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Iowa-Okie State renew rivalry, Nebraska hosts ASU and Ohio State hosts Cornell

Some fun non-cons to close out the dual season

Syndication: HawkCentral Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

#19 Arizona State at #5 Nebraska Cornhuskers, Sunday at 1:30PM on the Big Ten Network

Kind of...: As always, so much hinges on who goes and who doesn’t, but this could be really compelling. Honestly, though, I don’t think that it will be. Wrestlestat gives this one to Nebraska 23-14, but, right off the bat, I’m taking a hot Liam Cronin (#4) over Brandon Courtney (#8) at 125 (Wrestlestat likes Courtney, 8-7). Michael McGee should be good for at least three points over Kyle Burwick, but Brock Hardy is even more likely to get bonus points for Nebraska at 141. Let’s call it 7-7 after Kyle Parco grabs a Sun Devil win at 149. From there, Peyton Robb should get bonus points, and Bubba Wilson, Mikey Labriola, Lenny Pinto, and Silas Allred are all clear favorites. Cohlton Schultz is probably good for 5 or 6 at HWT, but that’s about it for the Sun Devils. I’ll said 24-12 Huskers.

Is now a good time to mention that ASU beat Missouri in November a couple of weeks after Nebraska lost to North Dakota State? Yeah, it’s a long season. Nebraska is rounding into form and despite getting throttled by Iowa in the dual meet, the Huskers might be Iowa’s stiffest challenger for 2nd (unless it’s Mizzou).

#10 Oklahoma State at #2 Iowa Hawkeyes, Sunday at 3:30PM on the Big Ten Network

Atinat: God dammit Iowa, what did I just say to Northwestern about scheduling these pushovers? Wait, Oklahoma State is a top 10 team? You wouldn’t know it from recent history, where Okie State has just one win over Iowa since 2017. Expect it to stay that way.

Spencer Lee and Daton Fix will trade bonus points at 125 and 133, though I’ll tentatively say Iowa +1 from the exchange. Real Woods should be a favorite over Carter Young, as should Max Murin against Victor Voinovich, so I have it as 11-4 Iowa after four. Siebrecht-Gfeller and Kennedy-Sheets are both tossups, so let’s say Siebrecht and Sheets win to split the two. Plott is favored over Nelson Brands, so it’d be 14-10. Abe Assad hasn’t wrestled since the Wisconsin dual, and Iowa hasn’t had much luck at the weight without him, so let’s say 14-14 there. Warner and Luke Surber are pretty evenly matched, but I’m gonna take Warner because he’s wrestled a little stronger against common opponents. And regardless, Cassioppi will pin whoever Okie State trots out at heavy to seal the dual.

So, that’s a little closer than I expected. Still, it’s in Carver, and Iowa is the better team on paper, so give me the Hawks 23-14 to close the regular season. See you in Tulsa, Pokes.

#22 Michigan State Spartans at Central Michigan, Friday at 6PM on ESPN3

Atinat: The Spartans travel to Mount Pleasant to face their signature in-state rival, the CMU Chippewas. Yeah, even against a team like Michigan State, CMU just isn’t much to write home about. The Chips have beaten MSU five times in the last ten years, but who hasn’t? As for signature wrestlers, Central Michigan has Johnny Lovett, a two-time national qualifier; Corbyn Munson, ranked 28th at 157 pounds; and… wait is that it? Yeah, Central Michigan is a bit of a program on the downslide. Going back to 2016, their dual ranking according to Wrestlestat was 14, 18, 18, 39, 29, 22, 28, and this year, 57. Gimmie Sparty by a lot, regardless of who starts.

Binghamton at #29 Maryland Terrapins, Friday at 6PM on BTN+

#4 Cornell at #6 Ohio State, Saturday at Noon on Flowrestling

Atinat: Probably the dual I’m second-most looking forward to is the 4th-ranked Big Red traveling to Columbus to see #6 Ohio State. Why second? Well, for starters, it doesn’t involve Iowa. But also, it’s going to depend on who starts for the Buckeyes. Ohio State rested quite a few guys in their loss to Nebraska, and they’ll need a full lineup to beat Cornell.

