Oklahoma State rides into the Big 12 Wrestling Championship looking to claim its seventh consecutive conference title this weekend at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The Cowboys finished the regular season ranked No. 2 in the country with a perfect 15-0 record. OSU has six wrestlers ranked No. 1 at their respective weight class, including undefeated two-time Big 12 champion Nick Piccininni at 125 pounds.
No other Big 12 school has more than one wrestler with a No. 1 seed. Iowa State’s Sam Colbray (184), Northern Iowa’s Josh Alber (141), Oklahoma’s Justin Thomas (157) and Wyoming’s Branson Ashworth (165) were also voted No. 1 seeds.
5 OSU storylines to watch
Joe Smith at 165
Smith will make his debut this at 165 after winning a wrestle-off against fellow two-time All-American Chandler Rogers. Smith was originally given the No. 8 seed, but after Friday’s coaches meeting was awarded the No. 7 seed. Smith would’ve faced Iowa State’s Logan Schumacher in the first round, and likely met top-seeded Branson Ashworth of Wyoming in the quarterfinals. Now, however, Smith will face Utah Valley’s Demetrius Romero in the quarterfinals if the Cowboy defeats Northern Colorado’s Macoy Flanagan in the opening round.
OSU didn’t have Smith in the lineup until December at The Reno Tournament of Champions. He went 14-4 during the season at 174 pounds, and will be seeking his third Big 12 title after winning the 157 crown in 2016 and 2017.
Dakota Geer (184), Jacobe Smith (197) drop down
With Preston Weigel’s return at 197, both Jacobe and Dakota Geer will drop down in weight. Jacobe and Geer both expressed that it won’t be an issue having to cut weight and that they’ve gained confidence from wrestling up.
Jacobe has a first-round bye and will face the winner of Dominic Kincaid (Fresno State) and Seth Bogulski (Northern Colorado) in the quarterfinals. Jacobe pinned Bogulski earlier this season.
Geer also has a bye and will face the No. 6 Will Sumner (Utah Valley)-Dalton Robertson (UNC) winner. Geer hasn’t faced either one this season.
Piccininni is the clear favorite to win the tournament after he pinned reigning NCAA champion Spencer Lee of Iowa in the regular-season dual finale. The Piccininni has yet to drop a bout this season and should be able to rack up some bonus-point victories Saturday for the Cowboys.
Daton Fix vs. Austin Gomez III ?
As everyone expected, OSU’s Daton Fix and Iowa State’s Austin Gomez are the top two seeds at 133. Fix is 2-0 against Gomez this season, and the two could clash in the finals in front of the Cowboy’s hometown crowd.
"I feel dangerous"...— Cayden McFarland (@caydenmc) March 8, 2019
The @Big12Conference Wrestling Tournament returns to the @BOKCenter this weekend.
I caught up w/Sand Springs native & @CowboyWrestling's Daton Fix (@_Greatest_Ever1) to talk about his freshman season so far & wrestling for a #Big12 title so close to home. pic.twitter.com/GqOtYAvL95
Can Wyatt Sheets qualify for NCAAs by winning Big 12s?
Win and you’re in. It’s that simple for Wyatt Sheets at 157 since the Big 12 was only awarded one automatic qualifying spot to the NCAA tournament. He could still earn a wild-card bid to make NCAAs, though, even if he doesn’t win Big 12s. Sheets didn’t make himself a fixture in the Cowboys lineup until January, so he hasn’t faced anyone on his side of the bracket. To make the finals, he’ll likely have to go through No. 1 seed Justin Thomas (Oklahoma), who dropped a 5-3 decision to OSU’s Andrew Shomers in the Bedlam dual.
125: No. 1 Nick Piccininni
133: No. 1 Daton Fix
141: No. 5 Kaid Brock
149: No. 1 Kaden Gfeller
157: No. 4 Wyatt Sheets
165: No. 7 Joe Smith
174: No. 1 Jacobe Smith
184: No. 3 Dakota Geer
197: No. 1 Preston Weigel
285: No. 1 Derek White
Big 12 Championship schedule
Saturday, March 9
Session I: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Session II: 5-9 p.m.
Semifinals, Consolation quarterfinal
Sunday, March 10
Session III: Noon to 2 p.m.
Consolation Semifinals, third- and fifth-place bouts
Session IV: 7 p.m.
*Fox Sports Southwest