BROOKINGS – The South Dakota State wrestling team will square off in dual action against six other programs that finished last season in the top 25 of the national rankings in announcing the final version of its 2017-18 schedule.
Competition kicks off Nov. 5 as the Jackrabbits play host to the Warren Williamson/Daktronics Open, which has developed into one of the top early season tournaments in the country.
Each of SDSU's first two duals will be against top-25 programs. As announced earlier, the Jackrabbits will open the dual season by welcoming Minnesota to Frost Arena on Nov. 17, before traveling to Arizona State for a Nov. 26 dual.
To open December, the Jackrabbits will embark on a cross-state trip to Spearfish for the Dakota Showcase. The quadrangular dual competition on Dec. 3 also features in-state wrestling programs Augustana, Dakota Wesleyan and Northern State.
A return to Frost Arena on Dec. 8 will feature another dual against a 2016-17 ranked opponent as the Jackrabbits take on Central Michigan.
Following a three-week layoff, the Jackrabbits return to the mat in tournament competition at the Midlands Championships on Dec. 29-30 in Hoffman Estates, Ill. SDSU recorded an eighth-place finish in the team standings at the 2016 Midlands Championships, which traditionally has featured the largest number of nationally ranked wrestlers prior to the NCAA Championships.
Due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict, SDSU's dual with defending league champion Oklahoma State that was set for Dec. 1 has been canceled. In all, the Jackrabbits will meet eight of the other 11 league members in dual action, starting with a Jan. 12 dual at Utah Valley. The Jackrabbits also will not face Northern Colorado or new affiliate member Fresno State during the 2017-18 dual season.
SDSU rings in the new calendar year with a Jan. 5 home dual against Oregon State before starting a string of six consecutive duals against Big 12 foes with the Jan. 12 matchup at Utah Valley. The Jackrabbits will close the weekend road trip Jan. 14 at Air Force.
The Jackrabbits will then wrestle three of their next four duals at Frost Arena, meeting Wyoming on Jan. 18 and new Big 12 affiliate member Northern Iowa three days later on Jan. 21. UNI ended the 2016-17 season with a 14th-place ranking in the NWCA/USA Today poll.
To wrap up the month of January, SDSU will travel to Oklahoma for a Jan. 28 matchup against the nationally-ranked Sooners.
After playing host to Iowa State in dual action for the second year in a row with a Feb. 4 matchup, the Jackrabbits will head east for a nonconference contest at nationally-ranked Pittsburgh on Feb. 9 and a Big 12 dual versus West Virginia on Feb. 11.
SDSU, which ended the 2016-17 season with a 19th-place ranking, concludes the dual slate Feb. 16 by playing host to border rival North Dakota State.
Match times will be announced at a later date.
The 2018 Big 12 Conference Wrestling Championship returns to Tulsa, Okla., for the second year in a row March 3-4 at BOK Center. The 2018 NCAA Championships are slated for March 15-17 in Cleveland, Ohio.
SDSU finished third at the 2017 Big 12 Championship and later sent five wrestlers to the NCAA Championships, where it recorded a 16th-place finish and Seth Gross and Alex Kocer became the program's first All-Americans in the Division I era.