WHO: #4 Ohio State Buckeyes (7-1, 3-0 Big Ten)
WHEN: Friday, January 24, 2020
WHERE: Carver-Hawkeye Arena (Iowa City, IA)
START TIME: 8:00 PM Central
RADIO: Hawkeye Sports Network (check local listings); TuneIn (maybe)
ANNOUNCERS: Tim Johnson and Jim Gibbons
New week, new Top 10 opponent for the top-ranked Hawkeyes. Iowa's tour of the Top 10 continues with a visit from #4 Ohio State this week. The Buckeyes are 7-1 on the season and undefeated in the Big Ten, with those league wins coming over Rutgers, Wisconsin, and Illinois. Ohio State is likely to roll out a lineup with everyone ranked in Trackwrestling's current rankings -- but four of those likely competitors are ranked #22 or lower by Track. In fact, just four of their 10 likely starters are currently ranked in the Top 10 at their respective weights. By comparison, all ten of Iowa's likely starters are presently ranked in the Top 10; in fact, all are currently ranked inside the Top 7 at their respective weights. Heady times!
That said, there is a lot of top-end talent in this dual. There will be four #1 ranked wrestlers on display, which is the most in a single dual meet this season (though Iowa-Penn State might be able to match that feat next week, depending on whether or not there are any upsets this weekend). Iowa has the top-ranked guys at 125 (Spencer Lee) and 149 (Pat Lugo), while Ohio State has top-ranked guys at 141 (Luke Pletcher) and 197 (Kollin Moore). Of those four, only Moore is slated to face a Top 5 opponent, though Lugo and Pletcher will be facing guys knocking on the door of the Top 5.
|WEIGHT||#1 IOWA||VS||#4 OHIO STATE|
|125||#1 Spencer Lee (9-0, JR)||vs||
#28 Malik Heinselman (9-11, SO)
Hunter Lucas (6-4, JR)
|133||#2 Austin DeSanto (11-1, JR)||vs||#15 Jordan Decatur (9-4, FR)|
|141||#7 Max Murin (10-1, SO)||vs||#1 Luke Pletcher (18-0, SR)|
|149||#1 Pat Lugo (13-0, SR)||vs||#6 Sammy Sasso (16-2, RS FR)|
|157||#4 Kaleb Young (10-2, JR)||vs||#32 Elijah Cleary (13-7, JR)|
|165||#2 Alex Marinelli (13-0, JR)||vs||#8 Ethan Smith (13-7, SO)|
|174||#2 Michael Kemerer (7-0, SR)||vs||#12 Kaleb Romero (13-2, SO)|
|184||#6 Abe Assad (18-3, FR)||vs||#22 Rocky Jordan (24-4, RS FR)|
|197||#5 Jacob Warner (10-3, SO)||vs||#1 Kollin Moore (18-0, SR)|
|285||#3 Tony Cassioppi (12-0, RS FR)||vs||#24 Gary Traub (17-3, JR)|
A brief weight-by-weight preview:
125: Spencer Lee is going to do Spencer Lee things, which means Malik Heinselman can go ahead and book his trip to Tilt Town.
IOWA 5, OHIO STATE 0
133: Austin DeSanto was denied bonus points against Nebraska last week, but I think he gets back on track this week against Decatur. DeSanto will get his offense flowing in this one.
IOWA 9, OHIO STATE 0
141: This is the first of four matches featuringTop 10 opponents. It's also a great measuring stick match for Murin. He's 2-1 against possible All Americans this year, beating Wisconsin's Tristan Moran 3-2 and Campbell's Josh Heil 5-3 before falling to Chad Red 6-2 last week; none of those guys look as good as Pletcher has looked this year. He's looked like a different (and much better) wrestler up at his new weight and I think he'll have too much firepower for Murin.
IOWA 9, OHIO STATE 3
149: And here's the second of four matches pitting Top 10 opponents against one another. Lugo and Sasso rumbled at the Midlands last season, with Sasso ultimately edging Lugo 6-4 with a takedown in sudden victory. Lugo has gotten better since then -- but so has Sasso. I'm expecting another tight match, and I'm going with Sasso to edge Lugo with a third period takedown.
IOWA 9, OHIO STATE 6
157: Young will restore order for Iowa with a comfortable decision win over Cleary.
IOWA 12, OHIO STATE 6
165: This is the third of four matches between Top 10 opponents, at least per Track's rankings (Smith's ranking tends to fluctuate depending on the service used). Smith is a solid wrestler who's looked improved down at 165 after being at 174 last year, but I expect The Bull to take care of business here. Bonus points would be welcome, but I think Smith will do enough to avoid that fate.
IOWA 15, OHIO STATE 6
174: Romero is another guy who has looked better at a new weight -- but that's also true for his opponent. Kemerer has looked damn good up at 174 and I expect him to keep that momentum rolling against Romero.
IOWA 18, OHIO STATE 6
184: This is one of the most intriguing bouts of the evening. Assad moved into the Top 5 of the rankings after his win over Taylor Venz last week, but he's still largely an unknown quantity. Rocky Jordan has looked stout since moving up to 184 earlier this year. I'm expecting a good scrap here -- and for Assad to get another third period takedown to get the CHA crowd charged up (and the win).
IOWA 21, OHIO STATE 6
197: This is the fourth and final match-up of Top 10 opponents in the dual. Moore won their only previous meeting, 5-2, at the Big Ten Tournament last season. Moore has been consistently excellent this year, so toppling him will be a big ask for Warner. The one thing that gives me hope that is Warner has shown a tendency to get up for big matches and to deliver in big moments; if we get Warner at his very best here, it should be a really tight, interesting match. Anything less, though, and I expect a comfortable Moore win.
IOWA 21, OHIO STATE 9
285: "Gas Tank" Gary is a nice story, but Tony Pins is here for bonus points, not nice stories. Unless Cassioppi can get Traub on his back (always a possibility!), I think he'll have to settle for a lopsided decision win here.
IOWA 24, OHIO STATE 9
The usual rules apply.