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Wrestling: Big Ten Tournament Seeds Announced

Nebraska’s Eric Schultz leads the pack as the 1-seed at 197 pounds

Husker Head Coach Mark Manning (left), Tervel Dlagnev (front), and Bryan Snyder (right) during their dual against Illinois on Feb. 13.
Dylan Guenther / CORN NATION

The Big Ten Conference released its pre-seeds today for the 2022 Big Ten Championships in Lincoln at the Pinnacle Bank Arena. The No. 11-ranked Huskers received their seeds and are in good position to challenge for some individual and team hardware.

At 125 pounds, freshman Jeremiah Reno will have a tough road as the 13-seed. He’ll face 4-seed Malik Heinselman of Ohio State in the first round. That will be a tough match for Reno as Heinselman is an experience and talented senior who’s ranked No. 7 in the country.

Another freshman in Dominick Serrano will toe the line for Nebraska at 133 pounds. Serrano goes in as the 10-seed after going 12-9 in the regular season. He’ll face 7-seed Chris Cannon of Northwestern in the first round. If Serrano is able to pull the upset against Cannon, who he narrowly lost to 5-4 in their dual, then he’ll face 2-seed Austin DeSanto of Iowa. The No. 3-ranked wrestler in the country at 133 pounds, DeSanto will be a very heavy favorite against Serrano.

Nebraska’s Chad Red Jr. earned the 4-seed at Big Tens. The senior is 11-4 on the year and will likely see a showdown with 5-seed Jakob Bergeland of Minnesota in the quarterfinal before possibly taking on the top-ranked 1-seed Nick Lee of Penn State in the semis.

At 149, Nebraska’s Ridge Lovett earned the 3-seed and will likely face 6-seed Mike Van Brill of Rutgers in the quarters. Lovett went 17-2 during the regular season and figures to possibly make it to his second Big Ten final. After surprising everyone and making it to the Big Ten final last season as the 7-seed, Lovett will have to get through 2-seed Austin Gomez of Wisconsin in the semis if he wants to make it back to the final. Gomez beat Lovett 4-2 this year in their dual matchup.

At 157 pounds, Nebraska’s Peyton Robb was given the 5-seed. Robb comes in 10-6 on the year and has struggled in Big Ten competition. Robb will look to turn things around this weekend when he likely faces 4-seed Kendall Coleman of Purdue in the quarters. With a win over Coleman, Robb will face 1-seed Ryan Deakin of Northwestern in the semifinal round. Deakin put a hurt on Robb in their dual matchup, winning a dominant 4-2 decision.

Nebraska’s third freshman starter is Bubba Wilson at 165 pounds. Wilson comes in with a 10-10 record on the year and earned the 8-seed. Wilson will take on 9-seed Cael Carlson of Minnesota in the first round. With a win, Wilson would then face 1-seed Carson Kharchla of Ohio State. That’s a tough road for the freshman.

At 174 pounds, Nebraska’s Mikey Labriola earned the 3-seed. The junior is 16-2 and is fresh off his biggest career win over then-No. 2 Michael Kemerer of Iowa. Labriola has a fairly easy road through to the semis where he’ll likely face 2-seed Logan Massa of Michigan. Massa downed Labriola 4-1 in their dual matchup this year.

Nebraska senior Taylor Venz was given the 4-seed after going 13-6 during the regular season. He’ll have to face 13-seed Max Lyon of Purdue in the opening round. Lyon beat Venz 7-2 to open Big Ten play but has struggled lately. With a win over Lyon, Venz will face Iowa’s 5-seed Abe Assad in the quarters. Venz just pinned Assad to end the regular season.

It was the most emphatic pin I’ve ever seen.

Nebraska’s best shot at an individual Big Ten champion is senior Eric Schultz who received the 1-seed after going 14-1 on the season and 8-0 in Big Ten duals. Schultz will receive a first-round bye before a match against 8-seed Braxton Amos of Wisconsin or 9-seed Gavin Hoffman of Ohio State. With a win, Schultz will likely face 4-seed Jacob Warner of Iowa or 5-seed Pat Brucki of Michigan. Schultz is coming off a 3-2 decision win over Warner and also downed Brucki 8-5. If Schultz can get to the final, he’ll likely face 2-seed Max Dean of Penn State who is also the top-ranked wrestler in the country.

At heavyweight, Nebraska senior Christian Lance earned the 6-seed. Lance will face 11-seed Michael Woulfe of Purdue in the opening round. Lance beat Woulfe 11-4 in the regular season. With the win, Lance will face 3-seed Greg Kerkvliet of Penn State in the quarters. Kerkvliet beat Lance 8-2 in their dual matchup and will be a heavy favorite against Lance.