Superlatives! Our freshman of the week is Bubba Wilson, who upset twelfth-ranked Cam Amine to avenge a CKLV loss and score the biggest win of his young career. He did not wrestle against Penn State on Sunday, though, and Nebraska could’ve used him. Our upset of the week award goes to Illinois’s Christian Kanzler, who knocked off #24 Michael Blockhus 13-8 and followed that up with a small upset of Graham Rooks. Those are huge seeding victories for Kanzler, who was 2-3 against the Big Ten going into this weekend (with those two victories coming against the bottom of the conference). And for Outstanding Wrestler, we’re gonna go with Alex Marinelli. The Bull was the object of a lot of scrutiny going into his match with #6 Dean Hamiti, who was undefeated in his freshman campaign coming in, but Marinelli scored a pair of takedowns en route to an 8-5 decision victory, his final in his Carver-Hawkeye Arena career.
Best win of the weekend?
This poll is closed
Marinelli over Hamiti
Wilson over Amine
Someone else who I refuse to justify in the comments
#17 Rutgers Scarlet Knights 36, Rider 3
Atinat: What do you want me to say? Rutgers got a fall from heavyweight Boone McDermott, techs from Poznanski and Bulsak, and majors from Olivieri and Van Brill. Connor O’Neill had the only loss, a 5-4 decision. Also, Rutgers won a trophy:
#1 Penn State Nittany Lions 32, #8 Ohio State 7
Atinat: A few missing guys took the fun out of this dual for me, with Carson Kharcla and Kaleb Romero sitting out for the Buckeyes, and Berge and Starocci resting for Penn State. Penn State got the important 125 victory, with Hildebrandt beating Heinselman 2-0. RBY maximized bonus points at 133, pinning Brady Koontz. Nick Lee got a major decision over D’Emilio to give Penn State a 13-0 lead. Sasso scored a late takedown to defeat Beau Bartlett in the style of match we’ve come to expect from Sasso. Terrell Barraclough needed sudden victory, but did defeat Ohio State backup Isaac Wilcox to give the Nittany Lions a 16-3 lead at the break.
Creighton Edsell also won a sudden-victory decision in a battle of backups at 165, 2-0. Ethan Smith got a major decision for the Buckeyes over Mason Manville, but it would be their last victory of the night. Rocky Jordan was pinned in the second period by top-ranked Aaron Brooks, and Tate Orndorff was majored at heavyweight by Greg Kerkvliet. In between the bonus points, Gavin Hoffman put Max Dean to the test, but fell in sudden victory.
#3 Michigan Wolverines 20, #12 Nebraska Cornhuskers 13
Atinat: This was the better dual of the night. Largely, though, things went according to plan. The dual started at 149, where Ridge Lovett kicked things off with an 11-3 major decision for the Huskers. Will Lewan responded, though, knocking off #5 Peyton Robb in sudden victory. Bubba Wilson answered for Nebraska in a BIG way, knocking off #12 Cam Amine 5-3 to put Nebraska up 7-3. Mikey Labriola couldn’t keep it going, though, losing 4-1 to sixth-ranked Logan Massa. Myles Amine handled Taylor Venz but was unable to find bonus points in an 8-2 decision, giving Michigan just a 9-7 lead at the break.
Eric Schultz started the backside off with a win over #10 Pat Brucki, giving Nebraska a 10-9 lead with Michigan heavily favored in three of the last four. Mason Parris won a low-scoring decision with Christian Lance, and then Nebraska got a potential break with Jack Medley stepping in for Nick Suriano, but Medley got himself a technical fall over Jeremiah Reno to make it 17-10 Michigan. Dominick Serrano did well to not concede bonus points to #8 Dylan Ragusin, but he did fall, securing the dual for the Wolverines. Chad Red got an important seeding victory in a 7-3 decision over Stevan Micic, but it was too little, too late for the Huskers, who fell 20-13.
Nebraska had their chances in this one, but couldn’t string together any momentum. None of their four match victories came consecutively, and their first two wins were followed by crushing losses. Michigan did well to hold their own despite a major upset at 165, but have to have questions about Micic and Cam Amine right now. Brucki, as well, isn’t quite performing to expectations, and those three are going to be important for Michigan to secure a team trophy or even compete for a title.
#16 Michigan State Spartans 29, Maryland Terrapins 6
Atinat: Lujan, Foley, and Saldate all got bonus points, with Saldate finding six against Lucas Cordio. Maryland got wins from Michael North and Dom Solis at 149 and 174, respectively. Michigan State is a team much improved over the last few years, and maybe that can serve as inspiration for the Terra-bles.
#11 Minnesota Gophers 22, Illinois Flailing Illini 12
HWAHSQB: Illinois scored a huge upset at 149 and promptly wasted it with Zac Braunagel losing due a mental error.
The match began with a total shocker as Cardani took loads of shots to McKee’s legs and failed to finish any of them, losing 4-0. Lucas Byrd and Dylan Duncan both had wins where they were in complete control, but the Minnesota guys wrestled to lose by less than 8 rather than win and they accomplished their goals holding Illinois to decision victories. At 149, Christian Kanzler was a large underdog to UNI transfer, #24 ranked Michael Blockhus. Then, this happened.
That gave Kanzler a 6-0 lead. Blockhus would score three takedowns after this, but each time, he went to a crab ride and tried to turn Kanzler and Kanzler rolled through for a reversal each time and took the match 13-8.
True freshman Joe Roberts, fresh off a loss by TF to #2 ranked Ryan Deakin got #4 Brayton Lee this weekend. Welcome to the B1G young man!!! Lee returned the favor and wrestled not to lose big, same as Minnesota at 133 and 141. At intermission, it was 9-6 Illinois.
At 165, Danny Braunagel was poised for a big win if there were 10 inches more mat on the sideline. He threw Cael Carlson and was getting back swipes and in position to work towards a pin when Carlson reached out and pulled on the edge of the mat to stop action. Upon review, they took away little Brauny’s back points and the 1st period ended 3-2. Carlson took a 4-2 lead to the final minute of the third period and had riding time locked, but Braunagel scored a takedown, gave up the release, and scored a second takedown and got the rideout all in the last 30 seconds to go to sudden victory. Braunagel got the takedown in sudden victory for the win. Bailee O’Reilly got a major at 174 for the Gophers. Illinois was up 12-10 at this point, but they had to win both of the next two matches because golden God Steveson is going to get six at HWT.
At 184, Zac Braunagel mysteriously stopped wrestling with :02 remaining in the second. He just stopped. Salazar dove on in him for a last second takedown. No clue what was going on there, but you gotta wrestle to the whistle. Those two points were the decisive margin. At 197, Wroblewski built a large lead, but he was coming back from an injury and gassed out in the third for an 8-7 loss. That kind of thing will happen when you miss time in wrestling and I was very encouraged by his aggressive offense early. He hit on a very slick duckdown that could be a solid move for him. Luffman played the part of the Washington Generals and got pinned in the first period in predictable fashion.
#2 Iowa Hawkeyes 29, #13 Wisconsin Badgers 6
Kind of...: I had hoped for more than six points, but, really, things really went according to predictions. Barnett and Gomez are legit All-American contenders and it would’ve been fun to have seen them against Ayala and Murin, respectively. Hamiti looked like he belonged on the mat with Marinelli, and, given Kharchla’s win over Marinelli, it could happen in the B1G semis. Jacob Warner is better than his detractors acknowledge, but I was hoping to see more from Amos. As I’ve noted throughout the year, UW is a better dual team than a tournament team, but the matchups were dreadful in this dual and the outcome reflected that. The last three duals—Illinois, Northern Iowa, and Cornell—all will featured some intriguing matchups. The season’s been better than expected so far, but for it to be memorable in any way, a couple of guys other than the top three are going to need to make a move in the next month.
Atinat: Things went according to my predictions for sure, as I had this 28-6 (initially 31-3 accounting for Ayala). But I’m not here to toot my own horn. I’m here to toot Iowa’s! The Hawkeyes pretty much got everything they wanted out of this one, with bonus points from DeSanto, Eierman, Kemerer, and Cassioppi, and tough wins from Marinelli, Assad, and Warner. Additionally, two backups looked good, with Ybarra keeping things respectable with Barnett and career-backup Vince Turk bringing the fight to Gomez and leaving it all on the mat on senior night. Six Hawkeye seniors wrestled Saturday night, five of whom are starters and who look to end their careers the right way in March. Four, I would say, are title contenders, and all five should compete for All-American honors.
Let’s talk about the Marinelli-Hamiti match. First of all, it was fun to see Hamiti live for the first (and possibly last) time. He’s impressed me this season, but it’s worth noting that he hasn’t really gotten that signature win. While he was aggressive, it was only Marinelli who could convert his shots into takedowns. Marinelli looked the part of a sixth-year senior, and Hamiti that of a true freshman. So, it makes sense that a lot of people’s take is that Hamiti will catch up. And that’s totally possible. But this reminded me a lot of the Marinelli-Wick matches, both in match flow and in body style matchup. Hamiti isn’t so extreme in his length as Wick, but if he puts on any muscle, he’s going to have to bump up. Wick is a very good wrestler (currently ranked #1 after transferring to Cal Poly), but after their freshman years, he couldn’t catch Marinelli. Likewise, Hamiti is going to have to make serious adjustments or he’s going to keep getting his shots stuffed and his legs taken. So, I’m gonna favor Marinelli here until proven otherwise. That said, I don’t necessarily want to see Hamiti again. But if it’s Marinelli and Hamiti as the 2 and 3, and Kharchla, Amine, and Berge all on the other side of the bracket, I don’t know who’s stopping him before the semis.
This was also my last dual in Carver-Hawkeye for a while. A regular Michael Kemerer, this is my seventh year in Iowa City, but also my last. I’ll be moving out of my home state at the end of this year, and while I will come up for a dual or two a year, it’s a far cry from the 90%+ of duals I’ve attended the last five or six years (last year outstanding). This was a fun last dual for me. I will be in Dallas next week for the Bout at the Ballpark, so it isn’t even my last Iowa dual of the year, but it probably is the last time I’ll be in Carver as an in-state resident for a while (not much of a basketball fan). Anyways, sorry to get a little personal, but I just want to say how awesome it’s been to live in this fantastic of a wrestling community, and I hope it’s something you all get to experience. And it’s certainly something I’ll miss.
Illinois Fighting Illini 36, Indiana Loosiers 3
HWAHSQB: Would Illinois carry their Indiana defeating momentum from the basketball court to the wrestling mat? Yes, yes they would.
First up, little Braunagel was on the verge of a tech when Kasper Macintosh, who must’ve been taking lessons on backpedaling from their safety coach, got DQed for 5 stalls. At 174, DJ Shannon was trailing and Nick South had him in a front headlock, but then things quickly turned south for the Indiana grappler as Shannon ducked under and threw South to his back for the takedown plus 2 NF and a 6-3 victory. Unfortunately, DJ Washington was unable to go and with the boys from Bloomington already down 9-0, things looked grim when Sean Grim took the mat against big Braunagel. who collected a second period pin.
At 197, Indy would pick up their lone win with a sudden victory takedown by Nick Willham.
Luke Luffman would help Illinois get a leg up on the Hoosiers with a 5-4 win, but Bullock had an impressive funk roll for a last second takedown that deserves mention. It might not have put him back in the match, but that was real agility for a shaved bear.
After intermission, we got back to the little guys. Cardani would win in SV 2-0, but two things bothered me. One, this ref called more stall calls than I ever remember in a dual, but not in this match for some reason. Shots were 13-0 and Cardani got to Moran’s legs 7 times and Moran never made an attempt to score until SV. Why no stalling here? Even more baffling was Cardani’s choice of down to start the third. He had just ridden Moran the second and Moran was not going to score on Cardani. Why not choose neutral and worst case scenario is a 1-0 riding time win? But no, Cardani chose down, Moran put a saddle on him, and we’re headed to SV. Poeta, what gives?
It’s now 21-3 Illinois and their two best wrestlers are still to come. Byrd would get Hudkins in a cow catcher and collect a first period pin. Hudkins is ranked #10 and Byrd #6, but after last week dominating #9 Chris Cannon, Byrd is showing the gap between him and those guys to be a large gulf. Dylan Duncan collected a third straight win, showing no rust after his prolonged absence from the mat. Christian Kanzler capped off a great weekend with another big upset, collecting a takedown with 22 seconds remaining and riding out for 1 point win. There really should have been a stalling call as he stayed on the legs for the final 8 seconds, but I’ll take it. This puts Kanzler at 3-3 in B1G duals and he is starting to build a case for NCAA qualification. In the final match, freshman Joe Roberts got his first B1G win against the backup for Indiana to make the final score 36-3.
