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Wrestling: #2 ISU @ #1 Iowa - Preview

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Tomorrow is the day that wrestling fans have had marked on their calendar all year.

Iowa is deservingly the #1 team in the nation and this will be a great test to see if ISU has improved enough to win the National Championship.

The dual is in Iowa City, Carver Hawkeye Area, 7pm Iowa time. It will be broadcast on the Big Suck Network (Big 10 network) at 9:30pm Iowa time (tape delay). Last I checked, there were limited tickets available and this will likely set the NCAA record for college wrestling attendance.

It is pretty weak that the biggest wrestling event of the year is going to be on tape delay. I wouldn't mind it being on public tv live, but I guess those days are gone.

Nonetheless if you aren't able to get to Iowa City, or if the meet is sold out, you will be able to see it on some form of TV.

Here's the expected lineup (ISU wrestler listed first):

  • 125: #7 Tyler Clark (8-0) vs. #2 Charlie Falck (8-0)
  • 133: #5 Nick Fanthorpe (8-0) vs.  Joe Slaton (3-0. Slaton was a NCAA champion runner-up last year)
  • 141: #2 Nick Gallick (7-1) vs. #6 Alex Tsirtis (6-0)
  • 149: #11 Mitch Mueller (6-0) vs. #1 Brent Metcalf (8-0)
  • 157: #6 Cyler Sanderson (2-1) vs. Matt Ballweg (6-2)
  • 165: #3 Jonathon Reader (8-0) vs. #11 Ryan Morningstar (8-0)
  • 174: #8 Duke Burk (2-0) vs. #2 Jay Borschel (8-0)
  • 184: Jerome Ward (5-1) vs. #3 Phil Keddy (8-0)
  • 197: #1 Jake Varner (7-0) vs. Luke Lofthouse (1-1) - Beatty is injured and will not wrestle
  • HWT: #2 David Zabriskie (7-0) vs. Dan Erekson (7-0)

Past history:

  • Slaton has beat Fanthorpe twice, 6-5 at last year's dual, and 2-1 in the NCAAs
  • Metcalf major decisioned Mueller last year 14-4 at last year's dual
  • Borschel major decisioned Burk last year 10-1 at 2007 Midlands
  • David Zabriskie beat Erekson 3-1 at the Cyclone Open

Keys to the match:

  • ISU needs to prevent Iowa's bonus points
    • Mueller, Burk , and Ward need to keep the match close if they cannot win.
    • We cannot allow Iowa's best wrestlers to get extra team points.
  • ISU needs to pick up as many bonus points as possible
    • ISU needs to be aggressive on their feet! Last year Iowa was more aggressive in the lower weights and that was the difference in the dual.
    • At the weights were we have an advantage (141, 157,165, 197, HWT), we gotta go for majors, techs, and falls. We cannot be satisfied getting the team only 3 points in a match we should win
  • The concept of winning a dual is pretty basic. The difference is that it's too close to make a key mistake or to NOT take advantage of opportunities.

Prediction:

ISU 22, Iowa 14 -> ISU will be ranked #1 and Iowa fans will blame the loss on Beatty being out and something else insignificant (Like Ashton not being there until the basketball game)

ISU will need to (and will) split the first 4 weights, and win the upper weights they have an advantage in.

Predicted Wins by team (team points in parenthesis)

ISU: Fanthorpe (3), Gallick (3), Sanderson (4), Reader (3), Varner (6), Zabriskie (3)

Iowa: Falck (3), Metcalf (4), Borschel (4), Keddy (3)

Prediction Details:

  • ISU
    • Fanthorpe will get redemption as he lost 2 matches by a total of 2 points to Slaton.
    • Gallick needs to win. He seems to be turning it around a little after starting out shakey
    • Sanderson always goes for something big, and I have confidence he will. Last year at the Iowa dual he almost got a pin, and he will go for bonus points as we'll be down 7-6 going into this match.
    • Reader will win as he's been looking like a beast this year
    • Varner will get a pin. He's so dominant, and he'll go for something big to really punctuate and clinch the dual!
    • Z is solid and will get a nice solid win
  • Iowa
    • Falck is damn good. I hope we can beat him, but he's tough. I think splitting 125 and 133 would be huge for ISU as we lost both last year
    • Metcalf and Borschel will have a ton of confidence as they've handily beat our guys before. With being at home, I have a hard time envisioning them NOT getting major decisions yet again. If Mueller and Burk can keep it close (or get a win at one of these classes), the dual will practically be over. Metcalf is exciting to watch. Losing a close one to him would be like a victory
    • I think Jerome Ward is solid enough to keep the match close with Keddy. Ultimatley Keddy is better, but it's hard for me to see Ward just get dominated as he wrestles a style that keeps him in matches late.

Final thoughts:

  • This is going to be huge and I wish I could be there! I will post my analysis tomorrow night after I watch the tape delay.
  • If you have the opportunity to go, GO! You will NOT regret it!
  • The best part? Seeing Brands' (aka Gable wannabe) look on his face when they get BEAT!!!!!!!!!
  • Go State!