely find his groove this weekend and surge into the postseason. Even with 10 allocations, there's potential for insanity here. 


  1. Peyton Robb (Nebraska)
  2. Levi Haines (Penn State)
  3. Kendall Coleman (Purdue)
  4. Chase Saldate (Michigan State)
  5. Cobe Siebrecht (Iowa)
  6. Will Lewan (Michigan)
  7. Michael Carr (Illinois)
  8. Trevor Chumbley (Northwestern)
  9. Garrett Model (Wisconsin)
  10. Derek Gilcher (Indiana)
  11. Brayton Lee (Minnesota)
  12. Paddy Gallagher (Ohio State)
  13. Andrew Clark (Rutgers)
  14. Michael North (Maryland)

165 pounds

Main storyline: Not to be outdone by the 149 or the 157 pound weight class, the 165-pound bracket features three All-Americans in Dean Hamiti, Cameron Amine and Carson Kharchla, as well as breakout freshman Patrick Kennedy and Alex Facundo. These top athletes have just about all wrestled one another. Hamiti's best win came against Iowa's Kennedy, but Kennedy then beat Facundo, who beat Amine who beat Hamiti. The focus may be on these elite middleweights, but pay attention to Andrew Sparks and Bubba Wilson at the No. 9 and No. 10 seeds, too. Both qualified for the NCAA tournament last year, but, with the NCAA awarding just eight allocation spots at 165 pounds this year, these athletes will need to outperform their seed to ensure their ticket to Tulsa.


  1. Dean Hamiti (Wisconsin)
  2. Cameron Amine (Michigan)
  3. Patrick Kennedy (Iowa)
  4. Alex Facundo (Penn State)
  5. Carson Kharchla (Ohio State)
  6. Caleb Fish (Michigan State)
  7. Maxx Mayfield (Northwestern)
  8. Danny Braunagel (Illinois)
  9. Andrew Sparks (Minnesota)
  10. Bubba Wilson (Nebraska)
  11. Nick South (Indiana)
  12. Robert Kanniard (Rutgers)
  13. Stony Buell (Purdue)
  14. John Martin Best (Maryland)

174 lbs.

Main storyline: This weight is top heavy, with 2022 Big Ten champion Carter Starocci controlling 174 pounds. If Starocci and Nebraska's All-American Mikey Labriola wrestle to seed, the Cornhusker could have a shot at unseating the champ in the conference finals. Labriola already beat 2019 NCAA champion Mekhi Lewis earlier this year, and he's no doubt hungry for another upset. Both Starocci and Labriola come into the tournament undefeated, and while Starocci is a heavy favorite, don't dismiss Labriola. Ohio State All-American Ethan Smith is also in the mix and capable of keeping matches close with Labriola in particular, as he demonstrated in his narrow 6-4 loss on Feb. 10. Illinois' Edmond Ruth also pushed Labriola to sudden victory earlier this season. While this bracket is less shaky than some of the others, every match still counts. With seven allocation spots on the line, there isn't a ton of wiggle room. 


  1. Carter Starocci (Penn State)
  2. Mikey Labriola (Nebraska)
  3. Ethan Smith (Ohio State)
  4. Bailee O'Reilly (Minnesota)
  5. Edmond Ruth (Illinois)
  6. DJ Washington (Indiana)
  7. Nelson Brands (Iowa)
  8. Troy Fisher (Northwestern)
  9. Max Maylor (Michigan)
  10. Jackson Turley (Rutgers)
  11. Ceasar Garza (Michigan State)
  12. Dominic Solis (Maryland)
  13. Josh Otto (Wisconsin)
  14. Cooper Noehre (Purdue)

184 pounds

Main storyline: Two-time NCAA champion Aaron Brooks paces the group here at 184 pounds, and he'll be looking for his third conference title after being upset by Michigan's Myles Amine in this tournament last year. Despite taking a loss earlier this year to Iowa State's Marcus Coleman, Brooks has a solid hold on the weight class, particularly in the Big Ten, and will be the favorite to take home gold for himself and for the Nittany Lions. Ohio State's Kaleb Romero is the only other All-American in the mix, though Isaiah Salazar, Matt Finesilver and Abe Assad all wrestle tough, close matches. Nebraska's Lenny Pinto has also been a breakout star this year, and he'll look to continue his success through the postseason alongside his deep Cornhusker team. 

