March 2014

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25 e conference office is expected to release seeds for the Big Ten Championships on March 3. When they do, Iowa should be represented near the top of every bracket. Eleven Hawkeyes are rated in the national polls, including both Cory Clark and omas Gil- man at 125 (only one will be allowed to compete), and nine wrestlers are listed among the top 10 at their respective weight. Senior Tony Ramos and junior Nick Moore finished the Big Ten season with 8-0 records. Ramos added a pin against Penn State's Jimmy Gulibon in a noncon- ference dual back in February and will likely the No. 1 seed at 133. Moore lost to top-ranked David Taylor in the same dual and is expected to be the No. 2 seed at 165. His Big Ten resume includes one major deci- sion, one technical fall, one pin and a pair of deci- sions over top 10 opponents. Brands said he would like to duplicate more of the same from Ramos and Moore, and he has two weeks to reproduce that mindset across the lineup. "e challenge is we have to get up, we have to be ready to go," said Brands. "We have to really believe that our repetition and our opportunities, when they are multiple, will make a difference. "We have to create more opportunities and when we get to those opportunities we have got to convert. When we put together a lot of attempts, good things are happening." e Big Ten Championships is one of nine NCAA qualifying tournaments across the country. Since 1968, Iowa has sent 10 wrestlers to the NCAA Championships eight times, most recently in 2010. "We have scoring ability in 10 weight classes," said Brands. "We need to put points at a premium, and we have to be ready in the head. at's what this time of year is about. Make it go your way." Strong in March By Chris Brewer Two down, two to go. e third-ranked University of Iowa wrestling team won the Big Ten regular season title for the sixth time in seven years following a 28-10 win at Wisconsin on Feb. 23. It marked the second cham- pionship trophy this season for a team that cruised through the Midlands Championships with a tournament-record 187.5 points in December. e first title run was a blowout. A two-day span that saw Iowa place seven wrestlers in the finals. e second championship was not. Following a nine-week conference round robin, Iowa shares the regular season crown with Minnesota and Penn State — all three schools finished with iden- tical 7-1 conference records. UI head coach Tom Brands expects a greater degree of separation when the calendar flips to March. "We need to put more points on the board and our guys know they have firepower," Brands said aer Iowa split four decisions by a combined score of 8-6 in the regular season finale. "It has to be real- ized, and it is realized when it becomes lopsided and things start to open up. "I'm not just talking about Wisconsin. I'm talking about anybody in the country that needs to keep it close and wants to keep it close. We struggle with that and we have to give ourselves more opportu- nities. at's the bottom line." Trophy No. 3 sits in Madison, waiting to be claimed March 8-9 at the Big Ten Championships. Trophy No. 4 rests in Oklahoma City, where some- one will be able to claim it as their own March 20-22 at the NCAA Championships. Iowa will be among the favorites at both tournaments.

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