Friday night sees the battle continue between two of the most successful NCAA wrestling programs in history. #3 Iowa Hawkeyes and #5 Oklahoma State Cowboys have solid wrestlers up and down the lineup. There are swing matches at almost every weight so going through this preview I had Iowa winning three out of five times. When I had the Cowboys winning it was usually a worst case scenario. This dual could (should?) end with one team winning by a pretty decent margin. Which team shows up most prepared could determine how the dual goes in these swing matches; I think Carver will give the Hawkeyes an extra push.
WHO: #5 Oklahoma State (3-2)
WHEN: 7:07 PM CST; Friday, January 10th, 2014
WHERE: Iowa City, IA - Carver-Hawkeye Arena
TV: Mediacom 22
RADIO: AM-800 KXIC (free), Hawkeye All-Access (online; $)
TWITTER: @IowaWRLive, @hagertony, @critterk10, @Andy_Hamilton, @kjpilcher, @codygoodwin
#4 IOWA 12, #2 Oklahoma State 18
125 - #1 Matt McDonough (IA) dec. Eddie Klimara (OSU), 10-4; 3-0
133 - #2 Tony Ramos (IA) dec. #5 Jon Morrison (OSU), 3-2; 6-0
141 - #9 Mark Ballweg (IA) dec. Julian Feikert (OSU), 8-3; 9-0
149 - #1 Jordan Oliver (OSU) dec. #19 Michael Kelly (IA), 9-4; 9-3
157 - #1 Derek St. John (IA) dec. #9 Alex Dieringer (OSU), 8-4; 12-3
165 - #3 Tyler Caldwell (OSU) dec. #19 Nick Moore (IA), 3-2; 12-6
174 - #1 Chris Perry (OSU) dec. Mike Evans (IA), 4-3; 12-9
184 - #12 Chris Chionuma (OSU) dec. #9 Ethen Lofthouse (IA), 3-2; 12-12
197 - #5 Blake Rosholt (OSU) dec. Nathan Burak (IA), 3-2; 12-15
285 - #3 Alan Gelogaev (OSU) dec. Bobby Telford (IA), 7-3; 12-18
#2 IOWA HAWKEYES (8-1)
125: #3 Thomas Gilman (*Fr. 12-2) or Cory Clark (*Fr 12-0)
133: #4 Tony Ramos (Sr. 15-2)
141: #9 Josh Dziewa (Jr. 17-3)
149: #15 Brody Grothus (So. 17-5)
157: #1 Derek St. John (Sr. 19-0)
165: #5 Nick Moore (Jr. 11-2)
174: #6 Mike Evans (Jr. 18-1
184: #4 Ethen Lofthouse (Sr. 16-2)
197: #17 Nathan Burak (So. 5-2)
285: #3 Bobby Telford (Jr. 13-1)
#3 OKLAHOMA STATE (3-2)
125: #16 Eddie Kilmara (So. 8-5)
133: #1 Jon Morrison (Sr. 14-0)
141: #14 Anthony Callica (Fr. 18-4)
149: #3 Josh Kindig (Jr. 12-3)
157: #2 Alex Dieringer (So. 16-0)
165: #2 Tyler Caldwell (Sr. 13-1)
174: #2 Chris Perry (Sr. 13-1)
184: Nolan Boyd (*Fr 24-5) or Jordan Rogers (*Fr 15-8)
197: #12 Blake Rosholt (Sr. 10-6)
285: #15 Austin Marsden (So. 12-4)
#3 Thomas Gilman (*Fr. 10-2) or Cory Clark (*Fr 12-0) vs #16 Eddie Kilmara (So. 8-5)
TONY: I still do not think the 125 spot is quite settled for the Hawkeyes. There's a good chance of bonus points of some sort from Gilman or Clark. Say what you want about Clark, but a lot of people really do not have a clue what is going on with the young man. As fans we all need to remember how difficult it is to be a full time student and a Division I athlete. I think we see Cory Clark Friday night even after Gilman's recent success. I might look like a complete idiot when Gilman walks about there, but I'm going with Clark. Clark or Gilman gets the decision win, with possible bonus points.
ROSS: I agree with Tony that Clark probably isn't entirely out of the picture at 125 for Iowa, but I can't go against Gilman with the run he's been on lately. I think he gets the nod here Friday night -- and I think he gets the win over Klimara. Gilman actually beat Klimara via 5-2 decision at a tournament earlier this season. I'll go with another solid decision win from Gilman here -- although bonus points would be VERY nice.
