#13 Wisconsin 19, #6 Cornell 13
Kind of...: Prior to Wisconsin’s terrible performance against Iowa State, the Badgers probably would’ve have been slight favorites over Cornell. After that miserable performance, they were clear underdogs. So, whether the fact that UW did defeat Cornell is an upset or not really depends on how you look at it.
What DEFINITELY, LOOKED AT FROM ANY PERSPECTIVE, IS AN UPSET, is Austin Gomez handing Yianni Diakomihalis his second collegiate loss against 93 career wins. Even though Gomez entered the bout ranked #3, this may be the biggest upset you’ll see all season. Now, it was Diakomihalis’ first bout of the year, and he’s still the overwhelming favorite to become a four-time champion this year, so just enjoy the upset on its own terms.
It was also huge in terms of the dual meet at Cornell had jumped out to a 7-3 lead, thanks to #3 Vito Arujau’s major decision over #18 Taylor LaMont at 133 and #21 Vince Cornella (he has to wrestle for Cornell, right?) winning a tossup over #18 Joseph Zargo at 141. After Gomez’s upset, #16 Garrett Model and #5 Dean Hamiti both won as expected (with Hamiti making it an MD over #8 Julian Ramirez) to grab a 13-7 lead. Cornell responded behing #9 Chris Foca at 174 and #7 Jonathan Loew at 184 (and Tyler Dow did well to hold that to a majority) to even the dual at 13. Then, at 197, #21 Braxton Amos avenged a SV lost to #20 Jacob Cardenas last year, and grabbed a 2-0 win to put UW up 16-13, but Cornell was in line to win the dual on criteria is they got the decision at 275. However, #12 Trent Hillger grabbed a 5-2 win over #9 Lewis Fernandes to seal it.
Suffice it to say that Wisconsin is pretty clearly in the #10-#20 range overall. They weren’t as bad as they looked vs. Iowa State, but I think Cornell wins a seven dual series against the Badgers too. But the Badgers have seven wrestlers ranked in the top 20 at their weights (and I am betting true frosh James Rowley is heading that way soon at 174), and could have a shot at a top 10 finish in March if they continue to improve.
Maryland 18, #16 Pittsburgh 16
Atinat: Holy smokes, wrestling fans. Maryland has a win over a ranked team. Their first since 2013 came how they usually do, with upsets and bonus points. Braxton Brown pinned Colton Camacho to give Maryland a 6-0 lead after the first bout, and then Micky Phillippi and Cole Matthews were held to a pair of 5-1 decisions. A 6-6 tie after three matches would have seemed wildly optimistic before this dual. Maryland won the next two, including a Michael North sudden victory decision over #11 Dazjon Casto, to go up 12-6 at the break. Everything from that point on was chalk, but that was enough for Maryland, who took wins at 174 and 285 to win 18-16.
Maryland popped into the Intermat dual rankings at #20, and at #24 in the NWCA coaches’ poll. It is their first appearance in the rankings in 3,296 days.
Indiana 22, #24 Princeton 13
Atinat: Hoosiers took care of business where they needed to, and were aided by a forfeit at 125 pounds, which is a 9- or 10-point swing from the expected result had Moran faced Pat Glory. Indiana won 5 of the remaining 9 matches, including a 3-1 win for freshman Jacob Kaminski over Travis Stefanik, a three-time national qualifier, at heavyweight. This is a big win for the Indiana program, and yet only the third-biggest win for a Big Ten team this weekend.
#2 Iowa defeats Army, Sacred Heart, Buffalo
Atinat: Again, the story for Iowa could easily be about who didn’t wrestle. No Spencer Lee, Brody Teske, Real Woods, and lots of changes in the middleweights showing no long term solution at 174 pounds. The good news is, those who did wrestle looked good. And, from what I hear from inside the program, the only serious injury inside the program is to Nelson Brands, who is likely out for the year. Brennan Swafford should be able to wrestle by Big Ten season at the most conservative, and Spencer Lee and Real Woods are just being held out of precaution.
Of those who went, Cullan Schriever went 3-0 and Pat Kennedy and Cobe Siebrecht both went 2-0. Murin, Assad, Warner, and Cassioppi also went 3-0.
The Classic kicked off with Minnesota’s Pat McKee pinning Iowa State’s Kysen Terukina in the second period, pouncing when Terukina let up for a half-second. Terukina is a dangerous man, and so this is a big win for the Gopher senior. Lucas Byrd kept the Big Ten victories coming, riding a first-period takedown to a 3-2 decision victory over Michael McGee of Arizona State. Michigan’s Will Lewan scored on Bryce Andonian late in the first period and held on for a 3-1 victory.
