Cyclones Norman Bound For Big 12 Championships
AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State wrestling team (9-7 overall, 1-2 Big 12) travels to Norman, Okla. this weekend for the 2014 Big 12 Wrestling Championship. The Cyclones finished second at last season’s conference tournament with seven finalist, the most in the Kevin Jackson era.
24 automatic bids to the 2014 NCAA Championships in Oklahoma City will be up for grabs Saturday at McCasland Field House. Click here for the weight-by-weight breakdown of automatic bids up for grabs this weekend across the nation.
2014 Big 12 Wrestling Championship Tournament Central
Where: Norman, Okla. – McCasland Field House (5,000)
When: Saturday, March 8, 3 p.m. CT
Webcast: big12sports.com (first round & third-place matches)
TV: FOX Sports (finals only)
Talent: J. Carl Guymon (pxp); Lee Roy Smith (color); Joe Gibbons (color)
Twitter: Follow @CycloneWR for live updates following each match.
Live Stats: Live stats will be available at trackwrestling.com.
Live Blog: Michael DeBates, student assistant for athletics communications, will be holding a live blog during the dual. Fans are encouraged to participate in the blog by asking questions.
- No. 1 Kyven Gadson is the reigning Big 12 champion at 197 pounds. He is the first Cyclone to garner a consensus No. 1 national ranking since Jon Reader in 2011.
- He leads the Cyclones in pins this season with seven. The Waterloo, Iowa, native is seeking to become the first Cyclone since David Zabriskie in 2010 to win back-to-back conference titles.
- A Big 12 title this season would make Gadson and his late father, Willie, the first father-son duo in school history to be two-time conference champions. Willie won back-to-back titles in 1975 and 76.
- Gadson picked up career win No. 50 at the National Duals after a 3-0 weekend Feb. 16-17. The Waterloo, Iowa, native is 53-8 in a Cyclone singlet.
- Gadson and freshman Gabe Moreno were both honored as members of the 2014 Academic All-Big 12 First-Team for the work in the classroom the past two semesters this week by league officials. The academic accolades are the first for both Cyclone grapplers.
- No. 9 Michael Moreno finished the regular season leading the Cyclones in wins (25), dual takedowns (39) and bonus point victories (12).
- Moreno notched career win No. 60 on Feb. 23 vs. Minnesota, as he downed the Gophers Danny Zilverberg 7-3 with 3:03 of riding time. The Urbandale, Iowa, native is riding a six-match win streak into the Big 12 Championship.
- Sophomore Earl Hall has a four-match win streak featuring two wins over ranked opponents. The Homestead, Fla., native has four wins over ranked opponents on the season. His six pins are second on the team.
- Three freshmen will be in the Iowa State lineup Saturday afternoon in Norman: Gabe Moreno (141), Lelund Weatherspoon (184) and Quean Smith (285).
- The last freshman to win a Big 12 title for Iowa State was David Zabriskie in 2007. Zabriskie would go on to win two more Big 12 titles in his career, capping his career off with his third All-American honor and an NCAA title in 2010.
Scouting the Tournament Field
- The 174 pound bracket is the only conference tournament bracket in the nation where every wrestler will be headed to the NCAA tournament March 20, regardless of finish.
- No. 11 Tanner Weatherman will be pitted against No. 1 Chris Perry most likely in the opening round in the No. 2-3 seed matchup. Perry beat Weatherman 6-4 on Jan. 24 in Stillwater and holds a 3-0 lead in the all-time series 4-0.
- An opening round win for Moreno at 165 pounds will likely mean a finals matchup with No. 5 Tyler Caldwell of Oklahoma State. Caldwell leads the all-time series with Moreno 2-1, picking up his second win over the Cyclone grappler 5-2 Jan. 24.
- An opening round win by Gadson at 197 pounds would pit him against the winner of No. 7 Travis Rutt of Oklahoma and No. 16 Blake Rosholt of Oklahoma State. Rutt, who Gadson defeated 3-1 in SV-1 back on Jan. 12, beat Rosholt 12-3 early in the season.
- Hall will likely be matched up with No. 13 Eddie Kilimara of Oklahoma State in the opening round. Klimara has beaten Hall twice on season, edging him 4-2 in SV-1 in their last matchup.
- Iowa State’s most conference champs in a season was six in 1933.
- The last time the Cyclones placed two on top of the podium was 2010 when Jake Varner and David Zabriskie each took home medals in Kevin Jackson’s first season at the helm.
- ISU’s seven finalist at last year’s championship were the most in the Jackson era.
- Big 12 champion Jon Reader became the 16th Cyclone to earn Oustanding Wrestler honors at the 2011 Big 12 Championship in Ames.
- Since the first year of the Big 12 Championship in 1997, Iowa State has had 33 individual conference champions, taking home the team title in 2007, 08 and 09 under Cael Sanderson.