The Gophers will be one of three teams favored to vie for the title at the Big Ten Wrestling Championships on Saturday and Sunday at the University of Wisconsin.

The Gophers, Penn State and Iowa finished tied for first in the conference with dual meet records of 7-1.

The Nittany Lions, who have five No. 1 seeds, have won the past three conference tournaments.

The Gophers have a wrestler seeded sixth or better in nine of the 10 weight classes: David Thorn (third) at 133 pounds; Chris Dardanes (third) at 141; Nick Dardanes (second) at 149, Dylan Ness (third) at 157; Danny Zilverberg (sixth) at 165; Logan Storley (fourth) at 174; Kevin Steinhaus (second) 184, Scott Schiller (third) at 197 and Tony Nelson (fifth) at heavyweight, despite being the two-time defending NCAA champion.

“We’re right there,” Minnesota coach J Robinson said. “… Seeds are great. But once you get into a tournament, seeds don’t make any difference.”

Kent Youngblood