CHATTANOOGA (UTC) -- After a huge reception for the inaugural 2012 Southern Scuffle in Chattanooga, Mocs wrestling head coach Heath Eslinger announced Wednesday that the event will return in 2013.
The two-day tournament will again take place in McKenzie Arena on Jan. 1-2 and will attract one of the best fields of any in-season event in the nation.
Chattanooga is set to welcome 20 teams from across NCAA Division I wrestling, including four of the top five finishers at the 2012 NCAA Championships. Two-time defending NCAA Champion Penn State highlights the list of teams committed to visiting the Scenic City next season. No. 2 Minnesota and No. 4 Cornell will also return from last year's Scuffle lineup.
No. 5 Oklahoma State and No. 19 American highlight the newcomers for the 2013 event. They will be joined by Virginia Tech (11), Appalachian State (21), Missouri (26) and Virginia (28) as teams who finished in the top-30 at last year's NCAA Championships.
"The support we got for the Scuffle in its first year was so big that teams committed that weekend for 2013," stated Eslinger. "We have had a number of other schools want to come which is making the field even stronger."
Penn State won the event last year while the Mocs surprised the field with a seventh place finish. Nearly 5,000 wrestling fans spun the turnstiles at McKenzie Arena during the two days of the 2012 tournament and Eslinger expects that number to continue to grow.
"Word has gotten out in the wrestling community about how good of a host Chattanooga was for the Scuffle," added Eslinger. "You will see bigger crowds for next year's event and we hope to fill the lower bowl each day."
The entire 2012-13 Chattanooga wrestling schedule should be finalized in the coming weeks, as well as season ticket information. On sale dates for the 2013 Southern Scuffle will be announced when available and additional teams may be added to the lineup.
Information provided by UTC Sports Information and GoMocs.com.
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