A total of 23 Big 12 wrestlers will be competing this week at the 2013 NCAA Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Ten Oklahoma State Cowboys, seven Iowa State grapplers, five Oklahoma Sooners and one West Virginia wrestler make up the Big 12’s contingent.
Big 12 regular and postseason champion Oklahoma State will send all 10 of its starters to this year’s event. The Cowboys will be going for their 35th national title The program’s 34 NCAA titles all-time make it the winningest program in all of college sports. Cowboy wrestlers have combined to win 134 NCAA individual titles and 428 All-America honors through the years.
Each of the 10 weight classes features 33 wrestlers with the top 12 of those being seeded at the event. The Big 12 represents with 12 seeded wrestlers, including two No. 1 seeds. Oklahoma State’s Jordan Oliver and Chris Perry are both top seeds in their respective weight classes. Oliver looks to win his second national title, as he won the 133-pound championship in 2011.
The Conference received four At-Large Qualifiers, after getting in 19 wrestlers who qualified automatically with their finishes in the Big 12 Championship.
The at-large selections were made by the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee using the following selection criteria without priority order: head-to-head competition, qualifying event placement, quality wins, results against common opponents, winning percentage, rating percentage index, coaches ranking and number of matches contested at that weight class.
Over its history, the Big 12 has had four team national champions and 48 individual NCAA winners. All four team titles belong to OSU, while the Cowboys also lead the way in individual crowns with 19.
This year’s Championship will take place at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa. The action gets underway on Thursday morning and continues until a champion is crowned in each weight class on Saturday night. The first and second round matches on Thursday will be aired live on ESPN3. Friday’s quarterfinals and semifinals can be seen on ESPNU, and starting at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday, fans can watch the championship matches on live ESPN.