The 2012-2013 Buckeye Wrestling team has already improved on their 2012 performance in qualifying for the quarterfinals. In the inaugural 2012 tournament, the Buckeyes finished 2nd in the Stillwater, Oklahoma region to the eventual tournament runner-up Oklahoma State. In the 2nd tournament, the Buckeyes earned an automatic qualification to the quarterfinals due to their performance throughout the regular season.
Since they earned an automatic bid in the quarterfinals, it’s likely that the #5 Buckeyes will be one of the top 4 seeded teams, in addition to #1 Oklahoma State, #2 Iowa, and #4 Minnesota. Rounding out the field in the quarterfinals will be #8 Illinois, #7 Virginia Tech, #6 Missouri, and #10 Cornell (for this preview, team rankings are according to the latest NWCA team rankings, because it’s their tournament, thus their rankings).
The quarterfinal matchups will be announced on Tuesday afternoon, but at a glance, it’s likely that the Buckeyes will find themselves matched up with #6 Missouri. Based on the most recent NWCA rankings, 8 of the 10 weight classes will feature a matchup between Top 20 ranked wrestlers (if #10 Peter Capone of the Buckeyes is able to wrestle), including a pair of #1 ranked wrestlers with Logan Stieber of the Buckeyes owning the #1 ranking at 133 lbs and Dom Bradley of the Tigers #1 at Heavyweight.
With the 4 teams in the quarterfinals, the Big Ten conference is well-represented. Falling short of the quarterfinals but also competing in the tournament were the teams from Michigan, Wisconsin, Purdue, Nebraska, and future Big Ten team Maryland.
With a berth in the tournament, the Buckeyes have a chance to avenge losses earlier in the season to Iowa and Minnesota. The Buckeyes earned victories in the current campaign against Illinois and Virginia Tech.
The NWCA National Duals will take place on the weekend of February 22nd and 23rd in Minneapolis.