CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Minnesota tightened its stranglehold on Big Ten wrestling Sunday with its third conference title in the last four years.
The Golden Gophers, the league's defending champions, also had five individual champions at the Big Ten wrestling tournament at Assembly Hall.
The Golden Gophers racked up 174 points and handily defeated second-place Iowa (129), the only other team to claim a league title in the past four seasons. Michigan (121.5), Ohio State (115) and host Illinois (91.5) rounded out the top five.
Minnesota champions included three top seeds: LeRoy Vega, who decisioned seventh-seeded Luke Eustice of Iowa, 7-4; 133-pounder Ryan Lewis, who earned a 5-2 decision over seventh-seeded Jeff Ratliff of Ohio State; Luke Becker, who decisioned two-seed Ryan Bertin of Michigan, 5-3, at 157 pounds. Gopher upset winners included Damion Hahn, a No. 3 seed, who defeated Andy Hrovat of Michigan, the nation's No. 1 seed at 184 pounds, 8-4; No. 2 Owen Elzen, who upended No. 1 seed Nick Preston of Ohio State, 9-8, at 197 pounds.
Top-seeded Mike Zadick of Iowa won the 149-pound title with a controversial 4-3 decision over second-seeded Jared Lawrence of Minnesota. Zadick trailed Lawrence 3-2, but with eight seconds remaining, scored a takedown that the referee initially whistled out of bounds. A second official quickly overruled, awarding Zadick the deciding two points.
Sixth seed Luke Moffitt of Iowa finished an upset-filled route through the 141-pound bracket, pinning fourth-seeded Chad Erickson of Minnesota in 4:21.
The top seven finishers advance to the NCAA Championships March 21-23 in Albany, N.Y.
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