#1 Penn State 30, #4 Michigan 8
Kind of...: Michigan got 5 from a Jack Medley TF at 125, which wasn’t a surprise. Almost all of PSU’s wins weren’t surprises. So let’s talk about the three biggest happenings.
1) Levi Haines went at 157, and beat #10 Will Lewan in SV. He’s definitely an All-American candidate if the redshirt comes off. Seems like he had another event or two he could wrestle without burning the redshirt. Does Cael let him go against Iowa and still redshirt him? Probably not. But that would be cold.
2) Alex Facundo beat Cameron Amine. It was a close match that went to criteria, but Amine was still #5. So, Facundo, a rsFR is up to #5 and now the highest-ranked B1G wrestler at the deepest weight in the country. No, PSU is not stopping anytime soon.
3) That said, Mason Parris ended his losing streak to Greg Kerkvliet at 3 with a 3-1 win. Parris now moves to #1 which is most important just for getting the easier semi at the B1G. Iowa and Michigan still have to wrestle, so Parris can’t rest on his laurels (I doubt he’d duck Cassioppi), but the great HWT battle shifts to Cass/Kerk this week.
Atinat: Well, I guess I gotta get my cracks in here, cause Sunday did not go well. Iowa did exactly how I expected, with the lone exception of Max Murin winning by fall, not major decision. This is good! There are still a couple parts of the lineup that need work (namely 174-197), but Iowa is a very good team capable of beating anyone in the country. Well, almost anyone….
Spencer Lee made very short work on Liam Cronin, catching a roll-through attempt and lacing it into a cradle for a :38 fall. Brody Teske worked out of an early hole to beat Burwick 5-2. Woods used dominant top positioning to dispatch #5 Brock Hardy 6-4, and I think he was better than the score indicated. Siebrecht unfortunately couldn’t power through Peyton Robb, and his early aggressiveness made him fight off a major decision instead of allowing him to go for a win. Brands couldn’t solve Labriola, but kept it close. Assad and Warner both won matches that really should not have been so close. And Cassioppi nearly used the entire clock in his 6:40 pinfall victory to close out the dual. Go Hawks. I’m sure nothing else notable happened this weekend.
HWAHSQB: This dual had a handful of interesting matches despite Minnesota putting a 28-6 mollywhopping on the Hoosiers. At 158, #16 Brayton Lee scored the only takedown to squeeze past #19 Derek Gilcher. At 174, #15 ranked Gopher Bailee O’Reilly won a back and forth bout against #18 Donnell Washington 9-8. At shaved bear weight, Hoosier Jacob Bullock beat Garrett Joles 5-3.
#26 Rutgers 16, Michigan State 15
Kind of...: I called for MSU to pull the minor upset by winning six weights. My recipe was right, but Rayvon Foley fell to Joe Heilmann at 133 (4-3), which saw Rutgers through. It would’ve been 16-16 had MSU not lost a point celebrating Layne Malczewski’s MD minor upset over Brian Soldano, but Rutgers would’ve won on criteria anyway. Some fun action, but if any of these wrestlers are still alive on Saturday at nationals, it will probably
#7 Ohio State 38, #23 Maryland 6
Atinat: I tried to make it sound like Maryland had a chance. They did not. The Terrapins got the first pin at 125 pounds over backup Brendan McCrone, but it was also their only pin, and also their only victory. Mende pinned Quinn, the Buckeyes got a pair of tech falls at 157 and 184 pounds, Maryland forfeited at 197 (hopefully Jaxon Smith is okay, because they also forfeited that weight Sunday), and Sasso got a major decision at 149. Dom Solis did force sudden victory at 174, but conceded the match’s only takedown there. There isn’t much to say. Maryland may be moving in the right direction, but the Big Ten is a helluva mountain to climb.
#15 Northwestern 18, #17 Illinois 17
HWAHSQB: This dual came down to the final seconds as 125er Michael DeAugustino put Maximo Renteria to his back in the final 15 seconds to take that match from a 6-1 regular decision to 10-1 major decision. This left the dual tied at 17 and the Wildcats won on the third criteria, which is total points scored in matches that didn’t end in a pin.
#23 Maxx Mayfield was dominant in his win over #11 Danny Braunagel of Illinois at 165 which will have meaning come time to seed for B1Gs. At 133, #10 Lucas Byrd continued his dominance over #13 Chris Cannon. They’ve met five times and Cannon has yet to score a single takedown. The best match of the night was at 141, where two red-hot wrestlers squared off and #14 Danny Pucino came away on top of #10 ranked Frankie Tal-Shahar 8-6. Pucino took Tal-Shahar to his back early in the match and Tal-Shahar fought back to make it close, but couldn’t close the gap.
There were a lot of paths to victory for Illinois. If Mikey Carr wrestles, if Danny Braunagel seemed interested in his match, if Renteria doesn’t engage those final seconds, Illinois wins, but give credit to the Wildcats for finding a way.
