For starters, what a great struggle to watch. The overall depth and high quality wrestling that took place at Rutgers was very entertaining. I was impressed and sometimes amazed at the quality of the fight in several weights. The overall depth of the Big Ten continues to improve and I expect this trend to continue.
A brief overview of the team:
125: Spence Lee is… Spencer Lee. There really is nothing else I can say. I really, really liked the way Lee opened his matches by intentionally releasing his opponents to get another out. It really opened up his games and also allowed him to score points. He makes taking out against a tough competition easier than any wrestler I've ever seen compete. Spencer Lee is always doing better. Much better.
133: Austin DeSanto placed fourth in the toughest weight of the Big Ten tournament. The mix of quality and quantity at 133 pounds. in the Big Ten is amazing. DeSanto dropped two games against two top wrestlers. I'm looking for DeSanto to fight better at the national championships.
141: Max Murin gave up a close game with the time elapsed in the quarter-finals and gave up a game in the consolation semifinal. Murin has improved a bit compared to last year, but still needs to improve to move up to national championship rank. I firmly believe that Max Murin has the skills to perform well at national championships.
149: Pat Lugo looked like what I wrote about him last week. The look of a confident senior on a mission. Lugo looked confident and flexible as he won his first Big Ten title. His withdrawal in the final was a new move that I haven't seen from him in a big game. It's great to see Lugo evolve and continue to improve. Pat Lugo is the man to beat at 149 pounds.
157: Kaleb Young was 0-2 for the Big Tens and did not finish. That's rare for a # 2 seed. Young is eligible for a blanket offer so he can still qualify for the National Championships. The announcement will be made tomorrow. With a # 6 ranking in the most recent DI Coaching Rankings and a solid RPI ranking, I hope Young will secure a nomination for the Nationals.
165: Penn State's Alex Marinelli vs. Vincenzo Joseph is always a good game to watch. For the first time in four games, there hasn't been a big six-point throw. Marinelli scored in a superb double final for a withdrawal in the last ten seconds of the game. Hopefully these two meet in the NCAA Finals in two weeks.
174: Michael Kemerer vs. Mark Hall Part II was another entertaining game. The points Kemerer gave up in the danger zone made the difference in the game. I didn't like it but these are the rules. Kemerer's withdrawal at the end of the match showed once again that he can outlive Hall. Like at 165, I really hope these two meet again in the NCAA Finals.
184: Abe Assad saw his first action since Feb.2 and placed fourth. Assad let go of a tough game in the semi-finals when he couldn't finish on multiple shots. There is not a single thing that I have seen of Assad that cannot be fixed before the Nationals. I really like his athleticism, his strength and his desire to mix. Considering the long layoff and being a true freshman, Assad impressed me. I believe the potential is there for Assad to have a very good performance at the Nationals.
197 Jacob Warner came in as the No. 3 seed and placed third. The tournament's low point was a loss in the quarterfinals. The bright spot was the way Warner responded with solid wins. Warner looked the best of his career in the consolation finals. If Warner gets the momentum from what we saw on Sunday, he will be a real force at the Nationals.
Hwt: Tony Cassioppi fought for the top seed by placing third. Cassioppi looked good on Sunday and finished the tournament with a big pin on a quality opponent. Like I said, Tony Cassioppi will score a lot of points for Iowa at the national championships.
Kudos to Spencer Lee on being named the Big Ten Wrestler of the Year. A well-deserved honor because Lee has dominated his opponents all season in the very difficult Big Ten. Congratulations also to Tom Brands for being named Big Ten Coach of the Year. Brands was also nominated for this honor in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
The time between now and the national championships will pass quickly. I've never seen a reaction on social media like I did yesterday and today from Iowa Wrestling fans. The wrestling nation of Iowa is excited.
Big Tens Statistics:
It was the 36th Big Ten title in Iowa Wrestling history. Most in the Big Ten.
157.5 was the most points an Iowa team scored at Big Tens since 1995.
Three Big Ten champions is the most for an Iowa team since 2003.
The nine winners got automatic bids for the NCAA tournament.
Spencer Lee is the first Hawkeye named Big Ten Wrestler of the Year since 2008.
Tom Brands won his fourth Big Ten Coach of the Year award.
There were nine schools represented in the Big Ten Finals.
BIG TEN INDIVIDUAL WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Wrestler of the Year: Spencer Lee, IOWA
Coach of the Year: Tom Brands, IOWA
- IOWA 157.5
- Nebraska 132
- Ohio state 112
- Penn State 107
- Purdue 83
- Northwest 79.5
- Michigan 73
- Minnesota 63.4
- Wisconsin 62.5
- Michigan St 57
- Illinois 49
- Rutgers 25.5
- Indiana 14.5
- Maryland 0.0
It's great to be an Iowa Wrestling fan.
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“Scream” star David Arquette has an extreme volonté that almost cost him his life — professional wrestling.
Two years ago, Arquette faced off against ex-con Nick Gage in a deathmatch, the most hardcore style where the wrestlers swing chairs, baseball bats and the like.
With blood gushing from his neck, Arquette gets up and tries to pin Gage but can’t. He jumps out of the ring, holding his neck. Then, he climbs back in and smacks Gage with a folding peau. After a couple of minutes, though, Arquette is the one who gets pinned.
“It nearly cost me my life, ” Arquette told the Star of the match. “I was in way over my head. I was about half an inch from death…”
Arquette decided to go back into the ring after fellow pro wrestler Jack Perry, the son of late actor Luke Perry, assured him that he wasn’t bleeding to death. Perry is the one who took Arquette to the hospital.
Arquette told the Star : “I could hear Luke but I couldn’t see him, ” Arquette told the Star. “I said : ‘Luke is it pumping ? ’ because I was worried I was bleeding out and he said : ‘No it’s not pumping. ’ I knew at that point I wasn’t dying immediately, I could try to finish the match. ”
Arquette has had a lifelong love affair with wrestling, which is traced in a new documentary, “You Cannot Kill David Arquette. ” The film tells of how Arquette has spent the past two decades trying to earn back the respect of the wrestling world — after he won the 2000 World Championship Wrestling heavyweight title as a publicity stunt for his movie “Ready to Rumble. ”
In those years, the 49-year-old Arquette has battled heart problems and drug addiction. After the Gage match, Arquette’s wife, Christine, told him : “I just feel like you want to die, ” the actor recalled.
“I don’t want to die but life is painful, ” Arquette told the Star. “If you have addiction issues like I do there’s an element in the back of your head that the addict is literally trying to kill you. You have to find ways to deal with it so you don’t continue to kill yourself, either slowly or quickly. ”
For Arquette, wrestling helped him deal with the deaths of Luke Perry, a close friend who died of a stroke, and his transgender sister, Alexis, who died of a heart attack.
“Losing someone is really painful but a few things have happened to make me feel we are all much more connected, ” Arquette said. “For wrestling, you shave everything and at one point I was looking at my arms and it was like I was looking at Alexis’ arms, as being transgender she would shave them… For a second it was like I was looking through Alexis’ eyes… I think we’re a lot more connected than any of us know. ”
Through the film, Arquette has finally learned to accept himself. “I accomplished what I set out to do, ” Arquette told the Star. “I wanted to prove I could be a wrestler. And through this whole experience, I figured out – and it’s ironic – I need to stop beating myself up. I had to stop attacking myself and be kind to myself, as corny as it sounds.