Little Rock Wrestling Set for 2024 Pac-12 Championships

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LITTLE ROCK – March Matness has arrived, and it’s kicking off with the 2024 Pac-12 Championships this Sunday, March 10 at Gill Colosseum in Corvallis, Oregon. Little Rock will compete at the conference tournament for titles as well as bids to the NCAA Championships.
The first round of the Pac-12 Championships will begin at 12 p.m. CT. The first two sessions will be streamed through Oregon State’s live feed while the championship round will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network. Fans can also watch the tournament on the Pac-12 Now app.

Be sure to also follow the Trojans on social media throughout the weekend. You can find the team on social media at @LittleRockWRES on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Session 1: First Session, 12 p.m. CT (10 a.m. PT)
Watch Mat 1* | Watch Mat 2*

Session 2: Second Session, 6:45 p.m. CT (4:45 p.m. PT)
Watch Mat 1 | Watch Mat 2

Session 3: Championship Round, 8:00 p.m. CT (6 p.m. PT)
Watch Championship Round

*Two mats will be utilized throughout the tournament. Opening rounds will commence on the mats as they become available. View brackets here.

How the Trojans Can Earn an Automatic Qualification to the NCAA Tournament

Each qualifying tournament was awarded pre-allocations to the national tournament based on regular season performance by conference wrestlers. Learn more about the pre-allocations here. The full chart of pre-allocations per conference is below.

The Pac-12 has earned 24 pre-allocations, up five slots from last year. Little Rock’s dominant performances as a team this season have arguably contributed to that total, proven by their three No. 1 seeds: Nasir Bailey, Joseph Bianchi and Stephen Little.

Only one weight class from the conference will only have one wrestler automatically advance to Nationals: the Pac-12 Champion in the 184-pound weight class. All other weight classes will see tournament runners-up advance, including the top 3 going at five weight classes.

Since Bailey, Bianchi, Little and Tyler Brennan (as the No. 2 seed) have all received byes and their weight classes take at least the top two wrestlers, their path to the NCAA Tournament is fairly clear from the get-go: win their first match and they’re in.

Everyone else will have to battle a few more times. But like Bailey and Little’s weight classes (133 and 197, respectively), three other weight classes will award auto-bids to the top three wrestlers: 149, 157 and 285. That means Kyle Dutton, Matty Bianchi and Josiah Hill have a higher chance of automatically qualifying.

If a Little Rock wrestler does not earn a spot at the Pac-12 Tournament, there is still an opportunity to make Nationals. After all the conference tournaments have concluded, the NCAA Division I Wrestling Committee will meet in-person to select the remaining 47 at-large qualifiers, which will be announced on Tuesday, March 12. Wrestlers that have been named in the NCAA Coaches’ Ranking and RPI Ranking have a better shot of earning a wild card. See more on those rankings here

Capping Off a Historic Season
Regardless of how postseason turns out, this season was one for the books. Little Rock’s list of firsts and highlights are numerous: tripling their dual win total from year-to-year, breaking into the top 25 teams in the nation for the first time, naming a program-high seven wrestlers to national rankings simultaneously, and of course becoming Pac-12 dual meet champions.

Last season, the Trojans only won five duals and had never beaten any team in the Pac-12 other than CSU-Bakersfield, who finished at the bottom of the conference. The five wins were also more than the three previous years combined. At the Pac-12 Championships, Little Rock’s fifth place as a team at the tournament was another program-high for the team at the time. Josiah Hill led the way with a highest individual finish, third place.

This season, Little Rock defeated three ranked teams in their conference, taking home the title of dual meet champions. They finished ranked 18th in the country as a team and now have their sights on bringing that success to the tournament format. 

That doesn’t mean it will be easy. Each weight class has multiple wrestlers in both the InterMat Individual Rankings and the NCAA Coaches’ Individual Rankings with five of the 10 classes having four wrestlers included in at least one of the rankings. The field also is made up of eight Pac-12 champions in their weight class, including six winners from last year.  
However, it’s nothing the Trojans can’t handle. Of the 10 conference starters, eight own winning records, far more than the half year. Six Little Rock wrestlers return for back-to-back Pac-12 Championships, while a handful of fresh faces are set to make a big impact at the tournament. Read more about the team and their stats in our match notes here.

Little Rock Lineup
125: Jeremiah Reno (14-7)
133: #6 Nasir Bailey (22-2)
141: Cael Keck (5-6)
149: Kyle Dutton (8-11)
157: #26 Matty Bianchi (15-6)
165: #24 Joseph Bianchi (21-6)
174: #19 Tyler Brennan (19-4)
184: Triston Wills (17-7)
197: #10 Stephen Little (19-2)
285: #21 Josiah Hill (21-8) 

*Rankings via the Third NCAA Coaches Ranking

For the latest information on Little Rock Wrestling, make sure to check out You can also find the team on social media at @LittleRockWRES on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.


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Written by Arkansas Wrestle