Starting Lineups: Don’t Sleep On The NCAA Wrestling ChampionshipsThe Rev, Wrestling — By Rev. P. Revere on March 20, 2014 at 10:24 am
Today is arguably my favorite day, mainly because the NCAA Tournament is pretty much my favorite thing on the planet. As an added bonus, as you are reading this, I am en route to San Antonio to watch Baylor, Nebraska, Creighton, UL Lafayette, North Carolina, Providence, Iowa State and North Carolina Central live and in-person. Plus, it’s my 30th birthday. That’s a lot of reasons for a favorite day.
But, the NCAA Basketball Tournament isn’t the only championship bracket going on right now. In fact, today kicks off the Division I NCAA Wrestling Championships in Oklahoma City, with three-time defending National Champion Penn State looking to defend its thrown for a fourth straight title.
Coming off a fourth straight Big Ten Championship, the Nittany Lions, led by a guy who knows a thing or two about four-peating as champion in head coach Cael Sanderson — who went undefeated and won four straight national titles at Iowa State and then an Olympic gold medal — are the favorites once more. And while Penn State is expected to four-peat, stiff competition will come from the likes of conference foes Iowa and Minnesota, as well as fellow perennial power Oklahoma State wrestling in front of a home crowd.
Penn State is in good hands, however, led by seniors David Taylor, national runner-up last year and national champion as a sophomore, and two-time defending national champ Ed Ruth and steered by Sanderson, widely considered the best U.S. collegiate wrestler of all time — not to mention the deepest roster in the country.
So in between watching your NCAA Tournament brackets get busted, tune in to the NCAA Wrestling Championships to catch a glimpse at a sudden dynasty looking to continue to build its legacy and the challenges attempting to knock Penn State off the mountaintop.