Noon Round B1G Tournament | Badgers spots on podium
Abigail Ruckdashel @ARuckdashel | Wisconsin Wrestling Online | Sunday, March 5, 2017
(Bloomington, IN) Only the final round remains in the 2017 Big Ten Championships, but the Badgers have already qualified six for the NCAA Championships in St. Louis.
Wisconsin boasts one in the finals as second seeded and second ranked Connor Medbery (R Sr). Medbery returns from an Olympic Redshirt, he is back this season putting on a domintant march at heavyweight. Medbery qualified for his fourth NCAA Championships, finishing highest his junior season two years ago, when he took home fourth place and his first All American honor. He also finished fourth at the Big Ten Tournament that same year. Medbery is on the hunt for titles in not only the Big Ten, but the National Championships as well.
Connor will take on returning Big Ten and National Champion, top seed and No. 1 ranked Kyle Snyder (Jr) of Ohio State in the heavyweight title match later this afternoon. Both Medbery and Snyder hold undefeated records and the top two spots nationally heading into this matchup. It’s sure to be a fight as the guys were training partners this past summer for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The Badgers have one in the third-place bout, and two in the fifth-place matches. On a last second, questionable call third seeded and ranked senior Isaac Jordan lost a close 4-3 decision to Michigan’s second seeded and ranked freshman star Logan Massa, sending Jordan to fight his way through the backside of the bracket and ending his crusade for a second Big Ten title.
Early afternoon, Jordan shut out eighth seeded Drew Hughes (Fr) from Michigan State to claim a spot in the third-place bout. He will take on fourth seeded Vincenzo Joseph (So) from Penn State in that consolation championship bout. Last time Joseph and Jordan met Jordan won a hard fought 6-4 decision in overtime.
Jordan was the defending Big Ten Champion after defeating his cousin Bo Jordan in the finals last season. This season Bo moved to 174 lbs, so he and Zeke did not meet this season. Though he may not be in the championship match, he’s claimed his fourth trip to the NCAA championships, finishing runner-up last season. Jordan will be on the hunt for his fourth All American finish, as well as the elusive national title.
Ricky Robertson (R Jr) and Ryan Christensen (R So) both battle for a fifth place this afternoon. Robertson qualified last season to the NCAA tournament, but this will be Christensen’s first trip. Last season Robertson qualified after finishing fifth at Big Ten. He went 2-2 at the NCAA’s, losing out before reaching All American status.
Robertson came in with the five seed this season. In the first round, he was upset by unranked Matt Correnti (Fr) of Rutgers in overtime. Correnti and Robertson are set to meet again this afternoon after both fighting their way through the consolation side of the bracket. Wisconsin and Rutgers did not dual this season, so yesterday was the first time these two met each other. Robertson will look for redemption and his second fifth place finish coming up.
Christensen came in with the eleventh seed. He will take on the fifth seeded Alex Meyer (Sr) of Iowa in his fifth-place bout. Christensen is looking for revenge after losing to Meyer 11-3 earlier this season in the dual at Carver-Hawkeye.
Two Badgers have already finished the tournament with spots secured to St. Louis. The two freshmen, eighth seeded Hunter Ritter and Cole Martin, both secured their first (of hopefully many) trips to the NCAA’s yesterday evening.
Cole finished seventh this morning after upsetting the second seeded and tenth ranked Jimmy Gulibon (Sr) from Penn State when he pinned Jimmy in the opening period. Last time Gulibon and Martin met, Gulibon got the 15-3 major decision. Not this time. Cole is a Wisconsin native, winning three state titles for Lancaster. He will look to add All American status to his resume coming up in a few weeks inside the Scottrade Center.
Hunter Ritter finished 8th this morning after claiming a trip to St. Louis last night. Ritter took on Minnesota’s tenth seeded Bobby Steveson (R Fr) looking for a win to close out his first Big Ten Tournament appearance. Unfortunately, he had to settle for 8th after dropping a close 4-1 decision. When Wisconsin dueled at Minnesota, Ritter didn’t see Stevenson. Instead he saw Jordan Rothers, getting the 7-2 decision for the Badgers.
The final round begins live on Big Ten Network starting at 2pm C.S.T. Zeke, Ricky and Connor will all be wrestling, looking to cap the tournament with a win. Stay tuned to find out what happens.