UTAH VALLEY at 2019 BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP
Saturday.-Sunday., March 9-10 | BOK Center | Tulsa, Okla.
Sat.: 10am MT/11am CT & 4pm MT/5pm CT | Sun: 11am MT/12pm CT & 6pm MT/7pm CT
TV: AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain/Fox Sports Networks (Sunday night's finals)
Live Video (FloWrestling) | Live Results | UVU Match Notes
Tournament Central | Pre-Seeds & Brackets
OREM, Utah – The Utah Valley University wrestling team will head to Tulsa, Oklahoma, this weekend for the 2019 Big 12 Wrestling Championship. The two-day qualifying tournament will run Saturday and Sunday, March 9-10, at the BOK Center.
The four-session, two-day event will get underway with the tournament's first session on Saturday at 10 a.m. MT/11 a.m. CT. Session II will then follow that afternoon at 4 p.m. MT/5 p.m. CT, while action will carry over to Sunday with session number three at 11 a.m. MT/noon CT followed by the championship finals on Sunday at 6 p.m. MT/7 p.m. CT.
Every match of the first three sessions will be streamed live on FloWrestling.org (subscription required), while Sunday evening's finals will be televised on AT&T SportsNet Rocky Mountain in Utah as well as a number of other regional Fox Sports Networks around the country. Live results for the duration of the tournament can also be followed by visiting Arena.FloWrestling.org.
"We've been preparing all year for the postseason. Our guys that have been here before are ready and have put themselves in great position to succeed," head UVU coach Greg Williams said. "We're excited to get to Tulsa and go and accomplish our goals.
"Having six guys in the position to go to nationals is really nice. We fully intend to take at least six to the NCAA Championships."
After dealing with a number of injuries throughout the season, the Wolverines (10-14, 1-8 Big 12) will send a primarily healthy and solid lineup to the Big 12 Championship this weekend that features a total of six ranked grapplers in the latest NCAA Coaches' Panel rankings and RPI. Matt Findlay (141 pounds) and Demetrius Romero (165) lead the way by each being ranked 10th in their respective weight class in the NCAA Coaches' Panel while Kimball Bastian is 12th at 174, Tanner Orndorff is 15th at 197, Tate Orndorffis 20th at heavyweight and Will Sumner is 25th at 184. Five of the six are also ranked in the latest RPI ranking with Romero checking in at 12th, and Bastian, Sumner, Tanner Orndorff and Tate Orndorff all ranked 16th.
The Big 12 Conference released the pre-seeds and tentative brackets for this weekend's championship earlier in the week and Romero (22-3) and Bastian (16-8) lead the way by each being pre-seeded second in their weight class. Findlay (14-2), Tanner Orndorff (15-9) and Tate Orndorff (21-6) are next by all being pre-seeded fourth, while Sumner is pre-seeded sixth. With the conference only pre-seeding eight of the 12 wrestlers at each weight class, Mitch Brown (125, 7-7), Isaiah Delgado (133, 7-15), Matthew Ontiveros(149, 3-11) and Grant LaMont (157, 3-9) will each enter the tournament unseeded.
The pre-seeds were voted into their positions by the leagues 12 head coaches and are subject to change. Final seeds will be confirmed at Friday's pre-championship coaches meeting.
2018 BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP RECAP
Bastian and Romero both earned podium finishes for UVU at the 2018 Big 12 Championship by placing fifth and sixth, respectively. Bastian, Romero and Tanner Orndorff are all returning NCAA qualifiers for the Wolverines, as well as Taylor LaMont, who placed third for the Wolverines last season to advance to nationals but is out for the 2018-19 season with an injury. In all, UVU took a program record five wrestlers to nationals last season and Tanner Orndorff leads the way by being a two-time NCAA qualifier for the Wolverines.
As a team, the Wolverines placed eighth out of 12 teams with a total of 50.5 points. UVU finished just a half of point back of Iowa State for seventh and a point and a half back of Oklahoma for sixth. Oklahoma State won the tournament for the sixth straight season with 137 points, while Northern Iowa took second with 96.5, South Dakota State third (94), Wyoming fourth (82.5), North Dakota State fifth (57), Oklahoma sixth (52), Iowa State seventh (51), West Virginia ninth (50), Northern Colorado 10th (30.5), Fresno State 11th (26.5) and Air Force 12th (22.5).
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP AUTO BIDS
The Big 12 Conference has been awarded a total of 53 automatic bids to the 2019 NCAA Championships. The Big 12's qualifier allocations for each weight class are as follows…
UTAH VALLEY 2018-19 SEASON RECAP
The Wolverines recently finished their regular season with a 10-14 overall record and a 1-8 dual clip in Big 12 action. The 10 wins marks the most for UVU since 2009-10 when it went 10-3. After knocking off both No. 15 Rutgers and No. 13 Purdue early in the season, the Wolverines spent a total of 10 consecutive weeks in the NWCA Top 25 Coaches Poll for the longest run in program history. UVU also held down its highest national ranking in program history by spending a week ranked as high as No. 21.
Injuries then plagued the Wolverines in the second half of the season, as all 10 of UVU's starters all missed time in UVU's lineup via injury or illness.
UP NEXT FOR UTAH VALLEY
Following the conclusion of the Big 12 Championship, qualified individuals will head to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for the 2019 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships that will take place March 21-23 at PPG Paints Arena. Last year, UVU sent a program-high five grapplers to nationals.
UTAH VALLEY'S BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIP LINEUP
125 - Mitch Brown, RSr. (7-7 overall, 4-4 duals)
133 - Isaiah Delgado, Fr. (7-15, 3-11)
141 - #10 Matt Findlay, RSo. (14-2, 13-2)
149 - Matthew Ontiveros, RSr. (3-11, 1-7)
157 - Grant LaMont, RJr. (3-9, 3-7)
165 - #10 Demetrius Romero, RJr. (22-3, 15-2)
174 - #12 Kimball Bastian, RJr. (16-8, 11-5)
184 - #25 Will Sumner, RSr. (17-9, 12-6)
197 - #15 Tanner Orndorff, RJr. (15-9, 11-5)
285 - #20 Tate Orndorff, RFr. (21-6, 14-4)