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Ken Kraft Midlands Preview

Syndication: HawkCentral
Who wants to watch some rasslin?
Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

The 59th annual Midlands wrestling tournament is this week. Honestly, I’m a little giddy to have some good wrestling to watch. Action kicks off Friday morning at 9:30 God’s time. As usual, the B1G will be heavily represented. The following B1G teams are scheduled to participate:

Illinois Fighting Illini

Michigan Wolverines

Michigan State Spartans

Michigan’s minor league affiliate (Northwestern Wildcats)

Ohio State Buckeyes

Purdue Boilermakers

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

University of Chicago (the original Chicago’s Big Ten Team)

Wisconsin Badgers

That’s more than half of the conference for those of you that attended schools where you don’t math good. Evanston’s Big Ten School has really gotten proud of this tournament and are charging $112 per ticket. Interestingly, it only costs $60 for a woman to participate so that’s a cheaper way to get into the NOW arena to see the show.

For those of you who don’t want to drop a hundy and/or don’t want to go the north suburbs of Chicago, you can catch all the action on B1G+ with just a single school pass so that’s the route I’m going. Both events have individual mat coverage Friday and Saturday on BTN+ along with the whiparound coverage for the Midlands.



125: We could see 3 top ten ranked B1G guys here with Dean Peterson, Matt Ramos, and Eric Barnett potentially participating.

133: The only top ten guy likely to appear here is Chris Cannon, the first of several AA candidates that made the move from Evanston to Ann Arbor in the offseason. Chris will be listening to hear for Lucas Byrd’s music though. Byrd has been out injured and is unlikely to appear, but the Illini grappler has a 6-0 record against Cannon.

141: The B1G has a whopping five top ten guys at this weight class, but only one, Jesse Mendez of OSU, will be at Midlands.

149: We should see two top ten guys here as Dylan D’Emilio of OSU and Austin Gomez of Michigan are scheduled. Two years ago, Gomez finished fourth nationally as a Badger. Last year, he lost to Chance Lamer of Michigan to end his season. Chance is now at Cal Poly. Two things I’ll note about that is 1. The transfer portal makes it hard to track teams. B. Chance Lamer is a terrible name.

157; The top B1G guys here are #9 Will Lewan of michigan and #12 Paddy Gallagher of OSU. With a name like that, how is he not a Nern linebacker??

165: The matchup I’m probably most looking forward to here is Cam Amine against Dean Hamiti of wisconsin, although Caleb Fish of MSU will try to play spoiler.

174: The B1G has 5 top ten guys at 174 also, but only three in action here. #3 ranked Edmond Ruth of Illinois will likely see either former natty holder Shane Griffith of Michigan or Carson Kharchla of OSU in the final. If we get any matchups of these three, they will have important B1G tournament seeding implications as I’m sure all these guys want to stay on the opposite side of the bracket from the Penn State Nittany Lions Carter Starocci, but only two of them will be able to.

184: No top ten B1G guys here, but MSU’s Layne Malcweski, Rutger’s Brian Soldano, and Michigan’s Jaden Bullock are at 12, 13, and 14 respectively. Bullock is the first michigan man mentioned in this article who is not a transfer. I really hope that we get Malcweski and Soldano as both those guys are really unafraid to get into their offense and let it fly. Other than Amine-Hamiti, that might be my most anticipated match of the tournament.

197: Rutger’s John Poznanski is the only top ten B1G guy at this weight class.

HWT: Leading the way here is another Evanston to Ann Arbor transfer, Lucas Davison. He could see fellow Big Tenner Yaraslau Slaviskouski from Jersey.

The Iowa Hawkeyes are continuing with their Soldier Salute as competition for the Christmas/New Year’s weekend wrestling tournament viewership. Fellow QOH members Minnesota Gophers and Nebraska Cornhuskers are joining iowa in fighting the power.

Kind of...: The Soldier Salute is really new, so it’s hard to tell which teams will be sending their “A” wrestlers. Like, Iowa State is listed as participating, and it would be awesome if all their starters show up. Given the state of the Iowa/ISU rivalry, it would be surprising, but here’s to hoping. Missouri is on the list. They’re ranked #2 in the country. We could see a Carr/O’Toole showdown! Or not. They have a dual Jan. 2, against #11 Virginia Tech. So probably not sending their best. Oregon State, North Carolina, and Virginia are all reasonably solid teams and are listed as participating, too.