The Minnesota Golden Gophers will be represented very well at the 2012 NCAA Wrestling Championships as there will be someone from the U competing in nine of the ten weight-class brackets. The road to All-American status begins Thursday, which is coincidentally the same day that the schedule begins at the Scottrade Center.
The first day action, featuring the first round at 11 a.m. and the second round at 6:30 local time, will be broadcast on ESPN3 with analysts Shawn Kenney and Jim Gibbons on the call. According to a press release, ESPN3 will provide an exclusive four-screen, four-mat viewing experience unique to wrestling on the multi-screen sports network.
In our primer earlier this week, we broke down the stakes heading into the national tournament:
Zach Sanders, Chris Dardanes, Nick Dardanes, Dylan Ness, Logan Storley, Cody Yohn, Kevin Steinhaus, Sonny Yohn and Tony Nelson will all take the mat this weekend in hopes of earning All-American status. In addition to the individual brackets, the Gophers will also be looking to earn their first National Championship since the 2006-07 season
Sanders will be the wrestler to watch this week as he's already a three-time All-American in the 125-pound weight class. The senior enters the tournament as the No. 2 seed and a 26-3 record with all three losses coming to Iowa Hawkeyes wrestler Matt McDonough. If Sanders is able to be earn All-American honors again this weekend, he'll become just the fifth Gopher wrestler in team history to accomplish the feat.
The full bracket is on the NCAA's website. We'll have updates after each session, though following the Gophers' wrestling team on Twitter would be a wise choice for match-by-match results.
For more on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, check out The Daily Gopher.