#4 Tony Ramos (Sr. 13-2) vs #1 Jon Morrison (Sr. 14-0)
TONY: Believe it or not, this is not the biggest matchup of the night. It does feature the highest-ranked wrestler on the Oklahoma State squad that the Hawkeyes will face, though, so this should be an exciting matchup. Plus, these guys hate each other and have been wrestling each other since they were young. (see video below) Hawkeye Sports is calling Ramos an underdog. On paper, Ramos does look like an underdog in this match, but Ramos has faced (and beat) tougher competition than Morrision. Rankings aside, I think it would be an upset if Morrison wins this match. Ramos squeaked out at 3-2 decision over Morrison last year in Stillwater and then went on to wrestle Morrison again in the quarterfinals at the NCAAs and beat him handily, 6-1. Ramos has had a rocky year, but we all know how well Ramos wrestles at Carver. Ramos is 30 and freaking 0 at home, folks! I'd have to think Jordan Oliver has been in Morrison's ear after he came to Carver two years ago and was upset by Ramos. Look for Tony to come up big again against the Cowboys. Ramos via decision.
As noted before, Ramos and Morrison have a long history; here's Tony defeating Morrison for a 2009 Illinois State Title.
ROSS: This is a big match for Tony -- and another chance for more upheaval at the top of the 133 rankings. Morrison ascended to the top after Ramos and Edinboro's A.J. Schopp both lost to UNI's Joe Colon at Midlands last week, while Morrison won the 133 lb. division at the Southern Scuffle. Morrison is a good wrestler and he gave Tony some problems last year (although Tony was able to pull away a bit in their NCAA Tournament rematch). I expect a fairly close match, but at CHA, with the crowd roaring behind him, I expect Tony to pull out the win. If only Tony could wrestle the NCAA Tournament at CHA... Ramos via decision.
#10 Josh Dziewa (Jr. 15-3) vs #14 Anthony Callica (Fr. 18-4)
TONY: If we can keep Dziewa on his feet and we could see some bonus points at 141 lbs. Dziewa gets a little slippery when on top so look for quite a few takedowns in the this match. But if Dziewa is not ready to wrestle Callica is very capable of the upset. Dziewa via decision.
ROSS: Callica is 0-3 against ranked wrestlers this year (#5 Chris Dardanes, #13 Luke Vaith, #11 Zach Horan), but all three losses were close (5-3, 2-0 SV, 2-1 TB1), so he's not a wrestler to underestimate. I expect a very close match, but Dziewa has been wrestling well the last few weeks and I think he'll come up with the decisive takedown in the third period. Dziewa via decision.
#15 Brody Grothus (So. 15-5) vs #3 Josh Kindig (Jr. 12-3)
TONY: Grothus has proved himself to Brands and Co. after a solid December. I don't think we will see Kelly the rest of the year. I've heard a lot of mixed emotions about this call, but it's hard to argue with the results. Grothus has a very tough matchup with Kindig, who is the better wrestler at this point. Grothus will have a tough time on this feet and underneath. Cowboys get on the board with a Kindig decision win.
ROSS: Kindig has been wrestling very well since moving up to 149 this year and he'll be a very difficult test for Grothus. Kindig isn't a big bonus point threat for the Pokes -- just 4 of his 12 wins have been via bonus, although three of those were via fall. In the past, Grothus has had a tendency to get in some bad positions at times; he has to avoid that against Kindig. If the Grothus that showed up in the Midlands consolation bracket and beat Jason Tsirtsis shows up here, I think Iowa has a great chance to keep it close -- and maybe even spring an upset. But I'm not feeling frisky enough to pick that result. Kindig via decision.
#1 Derek St. John (Sr. 17-0) vs #2 Alex Dieringer (So. 16-0)
TONY: Remember when I said 133 wasn't the highlight match of the night? That's because this is the highlight matchup of the night: #1 vs #2, Iowa vs Oklahoma State, does it get any better than that for a home dual?? DSJ is 2-0 against Dieringer (both wins coming last year), with his biggest win against Dieringer coming in the NCAA Tournament semifinals last year. DSJ had to grind hard to the finals but he beat Dieringer, 3-2 in OT. Look for Dieringer to seek a bit of revenge on the returning national champ, but I think St. John gets another decision win.
ROSS: DSJ almost gave me a heart attack in his semifinal match with Dieringer at last year's NCAA Tournament; he fought off quite a few very deep shots from Dieringer and it took him until deep in the OT periods to get the winning escape point. He had an easier time in their dual meet match earlier in the season, winning 8-4. Dieringer is 16-0 this year and he's rolled through most of his competition. I will be stunned if this isn't a close match but I think DSJ's close match mojo bails him out again. DSJ via decision.