After two low-scoring bouts, it was on Rocky Elam of Mizzou and Jacob Warner of Iowa to score some points. Elam delivered, scoring three takedowns in a sudden-victory win over last year’s 197-pound runner-up. Warner did score a late takedown to force the overtime period, but that was his only offense in the 8-6 loss. Cassioppi came up next, but was unable to recover some glory for the Hawkeyes as he lost to Kerkvliet 8-5, giving up three takedowns and only scoring on escapes and a reversal. Kerkvliet finally defeats Cassioppi in their fourth meeting, and their first of likely four this year.
Aaron Brooks converted on five takdowns against Northern Iowa’s Parker Keckeisen, winning 12-8 over the former NCAA finalist and 184-pound #2. Dominance where we’ve come to expect it from yet another Nittany Lion #1. Real Woods was a no-show at 141, where Andrew Alirez took out #1 Cole Matthews in overtime. David Carr beats Quincy Monday at 165 pounds*, the other Big Ten-less match of the day.
Wisconsin’s two wrestlers had much different matches, as Keegan O’Toole dominated Dean Hamiti at 165 but Austin Gomez continued his excellent season with a come-from-behind, 10-8 decision over Sammy Sasso at 149. Is that the most points Sasso has ever allowed?
The event finished with a typical Carter Starocci 2-0 victory over Mekhi Lewis, a victory as impressive as it is dull. The Penn State sophomore scored an escape and a riding point to put up a “Starocci takedown,” as it were.
#25 Illinois beats Buffalo, falls to #12 NC State
HWAHSQB: Illinois cruised to a 28-9 win over Buffalo with only two losses. At 184, Dylan Connell lost 4-3 to a quality wrestler Guiseppe Hoose (did I mention this only because I wanted to type Guiseppe Hoose? Yes, i did.) At 157, Luke Odom lost by pin. Impressive in wins were Wroblewski, now at HWT, picked up a major and Zac Braunagel now at 197, picked up a 12-5 victory over Eli Sheeran.
Illinois then lost pretty convincingly to the #12 ranked Wolfpack. Byrd was impressive in picking up a second period pin and Danny Braunagel and Edmond Ruth both went 2-0 for the day with decision victories. Overall, the day went just about how it was supposed to. Nobody had a bad loss or a really great win. Ho hum. Next up, Illinois hosts a tri-dual with Chattanooga and Pitt a week from Saturday. Facing Pitt will be a good measuring stick for Illinois and also give us some insight into Maryland’s potential for a B1G win.
Michigan State 33, American 0
#4 Ohio State smokes Columbia, #17 North Carolina
#26 Rutgers 20, Stanford 15
#30 Purdue sweeps Cleveland State, Northern Illinois, Chattanooga
HWAHSQB: Purdue managed to score 23 points in all three victories, which should make the OCD folks pleased. Beyond that, the young guys in the Boilermaker lineup didn’t look all that great overall, but it is too early to be concerned.
#9 Northwestern 20, Virginia 13
#11 Minnesota 19, Binghamton 15
Atinat: Huh. Minnesota sent their starters, nobody lost via a huge upset or anything, and yet, Minnesota didn’t exactly run away with this. Credit to Binghamton, they just kind of match up well with the Gophers. Minnesota took losses at 141, 184, and 285, all of which were and were expected to be close matches, but it was #7 Louie DePrez’s pin of #28 Garrett Joles at 197 that made this dual as close as it was. Four of Minnesota’s victories were by a total of five points, so it would not have taken much to flip this dual result. One thing is for sure, Minnesota is overrated at #11, and I expected them to have a tough run through the Big Ten gauntlent.
#8 Michigan 38, Columbia 6
#15 Penn at #2 Iowa, Saturday at 2PM on BTN+
Atinat: Lee, Teske, Woods, and Swafford are all still absent from the probables. The Quakers boast ranked wrestlers at 125, 133, 149, 157, 174, 197, and 285. Iowa will be heavy underdogs at 125, 133, and 174, favored at 149, 165, 184, 197, and 285, and 141 and 157 are toss-ups. 157 is definitely the most interesting prospect, with a potential matchup between #29 Cobe Siebrecht and #12 Anthony Artalona. Siebrecht is probably the most underrated wrestler on this Hawkeye roster, and it’s time for him to show why.