It's ACC Wrestling Championship day, and things have just gone under way in Charlottesville, where John Paul Jones Arena plays host to six ACC schools and four wrestlers ranked among the nation's top five in their respective weight classes, one of which is two-time defending ACC champion Chris Henrich of Virginia at 174 pounds. Virginia will try to defend its 2010 ACC Championship title from predicted favorites Virginia Tech.
Along with Henrich, highlighting the event are N.C. State's Darrion Caldwell, 2009 NCAA Division I champion, (No. 1 at 149 pounds), Josh Asper of Maryland (No. 4 at 165 pounds), and Jesse Dong of Virginia Tech (No. 5 at 157 pounds).
Coming out of the ACC Championship will be twenty automatic NCAA Championship bids, broken down as 125 - 2; 133 - 1; 141 - 3; 149 - 2; 157 - 3; 165 - 2; 174 - 2; 184 - 3; 197 - 1; 285 - 1. The NCAA Championships will take place on March 17-19 at Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia.
This has already shaped out to be one of the best seasons in Virginia history, as the Cavaliers earlier set the school record 19 dual match victories in the regular season. Virginia has three No. 1 seeds in this year's Championships. Including Henrich, the Hoos have Mike Salopek, who won a gold medal last year at 184 pounds and is top-seeded this year at 197. Redshirt freshman Jon Fausey is the top seed at 184.
Only Virginia Tech, with four, has more No. 1 seeds than Virginia's three. The Hokies are ranked sixth nationally, and InterMat predicts the Hokies, Terrapins, and Wolfpack to finish in a three-way tie for 22nd nationally.
A live broadcast of the ACC Championships will be available for tonight's finals and consolation finals, beginning at 5:00 p.m.