#5 Nick Moore (Jr. 9-2) vs #2 Tyler Caldwell (Sr. 13-1)
TONY: Telling Moore I want some More bonus points worked last time, didn't it? Well, that's not going to happen this time against the #2 ranked Tyler Caldwell. There will be be no bonus points out of Caldwell, either, though. Caldwell handed Moore at 3-2 decision last year. Look for similar type scoring out of these two with Caldwell widening the gap a bit. Caldwell via decision.
ROSS: Hard to argue with any of that. Moore has improved this year and a win here would easily be the biggest of his career, but I just don't think he's closed the gap on Caldwell (and his nigh-impenetrable defense) quite enough. Caldwell via (fairly boring) decision.
#3 Mike Evans (Jr.18-1) vs #2 Chris Perry (Sr. 13-1)
TONY: Perry defeated The 'Stache last year, 4-3, and riding time was the deciding factor. The 'Stache will have a tough time scoring on Perry from his feet because of his lack of offense from neutral. Evans likes to scramble a bit more than you'd like to see, but he gets away with it in a lot of his matches. Perry won't be funked and gets the decision at Carver.
ROSS: Here you go, Mike Evans -- another chance to get a win over a top-5 guy at 174 lbs. Evans has been on the outside looking in at that crew for the most part and if he wants to take the next step to genuine title contender, he needs to beat a few more of them. Unfortunately, I'm not sure Perry is his best shot to get a win like that. Perry is the defending NCAA champion at this weight, he's awfully tough to score on, and he can ride like a demon. I have a hard time conceptualizing how Evans wins this match. I hope he proves me wrong, but I'm going with Perry via decision.
#3 Ethen Lofthouse (Sr. 14-2) vs Nolan Boyd (*Fr 24-5) or Jordan Rogers (*Fr 15-8)
TONY: Look for Lofthouse to be Lofthouse and keep this match close. Bonus points would be huge at this weight for Iowa and could be a great possibility for Iowa -- depending on which Lofthouse comes out. Expect the normal results, though, with a grind-out match and a decision win for EL.
ROSS: Outside of 125, this weight is probably Iowa's best shot at grabbing bonus points and bonus points sure would be nice to give Iowa a little breathing room in this dual meet. That said, relying on Lofty to win via bonus points is... not the healthiest decision you can make, that's for sure. I'll settle for a decision win out of EL, though.
#11 Nathan Burak (So. 6-2) vs #12 Blake Rosholt (Sr. 10-6)
TONY: Rosholt got the best of Burak last year, scoring a late takedown to beat Burak, 3-2. I expected the same type of match to take place this year, but with this dual being at Carver, I think it favors Burak. Did they make a mistake pulling the redshirt on Burak?? Burak comes away with a win and shows Brands and Co. that he is the man at this weight for the Hawkeyes. Burak via decision.
ROSS: Rosholt has stumbled to six losses this year, but they've almost all been to likely All-Americans (#1 Scott Schiller (x2), #3 Travis Rutt, #7 J'den Cox (x2)). If Burak can add his name to that list, I'll feel a little better about his chances for making it on the podium come March. I think this is another very close match that's decided by a single takedown. I'd like to see Burak being the guy to get that takedown... but I'm skeptical. Mr. Pessimist says Rosholt via decision.
#3 Bobby Telford (Jr. 11-1) vs #15 Austin Marsden (So. 12-4)
TONY: Telford has already wrestled some of the best wrestlers at HWT this year. He will face another ranked opponent Friday night and he will HAVE to bring some more offense against Marsden. We need to see that sense of urgency out of Telford in this match. Telford wins by decision.
ROSS: Marsden's four losses this year have all been to ranked heavyweights (#1 Tony Nelson, #14 Ross Larson, #12 Jimmy Lawson, #11 Jeremy Johnson), but he's good enough to spring the upset here if Telford isn't a little more aggressive on offense. But I'll still take Bobert via decision.
The Over/Under for this dual is 30.5
ROSS: Looks like Tony and I are both on the under -- just barely. Really, this line comes down to whether or not you think there will be bonus points. If so, take the over. If not, hit the under.
What's your take? Hit up the comments!
BONUS! DSJ is in the race for the Hodge but in all reality it is the unicorns to lose.
ASICS Race for the Hodge:
1. David Taylor (PSU)
2. Andrew Howe (OU)
3. Derek St. John (IOWA)
4. Tony Nelson (MINN)
5. Mitchell Port (Edinboro)
NCAA Favorites the Cowboys in this twitter matchup. Pffft