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Off Mat Empire: Can Ohio State Beat Iowa? This and other B1G Wrestling Questions.

We take a look at the upcoming weekend, and it’s going to be a good one.

Is Kollin Moore the most important wrestler this weekend?
Photo by Hunter Martin/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Howdy, and welcome to a look at the weekend ahead for B1G wrestling. If you’re a fan of the sport I have some great news for you: This may be the best weekend of dual meets of the year for B1G fans. And you know what’s even better? Quite a bit of it will be available on BTN.

Dual Meet of the Weekend: #3 Ohio State at #1 Iowa (Friday 8 PM, BTN)

Well as much as I hate both of them for different reasons, it’s going to be very tough to not watch this showdown. 14 of the 20 wrestlers are ranked in the top 10 of their classes (per Intermat, the unofficial rankings of OTE), but there aren’t really any big showdowns. The two teams have no top 5 matchups and the two “best” ones look like 149 (#1 Pat Lugo vs. #6 Sammy Sasso) and 197 (#1 Kollin Moore vs. #6 Jacob Warner). This one will come down to whether or not the Buckeyes can pull off a couple upsets and who gets bonus points. Keep an eye out for Iowa 184 Abe Assad, who’s shot up to #7 very quickly since they pulled his redshirt 3 matches ago. His win over Nebraska’s Taylor Venz last weekend was solid, and he could be the key to the Hawkeye’s weakest weight.

Runner Up: #2 Penn State at #7 Nebraska (Friday 6 PM, BTN)

This one is pretty interesting in terms of how the B1G regular season will shake out. Nebraska gave Iowa all they wanted last weekend, with the Huskers losing 3 matches in the last minute of the 3rd period and held the Hawkeyes to a single bonus point match (Spencer Lee’s 1st period tech fall, because Spencer Lee.) Are the Huskers really just a 125 away from being a legit National Contender? Did Iowa just look past them? Who knows, but we may have a better idea after this one. There are 4 top 10 matchups to enjoy, with 165 (#1 Vincenzo Joseph vs. #5 Isaiah White) being the best of the bunch and being followed by 141 (#2 Nick Lee vs. #8 Chad Red), 174 (#1 Mark Hall vs. #6 Mikey Labriola) and 184 (#6 Aaron Brooks vs. #8 Taylor Venz). Stewmonkey thinks this might be the better dual meet, but I’m not one to look past a meeting of the #1 and #3 teams.

It looks good on paper...: #3 Ohio State vs. #5 Minnesota (Sunday 7:30 PM, BTN)

So on the plus side, this one has the best individual matchup of the weekend at 141 with #1 Luke Pletcher and #3 Mitch McKee facing off, and 149’s pairing of #5 Brayton Lee and #6 Sammy Sasso should be another one to entertain the neutrals. That being said, Minnesota has some questions at a few different weight classes (particularly 133) and will probably also give up bonus points to 174 and 197. There should some fireworks at those weights and from the #1 HWT Gable Steveson. Points aplenty, but the Buckeyes will probably prevail.

Any other dual meets with ranked teams?

Yup! #19 Michigan travels to #8 Northwestern and #23 Illinois, #15 Purdue has a road trip to visit Rutgers and Maryland, and Nebraska also faces Michigan State. Sparty also hosts Clarion on Friday (which is only noteworthy because the Golden Eagles are the alma mater of 1990 & 1992 NCAA Champion, Olympic Champion, and WWE Superstar Kurt Angle. It’s true. It’s damn true.)

Cool. Anything else?

I mean, I guess. Indiana goes to Rutgers and Maryland as well. Those are actual matches that will happen. #4 wisconsin has the weekend off, which is fine because I don’t want to think about them anyway.


Are you going to watch any of these matches this weekend?

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