March 18, 2022
Detroit, Michigan, USA
Q. The inevitable question, do you love it?
RIDGE LOVETT: Absolutely. Always. Always loving it.
Q. There's been a lot of double seeds, double digit seeds. This is the tournament that adds so much experience back that we weren't going to see so many upsets. Why have we seen them?
RIDGE LOVETT: This is the tournament where upsets happen because a lot of divisions don't get to cross much, so the seeds are -- they're iffy. Everybody is tough, so anybody can beat anybody any day, and I feel like that's really been shown this tournament.
Q. How do the big -- how do you feel the Big Ten -- (Off microphone)
RIDGE LOVETT: There's nothing like wrestling in the Big Ten. No other divisions like it. Every single week, like I said, in one of the other interviews earlier, you're wrestling to be a superstar every single week. Every single kid coming out of high school was a Blue Clip recruit, and in college, crazy stuff is happening, and they're all making noise. The Big Ten is unbelievable.
Q. Talk about superstars. You're wrestling one tomorrow night a two-time champ. What is your mindset? Does it change at all?
RIDGE LOVETT: Absolutely not. I wrestled him in Vegas, had him beat in overtime and hit some funk, and he killed the last takedown, but that's all behind me. That's been motivation all season, and I know I can hang. I know I can beat him. I'm just going to go out there and do it tomorrow night and show everybody.
Q. As a wrestling coach, you had the double legs on your the opponent out there and somehow he let you go to tournament, and he was able to get you reversal. Were you expecting that kind of movement from his hips at that time?
RIDGE LOVETT: Absolutely. I wasn't ready for it exactly at that moment. Otherwise, I probably would have got a reversal, but I knew that was coming. He is really unorthodoxed, always rolling around, crazy, crazy. It's like wrestling a motion trap. He is crazy everywhere. Always going big. It's a different style, and I respect him for it because he puts it out there every single time, but really just staying to the basics because basics beats funk, so just wrestled my match and just keeping my head in it.
Q. I believe you're from Iowa, correct.
RIDGE LOVETT: Yes, sir.
Q. What would winning this do, not just for you, but for wrestling back there?
RIDGE LOVETT: I think it would put it more on the map. I don't think it would change their mentalities at all because they all know they're tough. We don't get the publicity that other states get, but all those kids are tough, and this will just maybe shine more light over there and give those kids an opportunity to get on the big stage and do their thing.
Q. The last NCAA champion for Nebraska was Jordan Burroughs. What has he meant to your career?
RIDGE LOVETT: J.B. is awesome, man. He has been a real inspiration. He is a great person. Getting to know him and his family, Lauren, Beacon, Ora, Rise, and now Banner, just a great family. And it's just been -- it was a pleasure working with him and getting to know his family, and just trying to follow in his foot steps, you know.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports