WHO: #23 Northwestern Wildcats (2-2, 0-2 Big Ten)
WHEN: 7:00 PM CT (Friday, January 14)
WHERE: Welsh Ryan Arena (Evanston, IL)
RADIO: Hawkeye Radio Network (TuneIn, or local listings) | AM 800 KXIC
TWITTER: @Hawks_Wrestling | @IowaWRLive | @IowaAwesome | @IowaOnBTN
The Big Ten season roars on for Iowa wrestling and this weekend they're heading east for a pair of dual meets in the land of Lincoln against #23 Northwestern and #21 Illinois. First up is Northwestern in Evanston on Friday night. It's a more interesting-looking dual meet than you might expect:
|125||#12 Drake Ayala (FR, 11-3)||vs||#7 Michael DeAugustino (SR, 2-0)|
#3 Austin DeSanto (SR, 11-0)
Charles Matthews (RS FR, 4-5)
|vs||#9 Chris Cannon (SO, 8-1)|
#2 Jaydin Eierman (SR, 11-0)
Drew Bennett (JR, 2-4)
|vs||#32 Frank Tel Shahar (SO, 4-4)|
#12 Max Murin (SR, 4-1)
Cobe Siebrecht (SO, 5-2)
|vs||#5 Yahya Thomas (SR, 7-2)|
|157||#12 Kaleb Young (SR, 7-5)||vs||#2 Ryan Deakin (SR, 6-0)|
|165||#1 Alex Marinelli (SR, 12-0)||vs||Erick Byelick (JR, 0-2)|
#2 Michael Kemerer (SR, 2-0)
Brennan Swafford (SR, 12-6)
|vs||#28 Troy Fisher (SO, 10-5)|
|184||#18 Abe Assad (SO, 7-2)||vs||
Jon Halvorsen (SO, 1-3)
Jack Jessen (JR, 1-4)
|197||#5 Jacob Warner (SR, 8-1)||vs||#28 Andrew Davison (SR, 7-4)|
#6 Tony Cassioppi (JR, 6-2)
Aaron Costello (SR, 11-2)
|vs||#14 Lucas Davison (JR, 12-3)|
Northwestern has more ranked wrestlers than you might have guessed, including four wrestlers ranked in the Top 10 at their respective weights, led by Ryan Deakin at 157 lbs. The big question is who Iowa puts on the mat, both here and in the Illinois dual on Sunday. Based on the match notes, Iowa will likely be sending backups at several weights on this road trip; those guys could end up wrestling at either the Northwestern or Illinois dual meets.
That uncertainty does make it a bit harder to project how the dual might play out. If Iowa puts out their strongest lineup, I would have Northwestern favored at 149 and 157 and a slight favorite at 125 as well, though Ayala also showcased his ability to beat a Top 10-ranked opponent the last time he was on the mat. But Iowa would be favored at the other weights (strongly favored at several of them), and a good bet to get bonus points at 141, 165, 174, and 184. That said, if Iowa uses backups at some weights, those predictions would need to be adjusted a bit.
Unless Iowa rolls out a lineup that's virtually all backups, I'd still expect them to win this dual, regardless of how exactly they end up mixing-and-matching the starters here. The margin of victory is likely dependent on how many starters end up getting the nod, though.
I'll try to update results in the comments below, but others are welcome to do so as well. Go Hawks.