NCAA Wrestling Tournament Starts Tomorrow
The title of this article could have also read “World’s Largest Traditional Wrestling League Holds National Tournament”
This week, the NCAA — the self-righteous governing body of
amateur collegiate sports in America — is hosting the 82nd Annual NCAA Wrestling Tournament in St. Louis Missouri. The tournament is being covered by all types of national media, including the worldwide leader in sports (ESPN) who will broadcast every round for the first time in tournament history.
Of course this is a significant traditional wrestling event that holds dozens of unique distinctions within its community of worldwide traditional wrestlers, many of which are easy to deduce but tough to verify. There are claims that it’s the wealthiest (one of five NCAA championships to make money) and the most well attended (100k+), and it certainly seems to be the best publicized and covered event. None of these distinctions are surprising when you look a the broader sports scene in America, and even our core values. We put an emphasis on money-making, and delight in showmanship.
I’ll be there covering the event for IntermatWrestle.com and giving a short preview on Sirius Fight Club (Sirius 94/XM 208) between 4-6 PM on Thursday, March 15th. You can head over to Intermat now for several free articles on the team race, as well as some subscription articles on who to watch.
We all have busy schedules, but if you can only watch ONE round (outside of the finals which will be broadcast on ESPN and easily DVR’ed) you should watch the final round on Friday night. This round features the semifinals and the wrestleback round where winners earn the title All-American. Wrestling is one of the few sports (all of them individual) where collegiate athletes earn the title All-American rather than have it bestowed upon them by sportswriter. Trust me, you should never trust a sportswriter. This round is coated in high emotions and should make for quality television.
Also this year three Mongolians qualified for the NCAA tournament Bagna of George Mason (197), Ganbayar of American (157) and my good friend Turtogtokh of Citadel (174). Be sure to send them some good vibes.
Enjoy the tournament and for updates be sure to follow me on Twitter @trfoley