The Pac-10 wrestling championships are at hand.
Arizona State is favored.
And the sun is expected to rise in the east.
The Sun Devils — Pac-10 champs in 15 of the 27 meets in which ASU has participated — should have the firepower to bring home another crown, if their entrants wrestle to form.
The top three teams get automatic berths in the NCAA meet next month.
“Now is the time to win,” ASU coach Thom Ortiz says.
“It’s like a baseball team. Winning at the end of the season is what it’s all about.”
ASU, undefeated in Pac-10 dual meets, has three No. 1 seeds in the meet, headed by standout heavyweight Cain Velasquez.
Velasquez, the reigning Pac-10 wrestler of the year, could repeat. He’s 30-5 on the season and ranked No. 4 in the nation; his only losses are to the three wrestlers ranked ahead of him.
ASU’s other seeded No. 1s are Jeremy Mendoza (28-2) at 125 pounds and Ryan Bader (25-4) at 197.
Also, Brian Stith (25-2, 157) and C.B. Dollaway (10-6, 184) are seeded No. 2 while Patrick Pitsch (21-11) is seeded No. 3 at 165.
Ortiz lists Oregon State, Cal Poly (which competes in the Pac-10 in wrestling) and Oregon as the teams most likely to challenge ASU.
Pac-10 wrestling championships
Where: Palo Alto, Calif.
Sun Devils’ first-round matchups: 125 pigtail — No. 1 seed Jeremy Mendoza vs. Bricen Yakabe (Portland State); 133 quarterfinal — John Espinoza vs. No. 2 Darrell Vasquez (Cal Poly); 141 quarterfinal — Jason Robbins vs. No. 1 Kyle Larson (Oregon State); 149 pigtail — No. 5 Pat Payne vs. Orlando Perez (Oregon State); 157 quarterfinal — No. 2 Brian Stith vs. Kainoa Casco (Portland State); 165 quarterfinal — No. 3 Patrick Pitsch vs. No. 6 Risto Marttinen (Cal State Fullerton); 174 pigtail — Chris Remsen vs. No. 1 Jeremy Larson (Oregon State); 184 pigtail — No. 2 C.B. Dollaway vs. Sean Murphy (Portland State); 197 quarterfinal — No. 1 Ryan Bader vs. Larry Ozowara (Stanford); heavyweight pigtail — No. 1 Cain Velasquez vs. Jared Boyer (Stanford).