2014 B1G Bracket
MADISON, Wis. – Redshirt freshman Jason Tsirtsis made his mark during his first Big Ten Championships tournament, earning the 149 lb. crown Sunday at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wisc.
WATCH: Tsirtsis vs. Sueflohn 149 lbs. Championship Match
Tsirtsis clinched the 149 lb. title with a wire-to-wire 6-2 decision over the Big Ten’s top seeded Jake Sueflohn of Nebraska.
The performance also earned Tsirtsis the Big Ten Freshman of the Year award and a spot on the 2014 All-Big Ten Team.
“My focus this week has been really determined where the big crowds aren’t going to affect you too much, where it’s just me wrestling him basically,” Tsirtsis said. “Sueflohn’s a goer. He’s going to go for seven minutes, whether he’s winning 14-0 to losing 14-0. I knew I was going to have a battle on my hands. I just embraced it and went out and stuck to the gamep lan.”
Under head coach Drew Pariano, Tsirtsis becomes the second consecutive NU wrestler to win a Big Ten Championship after Jason Welch brought home the 157 conference title in 2013. The ‘Cats have recorded a Big Ten champion in six of the last ten seasons and Tsirtsis is the 31st different Wildcat to win a Big Ten championship in school history.
“You wrestle to have fun and feel good about yourself, so I just take it one match at a time,” Tsirtsis said. “Wrestling’s adapting to where you’re are getting better at a younger age and I think that has to do with coaches helping out youth groups. They’re developing their skills where they jump into college and they’re ready to go.”
The freshman from Crown Point, Ind. led Sueflohn 2-0 one minute into the first period. After an escape by Sueflohn to make it 2-1, Tsirtsis kept the pressure on to rack up the points and close out the match with a 6-2 decision.
As a team, the ‘Cats finished No. 9 in the conference with 57.0 points. Tsirtis is one of five Northwestern wrestlers to reach the podium in the conference championships who all all compete at the NCAA Championships.
Other ‘Cats to place at Big Ten are Dominick Malone (No. 8 at 133), Pierce Harger (No. 4 at 165), Alex Polizzi (No. 4 at 197) and Mike McMullan (No. 5 at 285).
In the finals session, Harger and Polizzi fell in the third-place matches. Mike McMullan recorded a 8-2 dec, over Penn State’s Jon Gingrich.
The NCAA Championships take place March 20-22 in Oklahoma City.
149: No. 3 Jason Tsirtsis dec. No. 1 Jake Sueflohn (NEB), 6-2
Consolation Semifinal Matches
165: No. 3 Pierce Harger (NU) fall No. 5 Jackson Morse (ILL) 3:26
197: No. 7 Alex Polizzi (NU) dec. No. 5 Nathan Burak (IOWA), 4-3
285: No. 4 Bobby Telford (IOWA) dec. No. 3 Mike McMullan (NU), 3-1
165: No. 6 Danny Zilverberg (MINN) dec. No. 3 Pierce Harger (NU), 4-3
197: No. 3 Scott Schiller (MINN) dec. No. 7 Alex Polizzi (NU), 6-1
285: No. 3 Mike McMullan (NU) dec. No. 8 Jon Gingrich (PSU), 8-2
133: No. 7 Jimmy Gulibon (PSU) maj. dec. No. 10 Dominick Malone (NU), 9-1
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