Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast and the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog.

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Thursday, March 06, 2014

No Holds Barred: Coach Kevin Jackson on 2014 Big 12 and NCAA Wrestling Championships 

On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with Kevin Jackson, the Olympic gold medalist and two-time world champion freestyle wrestler, who is in his fifth season as head wrestling coach for the legendary Iowa State Cyclones.

The month of March will see the conclusion of the 2013-14 college wrestling season, with only conference and national championships remaining for Iowa State.

They will be competing at the 2014 Big 12 Wrestling Championships, which takes place Saturday, March 8, at the McCasland Field House in Norman, Oklahoma. The finals will be televised live in the U.S. on various Fox networks, including Fox College Sports, beginning at 8 PM ET/ 7 PM CT. As always, check your local listings.

The 2014 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships also take place in Oklahoma, March 20-22 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. The finals will be televised live in the U.S. on ESPN, with extensive coverage of all sessions both on television and online on the ESPN networks.

We spoke with Coach Kevin Jackson by phone Sunday to preview these tournaments and to discuss what to expect from the Iowa State Cyclones.

"This is the most exciting time of the year for everyone. The Big 12 Championships, the NCAA Championships -- everything else is practice," he said.

Much attention is being given to Iowa State's redshirt junior Kyven Gadson, who will be the number one seed at 197 pounds for this year's Big 12 Championships, and is also currently ranked number one in the country at that weight.

Coach Jackson said that Kyven Gadson's performance this season has gotten the Iowa State wrestling community and many people on the campus "very, very excited, based on this year, based on where he is ranked right now, the opportunity to be seeded number one in the NCAA tournament, and the opportunity to be a two-time Big 12 champion."

We also discussed how this season in college wrestling has seen numerous upsets and these tournaments are very hotly-contested; what wrestling must do to add more fans; the role of real professional wrestling and catch wrestling; and much more.

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