To begin, we get #10 Malik Heinselman vs #21 Brett Ungar at 125 pounds. The two traded decisions at this year’s Cliff Keens, with Heinselman getting the first in sudden victory and Ungar getting him back on the consolation side. I’ll take Heinselman here, but only just. Then, #8 Jesse Mendez gets #3 Vito Arujau in what should be a very exciting matchup. Gimmie the Cornell man in a high-scoring match. I have Ohio State winning the next one, with #19 Dylan D’Emilio favored over #17 Vince Cornella. Following that is our marquee matchup, with #3 Sammy Sasso and #1 Yianni Diakomihalis meeting for the third time in their careers. Diakomihalis is 2-0, and I expect him to make it three. Paddy Gallagher is a big favorite at 157, and that would make it 9-6 Buckeyes at the break.

#12 Carson Kharchla is 3-0 all time against #8 Julian Ramirez, and looks to make it four on Saturday. He most recently won at last year’s NCAAs in a 4-3 decision, and also beat him at Cliff Keens twice last year. We get another top battle at 174, where #5 Ethan Smith meets #4 Chris Foca for the second time this season, losing 8-4 at Cliff Keens. Expect that result to be duplicated. Kaleb Romero should be looking for bonus points at 184, and if he secures them, I have it as 16-9 Ohio State going to the final two. #15 Jacob Cardenas and #18 Gavin Hoffman will have a tight battle at 197, and I certainly don’t think #17 Tate Orndorff is a sure thing vs #28 Brendan Furman, but I have Ohio State winning the dual 19-12. That said, that requires a few tossup wins and a fully healthy (and present) Buckeye squad, and I just don’t know if we’ll see that.

#15 Northern Iowa at #18 Wisconsin Badgers, Saturday at 7PM on BTN+

Kind of...: Maybe the most even matchup of the weekend. Wrestlestat tabs the Badgers 18-16, but is expecting Austin Gomez to go, which I find highly unlikely. That, plus UW’s poor form lately, cause me to foresee a Panther victory. Eric Barnett should grab a win at 125, but UNI is favored at 133, 141, and (Gomez-less) 149. At 141, Joseph Zargo is 1-0 against Cael Happel, but that was last year, and Happel has been far better this year.

157 is crucial: #18 Garrett Model vs. #20 Derek Holschlag. Wrestlestat goes with Holschlag, but I’m going to call for Model to get the decision on Senior Night, making it 9-6 Panthers at intermission. Dean Hamiti should be good for at least one bonus point at 165, seeing UW to the lead (let’s say a TF, so 11-9). However, I think Lance Runyon is good for a MD over Josh Otto (Wrestlestat only goes with a decision) and Parker Keckiesen is going to TF Tyler Dow (Wrestlestat only goes with a MD), so I have it 18-11 UNI after 184 while Wrestlestat says 16-10, Panthers.

At 197 I can see, maybe, Braxton Amos getting an MD, but Wrestlestat calls for a TF, which I find unlikely. So, I say 18-15 UNI and the Panthers winning on criteria after a Trent Hillger win at HWT.

Clarion at #1 Penn State Nittany Lions, Sunday at Noon on BTN+

Central Michigan at #14 Michigan Wolverines, Sunday at 4PM on BTN+

Atinat: See above for CMU’s earlier dual, and then make it worse.

Maryland Terrapins at Columbia, Sunday at Noon on ESPN+

#23 Indiana Hoosiers at Chattanooga, Sunday at 1PM on ESPN+

Atinat: Last year, Chattanooga ended their season by knocking off the Hoosiers. They also went 9-10 on the season and finished third in the SoCon, so not a great look for Indiana. Can they regain some pride this time around? They should get easy wins at 125, 165, 197, and 285. They lost at 141, 149, and 157 last year, but all three Hoosiers should still be favored. They’re dogs at 184, and Rocky Jordan vs DJ Washington will be a fun battle at 174. Likewise, 133 is a tossup between #21 Brayden Palmer and #24 Henry Porter. Gimmie the Hoosiers, but not by a ton. Maybe 19-13? Sounds good.