Iowa men’s wrestling finishes second behind Penn State at Big Ten Wrestling Championships

No. 1 seeds Spencer Lee and Real Woods captured Big Ten titles in their respective weight classes on Sunday.


Daniel McGregor-Huyer

Iowa head coach Tom Brands yells during session three of the Big Ten Wrestling Championships at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Mich. on Saturday, March. 4, 2023.

Kenna Roering, Sports Reporter

ANN ARBOR — The Iowa men’s wrestling team finished in second place at the 2023 Big Ten Wrestling Championships, with 134.5 points and two individual champions. Reigning national champion Penn State placed first with 147 points and four individual titles. 

All 10 Hawkeyes automatically qualified for the NCAA Tournament in Tulsa, Oklahoma, from March 16-18. The NCAA Championship brackets will be released on March 8. 

“A lot of wrestling ahead of us,” Iowa head coach Tom Brands said following the conclusion of the tournament. “We have to be tougher in tough situations. We have to be tougher in tough positions. We have to score points and be more efficient. If we can do that, maybe we can throw ourselves into contention in Tulsa.”

Title-match results

125 POUNDS: No. 1 Spencer Lee (IA) over  No. 2 Liam Cronin (NU) via 8-2 decision

  • Lee captured his third Big Ten title with the 8-2 victory, moving him to 17-0 on the season
  • He has now won 55 consecutive matches
  • He is on the hunt for his fourth national title, which no Iowa wrestler has ever achieved

141 POUNDS: No. 1 Real Woods over No. 3 Brock Hardy (NU) via 2-1 decision

  • This was Woods’ first Big Ten Tournament appearance. The Stanford transfer defeated Hardy, 2-1, in the finals, moving him to 16-0 on the year
  • His 16 consecutive victories mark the longest winning streak of his collegiate career

165 POUNDS: No. 1 Dean Hamiti (WIS) over No. 3 Patrick Kennedy (IA) via 9-6 decision

  • Kennedy fell, 9-6, in the finals. The loss moved Kennedy to 19-3 on the season
  • This was Kennedy’s conference tournament debut

Third-place match results

HEAVYWEIGHT: No. 3 Tony Cassioppi over No. 4 Lucas Davison (NU) via 10-1 major decision

  • Cassioppi lost in the semifinals to Penn State’s No. 2 seed Greg Kirkvliet, who went on to place second after losing  to Michigan’s No. 1 seed Mason Parris in sudden victory  
  • This is the fourth time in his career he’s finished in the top three at the Big Ten Tournament

149 POUNDS: No. 4 Max Murin (IA) over No. 5 Shayne Van Ness (PSU) via 3-2  decision

  • This was Murin’s second victory over Van Ness in the 2023 tournament
  • Murin also placed third in last season’s Big Ten Tournament

Fifth-place match results

174 POUNDS: No. 7 Nelson Brands (IA) over No. 5 Edmond Ruth (ILL) via 5-1 decision

  • Brands avenged a regular season loss against Ruth with the win
  • Brands finished fourth in 2021

197 POUNDS: No. 5 Jacob Warner (IA) over Cameron Caffey (MSU) via medical forfeit

  • Warner lost to eventual runner-up Max Dean in the semifinals
  • Warner placed third in 2019, 2020, and 2021

Final team scores

1. Penn State, 147

2. Iowa, 134.5

3. Nebraska, 104.5

4. Ohio State, 99

5. Michigan, 84.5

6. Minnesota, 79

7. Northwestern, 78.5

8. Wisconsin, 55.5

9. Purdue, 47

10. Illinois, 46.5

11. Rutgers, 32

12. Indiana, 30

13. Michigan State, 38

14. Maryland, 24