It’s Howe’s first loss of the season, as he will head to the national tournament March 20-22 in Oklahoma City at 23-1.
For Maple and Patterson, the evening ended on top. Maple wrapped up his third straight conference championship by topping OSU’s Josh Kindig 6-3. After losing to Kindig at Bedlam in December, Maple has beaten the Cowboy the last two times they have wrestled.
“It feels great to get this one,” Maple said. “It’s been a long season with a lot of adversity, but I’m feeling great and ready to go for more.”
Patterson was a conference champion three years ago as a freshman, and found his way back to the top of the stand with a hard-fought 4-3 victory against the Cowboys’ Eddie Klimara.
Patterson missed more than a month with a knee injury but has won four straight matches since returning and heads to nationals with a No. 7 ranking. He kept Klimara on the mat the entire third period to secure the riding time point that made the difference.
“I feel like I have confidence there (on top) and if it comes down to me having to ride somebody out, I’m always feeling more confident about it,” Patterson said.
Travis Rutt nearly gave OU a third champion at 197, battling No. 1-ranked Kyven Gadson of Iowa State to almost as close a match as is possible. Tied 1-1 after regulation, the pair went through six periods of sudden victory before Gadson was declared the champion on criteria by only five seconds of riding time.
The Sooners also had second-place finishes from Cody Brewer at 133, Justin DeAngelis at 157, and Howe. Nick Lester at 141 and Clark Glass at 165 placed fourth.
The Cowboys finished with 98.5 team points, followed by the Sooners with 63.5, Iowa State at 45.5 and West Virginia with 26.