Most Finalists All-Time


Well-Known Member
May 11, 2012
When starting this research, I was a bit surprised at how often five of more finalists happened at the NCAA's. Unless one was missed, the count stands at 30! 30 times in about 91 years was far more than I imagined. Weight classes numbered seven in 1928 when the NCAA adopted wrestling. From there, over history, the number of weight classes went to eight, then to ten, then to 11 (1966-1969), before settling on 10 in 1970. It's been that way ever since. Here's what else;

-- Oklahoma State leads with 11, with nine coming in 1964 or prior. One year (1962) they had six finalists (three won).
-- Oklahoma State had five finalists in 2005, all won, the first time a team had five champs by a team other than Iowa (see below).
-- Iowa is second with 10, including three times with six finalists (1986, 1991, 1997).
-- In 1986 and 1997, Iowa had five champs. In 1991, they went 2-4 in the finals. These were the first two times in NCAA history one team had five champs.
-- Penn State has six, all since and including 2013. Two of those years, 2017 and 2022, PSU had five champs, the fourth and fifth times in NCAA history.
-- Iowa State with two times having five finalists and UNI with one wrap up the 30. Iowa State went 3-2 and 4-1 in their two years (1972 & 1987). UNI went 3-2 in the finals in 1950.
-- If we call 1970 and forward the modern era, it's happened 19 times since then, of which Penn State has six.