WHO: Maryland Terrapins (0-8, 0-5 Big Ten)
WHEN: Friday, February 8, 2019
START TIME: 7:00 PM CT
WHERE: Carver-Hawkeye Arena (Iowa City, IA)
ONLINE: BTN Plus ($) or Flowrestling ($)
RADIO: Hawkeye All-Access; AM 800 near Iowa City or iHeart Radio (online)
I've lost count of how many turtle soup jokes I've made about Iowa playing Maryland since the Terps joined the Big Ten, but I'm sure the number is very high. Overall Maryland has been a respectable addition to the Big Ten -- their football team has been decent-ish (a spate of QB injuries and the misfortune of playing Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, and Michigan State hasn't done their overall record any favors), while their basketball teams have been good (men) or excellent (women). They've also been very good in many Olympic sports. But... wrestling is not one of those Olympic sports.
Tonight's dual meet should offer up one of the most lopsided Iowa-Maryland showdowns yet. Maryland has one ranked wrestler -- #9 Youssif Hemida at heavyweight. Six of their projected starters have losing records. This is not going to be close. Wrestlestat predicts a 38-0 rout by Iowa, which is... pretty close to my own prediction below! There was some drama in Iowa's dual meet win over Nebraska last week, but the only drama this week should be seeing how many bonus points Iowa can point on the board.
|125||#2 Spencer Lee (13-1, SO)||Brandon Cray (5-11, SO)||Lee via TF (IOWA 5-0)|
|133||Paul Glynn (8-4, JR)||Orion Anderson (5-13, FR)||Glynn via MD (IOWA 9-0)|
|141||#15 Max Murin (11-4, RS FR)||
Michael Doetsch (9-9, SO) /
Danny Bertoni (13-9, SO)
|Murin via DEC (IOWA 12-0)|
|149||#12 Pat Lugo (11-6, JR)||Alfred Bannister (12-5, SR)||Lugo via DEC (IOWA 15-0)|
|157||#7 Kaleb Young (13-3, SO)||
Jahi Jones (5-6, SR) /
Ryan Diehl (5-1, SR) /
Ad Whitesell (6-10, SR)
|Young via DEC (IOWA 18-0)|
|165||#2 Alex Marinelli (16-0, SO)||Phillip Spadafora (10-11, RS FR)||Marinelli via MD (IOWA 22-0)|
|174||Mitch Bowman (4-4, SR)||Josh Ugalde (3-8, JR)||Bowman via DEC (IOWA 25-0)|
|184||#10 Cash Wilcke (14-3, JR)||Kyle Jasenski (9-10, RS FR)||Wilcke via MD (IOWA 29-0)|
|197||#5 Jacob Warner (11-2, RS FR)||Niko Cappello (2-13, SO)||Warner via TF (IOWA 34-0)|
|285||#7 Sam Stoll (6-1, SR)||#9 Youssif Hemida (8-2, SR)||Stoll via DEC (IOWA 37-0)|
A few thoughts:
The big lineup news is Austin DeSanto's absence at 133 -- he was suspended for this dual meet after his actions at the end of the Nebraska dual meet last week. Hopefully this doesn't become a recurring trend. DeSanto's high-scoring action will be missed, but it shouldn't impact the result of his match at all. Orion Anderson has had a rough freshman season (5-13) and I think Glynn will be able to add an easy win -- I can definitely see him turning him on the mat for back points as well and earning a bonus point win.
I'm hoping to see bonus points out of several Iowa wrestlers this week, including both some usual suspects (Lee, Marinelli) and some less likely ones (Wilcke, Warner). Wilcke should have plenty of confidence after his win over Taylor Venz last week, but he did only beat Jasenski by a score of 2-0 at Midlands earlier this year. Getting a major decision here would be an emphatic way for Wilcke to show how far he's come since then. Only two of Warner's 10 wins this year have come with bonus points, but Cappello is 2-13 and nine of those 13 defeats have been by major decision or worse. Time to pile on some points, Jacob.
Bowman is the only name listed at 174 (though the Match Notes lineups are far from gospel), but whether it's Bowman or Keegan Shaw, I think Iowa has a very good chance to get a win at 174, where Ugalde is just 3-8 on the season.
I would be happy to see bonus points of Murin, Lugo, and Young, but I'm not really expecting it based on recent form. Surprise me, guys!
- The main matches that could prevent an Iowa shutout: 285, 149, and 174. 285 is obvious because that's where Maryland's best wrestler is; Hemida also owns a win over Stoll, defeating him 7-2 at the NCAA Tournament last year. Stoll has two wins against Hemida (8-1 at Big Tens last year and 15-4 at Big Tens back in 2016) as well. How Stoll (and Hemida) approach this match after Stoll's loss last week will be interesting; Sammy will need to make something happen from neutral. Bannister, Maryland's wrestler at 149, is in that good-but-not-great category and a fringe Top 20 guy; given Lugo's unpredictability this season, a good outing from Bannister could easily result in a win for him here. And at 174, well, I just don't have that much faith in Iowa's options there.
The action is on BTN Plus; I'll be providing results and feedback in the comments; feel free to join in!