Big 12 Outlook: Mizzou’s Path to Triumph in the Big 12 Championships

Link to Brackets

After a brutal finish to the end of the season the Tigers are looking healthy for the first time since January. Based on seeds they’re set to finish 3rd, 11 points behind ISU and OSU tied at the top. They’re also only projected to qualify eight wrestlers, with a handful right on the bubble. Surtin and O’Toole are one seeds, while Logan Gioffre is the lowest at the eight. While some wrestlers have tough draws, others I think have a lot of upside. This tournament will depend on where this team is at compared to the start of the season. Early this year they were highly offensive, scoring bonus points and upsets but have struggled to do so lately. If they can take advantage of the missed time and get back to scoring points then Mizzou could surge to the top for their 13th conference title. 

125lbs: 1 Seed; #11 Noah Surtin (14-2)

First Round Match: Bye

Noah Surtin comes in as the top seed for the first time in his career, but making the finals won’t be easy against a stacked Big 12. After his bye first round he’ll see the winner between CBU’s Eli Griffin and UNI’s Trever Anderson. Griffin has a win over Stevo Poulin this season and while inconsistent is extremely dangerous. Anderson is similar with some big wins including a pin over Griffin while behind. 

In the semis he is likely to see the winner of Jore Volk vs Tanner Jordan. Surtin beat both wrestlers but the Volk match was in overtime and a close tossup. I like Surtin to navigate his side of the bracket, and potentially see either Stevo Poulin in a Big 12 finals rematch from last year or Troy Spratley in the finals. I think Surtin has the capacity, but his injury could hamper him with so many tough matches. 

Prediction: Top Three

133lbs – 6 AQ’s: 6 Seed; #22 Kade Moore (10-3)

First Round Match: Unseeded; Bubba Wright (Air Force)

After missing time due to injury, Moore is back and ready for his first Big 12 tournament. While his conditioning and rust are a question after missing so much time, I think Moore has a great draw on the bottom half of the bracket away from Daton Fix. Look for Moore to score some bonus early and get an intriguing match with three seed Dom Serrano of Northern Colorado. Serrano has some solid wins this season, but nothing that makes me rule out Moore pulling an upset. 

If Moore makes the semis, I think momentum could give him an opportunity against Evan Frost of Iowa State. 133 is all over the place past the top handful of wrestlers, and Moore has flashed signs he could be a contender. The only ranked wrestlers he saw as a starter were Sam Latona and Vito Arujau, and he looked good in those matches. With only six qualifying spots he is on the…

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Written by James Hackney

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