ROSEMONT, Ill. - Wrestlers from all 14 Big Ten schools will head to Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland to compete in the 2018 NCAA Wrestling Championships, which begin Thursday and conclude Saturday evening. The Big Ten is sending 88 wrestlers, including 56 seeded grapplers and five No. 1 seeds, across the 10 weight classes.
ESPN will broadcast every match on every mat again this year on WatchESPN, in addition to linear coverage of all six sessions. ESPN will televise Sessions two, four and six on ESPN, while all other sessions are on ESPNU.
Eighty Big Ten wrestlers earned spots in the NCAA Championships field by virtue of their Big Ten Championships finish, while eight others received at-large bids. The conference is sending at least seven wrestlers in each weight class, including seven in the 197- and 285-pound weight classes, eight in the 133-, 157- and 174-pound weight classes, nine in the 184-pound weight class, 10 in the 125-, 141-, 149-pound weight classes, and 11 in the 165-pound weight class.
Five Big Ten wrestlers hold the top seed in their respective weight classes - Illinois' Isaiah Martinez (165), Ohio State's Kollin Moore (197) and Kyle Snyder (285) and Penn State's Zain Retherford (149) and Bo Nickal (184).
Six Big Ten schools have claimed NCAA Championships, led by Iowa with 23. Penn State is the defending champion, winning the seventh title in program history last season. Minnesota follows with three national titles, while Indiana, Michigan State and Ohio State also own one title each. A Big Ten school has taken home the national title in each of the last 11 years.
The three-day, six-session event will begin with preliminary matches at noon ET Thursday and will continue into the evening session beginning at 7 p.m. The third session will begin Friday at 11 a.m., with quarterfinal action and wrestlebacks highlighting the schedule. The fourth session begins at 8 p.m. and will feature semifinal action.
Saturday morning marks the conclusion of the consolation bracket as third-, fifth- and seventh-place winners will be decided beginning at 11 a.m. The sixth, and final, session is scheduled for Saturday evening at 8 p.m., where team and individual class champions will be crowned.