Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!
Already a subscriber? Log In
Sebastian Rivera has been one of the most fascinating 133-pounders of the season. The pre-season debates about which weight he would wrestle, his Puerto Rican trials story, his controversial match with Seth Gross, and his post-Midlands recovery from injury have all been important topics of conversation.
Wrestling fans could see him compete twice this weekend in matches that seem to have major seeding implications for the Big Ten Championships.
Friday, Feb 14 | 7:00 PM ET
On Friday night, Northwestern travels to Rivera's home state of New Jersey for a dual with Rutgers. At 133, Rutgers has true freshman Sammy Alvarez who burst onto the scene this year winning a tough Southern Scuffle bracket.
If Rivera beats Alvarez, Nomad projects that he will receive the #6 seed at the Big Ten Championships. While that seed might appear low given Rivera's #3 national ranking, the seed could be beholden to the Piotrowski injury default win over Rivera at Midlands and Rivera's inactivity since that time. This would set up a potential Big Ten quarterfinal between Rivera and Austin DeSanto.
If Rivera competes in Sunday's dual with Maryland, he'll see King Sandoval.
Sunday, Feb 16 | 1:00 PM ET
According to the same Nomad seeding projections article cited above, a win over Sandoval would likely put Rivera in the 11 spot at Big Tens, but if he doesn't compete at all, he could slide all the way to the 14 seed, setting up a round 1 match with DeSanto.
Seeds this low for a two-time All-American might seem preposterous, but Rivera's season has been anomalous in that he only has two matches against Big Ten opponents. The first was his wild Midlands semifinal with Seth Gross, and the second was a consolation match with Travis Piotrowski that Rivera was winning but ultimately lost by injury default.
Rivera took NCAA Champion Seth Gross down three times in his wild match with Seth Gross demonstrating that he's more than equipped to handle the move up from 125 this season. If he's healthy, he will be a title contender. Hopefully we'll get to see a healthy Rivera in action this weekend.