#18 Wisconsin 28, Purdue 9
Kind of...: This is what was supposed to happen, so it’s nice that it did. Eric Barnett losing to Matt Ramos at 125 wasn’t fun, but Ramos is good, and 125 is basically a 10-car pileup after Lee and Glory. Honestly, you’d rather be seeded 11-14 instead of 7-10, because the 7-10 guys would meet Lee or Glory in the semis, while the 11-14 guys will go against the 3-6 guys in the round of 16. And the people seeded 3-6 are not going to be obviously better than the people seeded 11-14. Just a total crapshoot.
Anyway, besides that, props to Joey Zargo for knocking off Parker Filius. Zargo looked more himself, so hopefully his earlier struggles were health related, and he’s ready to make a move.
But, biggest props go to Garrett Model for upsetting #3 Kendall Coleman. 157 isn’t the strongest weight, and the winning takedown was a 2PT danger zone takedown. But, you know what? It counts. Probably the best win Model will earn as a collegian, so huzzah to a local kid who stuck with the program.
#2 Iowa 19, #18 Wisconsin 18
Kind of...: I want to get all cocky about UW almost pulling the upset, but, well, this is wrestling, and the truth will always be staring you in the face. Iowa wrestled a couple of backups, which is 6 of UW’s points. Abe Assad made a dumb mistake and got pinned (6 more of UW’s points), but would beat Tyler Dow 8 out of 10 times, at least. And, despite that, UW still lost on criteria, because Iowa was dominant pretty much everywhere else.
Dean Hamiti is one of the most fun wrestlers to watch in America, but Facundo passed him in the rankings, and Patrick Kennedy gave him a full 7:00 Sunday. 165 is stacked, and it’s not fair.
Austin Gomez did not dominate Max Murin, but as their rankings indicated (#2 vs. #7), this was essentially an NCAA quarterfinal, and Gomez did have control throughout. As long as he stays healthy, he’s clearly UW’s best (only, really) threat at a natty.
Eric Barnett got pinned by Spencer Lee, but Lee has stuck four top-10 guys in a row, and Barnett lasted the longest, so I’ll take it.
Atinat: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Got that out of my system. Hope the same can be said for the Hawkeyes. Big one coming up on Friday for just about everyone in the lineup. Can’t show up flat-footed again. Go Hawks.
#1 Penn State 34, Michigan State 6
Atinat: Michigan State is so bad, their 125 pounder lost to Penn State. Their only wins came against backups at 157 and 184 pounds. Which begs the question, is Levi Haines keeping the redshirt on? That’s a question way too interesting to be answered in a Michigan State recap, so check out my Iowa-Penn State preview on Friday. But yeah, all other starters for Penn State went and won, including RBY and Shayne Van Ness (SVN?) by pinfall and Starocci and Kerkvliet by tech fall. Facundo was pushed to sudden victory by Caleb Fish, which is the closest thing to a worry that Penn State has going into their big weekend.
#4 Michigan 24, #26 Rutgers 9
Atinat: Things started slow for the Wolverines, as Rutgers won two of the first three weights to try to set the tone against the number four team in the country, reeling from their blowout loss two days prior. Unfortunately, wrestling doesn’t really work like that, and the Michigan team is just way better right now. Michigan would win six of the remaining seven, with the final victory coming from the newly-annointed #1 Mason Parris by fall. Rutgers did keep things close, with every other match coming by regular decision and six of them being decided by one or two points, but close isn’t good for much. I will say this, though, to Rutgers’ credit: You’ll want to tune in every time Brian Soldano takes the mat. Not in a Spencer Lee or Gable Steveson way, but in a trapeze-artist-without-a-net way. Dude goes for glory, with seemingly no fear of failure. It doesn’t always work, which makes it fun to watch.
#11 Minnesota 20, Purdue 12
Atinat: I said in the preview that team score wouldn’t be close, so apologies for that. However, I did name three big matches to watch (125, 141, and 157), and Purdue won all three of those. Their 9-7 lead at the break was cool and all for a team that has really taken a step backward this year, but it was never going to last. They lost the next four matches by an average of six points each to put the dual out of contention, though Hayden Copass did take the final bout to tighten the score up a little bit.
Despite the dual score never being in doubt, Minnesota has to feel bad about this one. There were five matches within three points, and the Gophers went 1-4 in those matches. The three mentioned above have huge ramifications for seeding at Big Tens and NCAAs for the All-Americans who are looking to repeat those honors this year.
#17 Illinois 29, #23 Maryland 11
HWAHSQB: This match didn’t feature a single matchup of two ranked wrestlers, which is pretty incredible in the B1G. It’s pretty rare for a B1G dual to have no ranked matchups. 197 could’ve had that, but Maryland forfeited that weight. The even weirder part though is that every match featured one ranked wrestler, 3 for the Terps and 7 for the Illini.
Lucas Byrd and Mike Carr each picked up a 22-7 TF victory in route to a dominant Illinois 29-11 win. This just wasn’t a particularly interesting match so I’m not going to make you read any more about it.