McDonough Iowa's only No. 1 seed for Big Tens

BY DI STAFF | FEBRUARY 28, 2012 6:30 AM

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Matt McDonough was awarded the top preliminary seed in the 125-pound bracket of the Big Ten wrestling championships on Monday.

The Hawkeye junior is the nation's top-ranked wrestler in his weight class and enters the conference tournament with a 27-1 record.

Eight other Hawkeyes earned preliminary seeds, and four joined McDonough as top-three seeds in their weights. Sophomore Ethen Lofthouse and senior Montell Marion were both given the third seed in their brackets, and Tony Ramos and redshirt freshman Mike Evans were named No. 2 seeds.

Iowa's five top-three seeds are the third-best in the conference, but the Hawkeyes' fewest since 2007. Head coach Tom Brands put seven of his grapplers in the top three in 2011, nine in 2009-10, six in 2008, and three in 2007.

Penn State has a top-three wrestler at eight weight classes, and Minnesota has one at six. Both the Gophers and Nittany Lions have three wrestlers seeded No. 1.

Grant Gambrall earned the fourth seed for Iowa at 184 pounds, Derek St. John and Bobby Telford were given sixth seeds, and redshirt freshman Mike Kelly was named the 10th seed at 149. Iowa did not earn a seed at 197 pounds.

The Big Ten championships will begin Saturday in West Lafayette, Ind.

— by Sam Louwagie

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