#2 Penn State 21, #9 Nebraska 13
Atinat: Penn State threw Nebraska a bone, resting three starters, but it didn’t matter. The Nittany Lions jumped out to an 11-0 lead, aided by a tech fall from RBY. Ridge Lovett and Peyton Robb scored back-to-back victories for the Cornhuskers, though the latter by a way-to-close 3-2 decision over Terrell Barraclough. Backup Creighton Edsell defeated backup Tahjae Jenkins-Taylor, but Nebraska responded with a Mikey Labriola major decision over backup Mason Manville. Nebraska needed upsets at 184 and 285, but Brooks and Kerkvliet both proved victorious, the former by major decision. Eric Schultz kept things respectable by defeating Michael Beard.
Why couldn’t Penn State have guys out last week? This weekend just further proved the gap at the top of the conference, as Penn State had multiple top-5 guys out and still didn’t really struggle with second-tier competition. Ultimately, Nebraska didn’t lose any matches they weren’t supposed to, so I guess they can’t be upset about the result, but this still has to feel like a missed opportunity.
#11 Ohio State 19, #17 Rutgers 14
Atinat: Ohio State got the first victory when Malik Heinselman defeated Dylan Shawver 5-3, but Rutgers got the next two matches by major decisions, putting the Scarlet Knights up 8-3. Sammy Sasso defeated Mike Van Brill 6-3, but Rutgers took the next two matches, each with unranked wrestlers. After six bouts, Rutgers had a 14-6 lead and two favorites in the back four. Ethan Smith got a major decision, then Rocky Jordan knocked off John Poznanski, giving the Rutgers “freshman” his third loss in his last four matches. Gavin Hoffman kept the momentum going with an sudden-victory upset of Greg Bulsak, which was his fourth loss in five matches. Tate Orndorff sealed things off with a 6-1 decision to give the Buckeyes the dual victory.
A week or two ago, I said Rutgers fans didn’t need to worry about Greg Bulsak after a couple tough losses in a row. Rutgers fans, it’s time to worry. Two of the better wrestlers on this team are simply underperforming. Those two need to show up in big matches if Rutgers wants to maximize results in March. As for Ohio State, Gavin Hoffman has to be a promising young sophomore. Both his matches this weekend went to sudden-victory against top guys, and most of his losses this year have been competitive losses to all-American candidates.
Purdue Boilermakers 18, #11 Minnesota 14
HWAHSQB: One week after struggling to sneak away with a victory over instate rival Indiana, Purdue pulled off an upset on senior night against Minnesota.
Purdue won six matches, all by regular decision. The only bonus points of the dual were the tech fall by Hodge Trophy favorite Gable Steveson. Interesting that probably the smallest HWT in the B1G was one of the few that could avoid getting stuck on their back by Steveson. Among Purdue’s wins were four minor upsets, as #32 Ramos beat #27 Jake Gliva, #30 Max Lyon beat #22 Isaiah Salazar, #15 Devon Schroder beat #9 Pat McKee, and Hayden Lohrey beat #26 Cael Carlson.
In the feature match, Gopher Brayton Lee beat Kendall Coleman 2-1 in a top 10 matchup.
Three of Purdue’s wins were by a single point so Minnesota was so very close to winning this, but credit Purdue for being tough in those close matches.
Northwestern Wildcats 29, Maryland 7
HWAHSQB: Northwestern won against a supposedly B1G foe for their second straight dual victory. Maryland did pull off a pair of victories as Dominic Solis beat #28 ranked Troy Fisher, scoring a major upset and Kyle Cochran continued his strong season with a major decision. In the only ranked battle, Terp Jaron Smith fell to Andrew Davison. The Wildcats picked up a pair of tech falls from Lucas Davison and Michael Deaugustino. It has been confirmed that neither of the Davison bros punched anyone in the junk.