Iowa State 184-pound wrestler Kurt Backes has been named the Big 12 Conference Wrestler of the Week. The ninth-ranked Backes dealt Penn State's Eric Bradley, the nation's No. 1 wrestler at 184 pounds his first loss of the season Sunday, with a 10-2 major decision in a battle of two All-Americans hailing from New Jersey. The key victory helped propel Iowa State to a 20-18 dual win over the Nittany Lions.
Bradley (Plaistow, N.J.), a 2005 All-American and two-time Big 10 champion, had only given up three takedowns in his career prior to facing Backes, with two of them coming against three-time NCAA champion Greg Jones formerly of West Virginia. After a scoreless first period, Backes took down Bradley twice in the second-period and scored a three-point nearfall halfway through the final frame. Backes (Neshanic Station, N.J.) is now 16-5 this season.