March 2, 2017
Big 12 Bracket Seeds | Full Notes in PDF
BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP
BOK Center | Tulsa, Okla.
Saturday, March 4 - Watch Live on FLoWrestling
11:00 a.m. CT - Session I - Preliminary & Quarterfinal Matches
6:00 p.m. CT - Session II - Semifinal & Consolation Quarterfinal Matches
Sunday March 5 - Watch Live on FLoWrestling
8:00 a.m. CT - Session III - Consolation Semifinals, 3rd & 5th Place Matches
1:00 p.m. CT - Session IV - Championship Matches - Broadcast Live on Fox Sports
THIS WEEK: Wrestling travels to Tulsa, Oklahoma, to compete for titles at the 2017 Big 12 Championships, March 4-5, in the BOK Center. FloWrestling will be providing a live stream for the first three sessions of the tournament. The championship finals will not be live on FloWrestling. The finals will be broadcast on Fox Sports. A service provider channel listing can be found at Big12Sports.com.
TUNE IN: Fans can access the FloWrestling live stream by going to goairforcefalcons.com, and clicking the watch live link in the schedule drop down. A subscription to FloWrestling is required for viewing. Live updates will be provided by the Air Force wrestling twitter page, @AFAwrestling. The championship finals will be aired on Fox Sports. Check with your cable provider for channel listings.
LAST TIME AT THE BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIPS: Air Force concluded the 2016 Big 12 Championship with three place winners and a ninth-place team finish. Then-senior Josh Martinez led the Falcons with a fifth place finish while Michael Billingsley and Drew Romero finished sixth and seventh respectively.
The Falcons finished the championship event with 39.5 team points. Oklahoma State won the team title. Romero was officially qualified to the NCAA tournament at the conclusion of the Big 12 Championship. Martinez received an at-large bid the following week.
THE FALCONS’ LINEUP: The Air Force lineup for the Big 12 Championships consists of two NCAA qualifiers and two 2016 Big 12 Championship place winners. Drew Romero (125) won seventh-place at last year’s tournament. He earned an NCAA qualifying bid in the wake of his podium-finish. Michael Billingsley (174) earned a sixth place finish last year in the 165 class. Dylan Hyder (133) is a 2012 NCAA qualifier and a 2012 WWC champion.
Romero, Hyder, Jerry McGinty, Billingsley and Anthony McLaughlin competed in Air Force’s first Big 12 tournament. John Twomey, Alex Mossing, Ricky Padilla, Zen Ikehara and Kerry Powers will be making their debut appearances in the conference tournament.
Six Falcons enter the tournament with overall winning records, led by fourth-seeded McLaughlin who is 18-7 on the season with a 3-0 mark in conference dual matches. Hyder is 17-14, McGinty is 17-11, Mossing is 11-10, Padilla is 16-8 and Romero is 14-13.
A LOOK AT THE FIELD: Oklahoma State leads the way with six top-seeded wrestlers, while South Dakota State records two. North Dakota State and West Virginia both have one wrestler in the top spot.
All ten schools will place a wrestler in each weight class. The seeds, as voted by the conference coaches and approved at the pre-championship coaches meeting on Friday, will compete over two days for 38 automatic qualifying bids to the NCAA Championship, as well as the 2017 Big 12 Championship team title.
Oklahoma State’s Dean Heil (141), Anthony Collica (149), Joe Smith (157), Chandler Rogers (165), Nolan Boyd (184) and Austin Shafer (285) lead the way as the No. 1 seeds for the Cowboys. Seth Gross (133) and David Kocer (174) slot in as the top seeds for the SDSU. NDSU’s Josh Rodriguez (125), WVU’s Jacob A. Smith (197) round out the top of the brackets for the conference.
AIR FORCE WITH WIN IN REGULAR SEASON FINALE: Senior team captain Parker Hines led the Falcons to victory with a major decision in the final bout, lifting Air Force to a 20-15 win over Northern Colorado on Senior’s Night. Billingsley registered a major decision while four other Falcons tallied decision victories, including freshman Padilla’s debut dual upset over No. 25 Keilan Torres, Feb. 16, in Clune Arena. The victory marked Air Force’s first Big 12 win of the season as well as their first home win. Air Force finalized its 2016-17 dual slate at 6-6, with a 1-4 mark in the Big 12.
UP NEXT FOR AIR FORCE: Air Force is competing for bids to the NCAA tournament, hosted in St. Louis, Missouri, March 16-17. Wrestlers can earn a bid by placing within the qualifying allocations at each weight. The Big 12 Conference was allocated 38 spots; 125 (4), 133 (4), 141 (4), 149 (4), 157 (3), 165 (5), 174 (3), 184 (2), 197 (5), 285 (4).