  1. Aaron Brooks (Penn State)
  2. Kaleb Romero (Ohio State)
  3. Isaiah Salazar (Minnesota)
  4. Matt Finesilver (Michigan)
  5. Abe Assad (Iowa)
  6. Layne Malczewski (Michigan State)
  7. Lenny Pinto (Nebraska)
  8. Brian Soldano (Rutgers)
  9. Dylan Connell (Illinois)
  10. Tyler Dow (Wisconsin)
  11. Evan Bates (Northwestern)
  12. Ben Vanadia (Purdue)
  13. Clayton Fielden (Indiana)
  14. Kevin Makosy (Maryland)

197 pounds

Main storyline: Penn State's Max Dean won his first Big Ten title at this tournament last year, after competing for Cornell for the first two seasons of his collegiate career. Now Dean is back to defend his title in a weight that looks similar to years past with a few notable exceptions. Nebraska's Silas Allred surged to the No. 2 pre-seed this year after a stellar regular season in which he finished with a 23-5 record, notching wins over All-American Gavin Hoffman and junior World Champion Braxton Amos. Allred and Dean have not yet wrestled this year, and while Dean will be the favorite, Allred's journey will be interesting to follow this postseason. NCAA finalist Jacob Warner sits down at the No. 5 seed after Big Ten losses to Dean, Michial Foy and Zac Braunagel, so look for both Warner and Foy to potentially cause some trouble in this bracket. Cameron Caffey, pre-seeded at No. 4, also has a career win over Dean, though Dean's beaten him in their last two meetings. The Big Ten has nine automatic NCAA spots at this weight, putting Foy in the final slot, with Billy Janzer on the outside looking in, if everyone wrestles to seed. 

  1. Max Dean (Penn State)
  2. Silas Allred (Nebraska)
  3. Zac Braunagel (Illinois)
  4. Cameron Caffey (Michigan State)
  5. Jacob Warner (Iowa)
  6. Jaxon Smith (Maryland)
  7. Gavin Hoffman (Ohio State)
  8. Braxton Amos (Wisconsin)
  9. Michial Foy (Minnesota)
  10. Nick Willham (Indiana)
  11. Billy Janzer (Rutgers)
  12. Andrew Davison (Northwestern)
  13. Brendin Yatooma (Michigan)
  14. Hayden Filipovich (Purdue)

285 pounds

Main storyline: This might finally be Michigan's Mason Parris' year. The two-time All-American finished second and seventh in his last two NCAA tournament appearances, but with Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson off to the WWE, the Wolverine is finally the top-ranked heavyweight, both in the Big Ten and in the country. If Parris runs through his bracket this weekend, he's likely to secure the top seed at the national tournament and put himself in an ideal spot for a title run. Navigating the conference, however, won't be easy. Penn State's Greg Kerkvlie pushed Parris in their lone meeting this year, dropping just 3-1. Iowa's Tony Cassioppi also kept his bout close and lost 9-7. Parris is a winner, and he's found a way to win these duals. The big storyline here is: can he beat these elite athletes again and come away with gold? 


  1. Mason Parris (Michigan)
  2. Greg Kerkvliet (Penn State)
  3. Tony Cassioppi (Iowa)
  4. Lucas Davison (Northwestern)
  5. Trent Hillger (Wisconsin)
  6. Boone McDermott (Rutgers)
  7. Tate Orndoff (Ohio State)
  8. Jacob Bullock (Indiana)
  9. Jaron Smith (Maryland)
  10. Hayden Copass (Purdue)
  11. Garrett Joles (Minnesota)
  12. Ryan Vasbinder (Michigan State)
  13. Matt Wroblewski (Illinois)
  14. Austin Emerson (Nebraska)

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