Maryland wrestling finished in last place at the Big Ten Championships for the second straight season after scoring 7.5 points.
Maryland's 10.5-point finish last season was the third-worst score that the Big Ten had seen in the past three decades. This season, despite an improved but inexperienced roster, the Terps managed to underperform that score.
In 2015, Maryland went 0-10 in its first 10 matches at the Big Ten Championships. In 2016, Maryland went 1-9 in its first 10 matches. By starting off the tournament so poorly, the team had almost no margin for error.
With less automatic bids up for grabs this season, wrestlers could be eliminated earlier than they were last year. Last season, some weight classes wrestled all the way to the top 12 because 12 bids were given out at that weight class. This season, the most bids given out at any particular weight class was nine. Most weight classes received less than eight. For Maryland's wrestlers, if they didn't place in the top six, seven or eight in their weight class, they were done.
The Terrapins sent 10 wrestlers to the Big Ten Championships. By the end of Day One, only one remained.
Geoffrey Alexander, the lone Terrapin wrestler, wrestled for seventh and eighth place on Sunday afternoon at Carver-Hawkeye Arena against Ohio State's Johnni DiJulius. His match was a microcosm of Maryland's performance at the Big Tens. DiJulius embarrassed Alexander by teching him, 19-2. Alexander, the fourth seed and a top 15 ranked wrestler nationally, got mercy-ruled and had to settle for eighth.
The Bottom Line
A year after sending just three of its 10 wrestlers to NCAA's, only one wrestler is guaranteed to represent the University of Maryland at this year's NCAA Championships. That wrestler is Geoffrey Alexander at 133 pounds. Lou Mascola has a shot at an at-large bid, but it is no certainty. Maryland wrestling was disappointing at last year's Big Ten Championships, posting the third-worst score at the Big Tens in the past 30 years. That the Terps managed to do even worse this year, finishing with the second-worst score at the Big Tens in the past three decades, is simply and completely unacceptable. That is the bottom line.