Bucknell Wrestling to Face Iowa at Madison Square Garden, Host Oklahoma State in Sojka Pavilion in December
June 7, 2012
LEWISBURG, Pa. - On back-to-back days this December, the Bucknell wrestling team will face two programs that have captured a combined 57 national titles. On Dec. 16, the Bison will take part in the first-ever collegiate dual meet in Madison Square Garden history as they will be one of nine teams to compete in the Grapple at the Garden, Benefitting Beat the Streets, when they square off against 23-time national champion Iowa in New York City. The very next day, Bucknell will host 34-time national champion Oklahoma State in Sojka Pavilion.
The Grapple at the Garden will feature Bucknell, Chattanooga, Hofstra, Iowa, Maryland, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Ohio State and Rutgers. Five of the teams placed in the top 25 at the 2012 NCAA Championship, including Iowa's third-place showing and Oklahoma State's sixth-place finish.
The Bison and Hawkeyes will be one of four matches that will begin at 10:30 a.m. Also at that time will be Rutgers vs. Chattanooga, Maryland vs. Nebraska and Ohio State vs. Hofstra. Four more matches will take place at 12:30 p.m.
"This is an honor and privilege for the Bucknell Wrestling program to be invited to compete in this prestigious event in Madison Square Garden," said Bison head wrestling coach Dan Wirnsberger. "This is a unique opportunity for our student-athletes to experience such a historic venue and to compete against one of the best wrestling programs of all-time, the Iowa Hawkeyes. We look forward to the challenge.
"Our participation in this event allows us the opportunity to be involved with something that is even bigger than wrestling, which is the Beat the Streets program of New York City. The organization has a mission to make a difference in young people's lives and teach them life-long skills through the sport. This is an event our student-athletes are excited to be a part of and will always remember."
After taking part in Sunday's historic event, both Bucknell and Oklahoma State will head to Lewisburg where they will square off Monday evening at 7 p.m. in Sojka Pavilion. It will be the fourth event the Bison have hosted in the facility, which typically serves as the school's primary basketball venue. Bucknell hosted Iowa and Rutgers in a tri-meet in November 2009, the EIWA Championships in March 2011 and Nebraska last November. The Bison are 1-2 all-time in Sojka Pavilion.
Tickets for both the Grapple at the Garden and the home dual vs. Oklahoma State will be available at a later date. To sign up for the exclusive pre-sale for the MSG event, please visit www.MSGInsider.com.
Bucknell has faced Iowa twice previously. The Bison traveled to Iowa City, Iowa, in 2008-09 and lost 40-3. The two teams squared off again the following year in Sojka Pavilion with the Hawkeyes prevailing by a 29-7 score. Iowa was ranked No. 1 in the country at the time of both matches.
Bucknell has traveled to Stillwater, Okla., to face Oklahoma State each of the past two seasons. The Bison dropped a 39-3 decision in 2010-11 and fell by a 35-6 score this past January. The Cowboys were No. 2 in the nation both times.
The complete 2012-13 Bison wrestling schedule will be announced later this summer.