#2 Iowa (10-0, 4-0 B1G) vs Wisconsin (1-3,0-2 B1G)
Date: Friday, January 15, 2016
Time: 8 PM CT
Location: Kohl Center (Madison, WI)
TV/Streaming: BTN / BTN Plus
Radio: Hawkeye Radio Network (free); Hawkeye All-Access ($)
Twitter: @IowaWRLive, @IAWrestle
I'm gonna be honest: Iowa versus Wisconsin probably isn't going to be all that different than Iowa versus Northwestern in terms of competitiveness, although Wisconsin does have two very good wrestlers (versus Northwestern, who just has one). They also have Barry Davis, who always brings plenty of entertainment in his own right; hopefully he gets some airtime on BTN tonight. But yeah: this looks like another lopsided dual meet. We've lamented it many times before, but we'll do it once more: Iowa's Big Ten dual meet schedule stinks.
To the breakdown!
125: #2 Thomas Gilman (JR, 13-0) vs. UR Johnny Jimenez (SO, 9-9)
Jimenez beats bad wrestlers and gets smoked by good wrestlers (three of his nine losses have come via major decision and two have come via pinfall). Thomas Gilman is a good wrestler. Jimenez is gonna have a bad night.
PREDICTION: Gilman via FALL (IOWA 6-0)
133: #2 Cory Clark (JR, 11-1) vs. #7 Ryan Taylor (JR, 1-1)
Injuries have limited Taylor this year and he lost to Pitt's Dom Forys 10-6 in his first official match this year, before rebounding with a 15-6 major decision win over Nebraska's Eric Coufal last week. Injuries have also limited Clark in recent weeks, but he looked better in dismantling Northwestern's Dom Malone last Sunday. There is some history between these two: they tussled at 125 lbs two years ago, splitting the matches (Clark got a pin in 2:03 at the dual meet, while Taylor beat him 9-5 at the Big Ten Tournament). If Taylor is healthy, he's plenty good enough to trip up Clark. But for now Clark's track record gives him the edge in what should be a cagey match.
PREDICTION: Clark via DEC (IOWA 9-0)
141: UR Topher Carton (JR, 8-4) vs. UR Gabe Grahek (SO, 3-4) or UR Luke Rowh (RS FR, 7-11)
Brody Grothus made his return to an Iowa singlet last weekend at the Pat Flanagan Open, but he didn't blow anyone's doors off, going 1-2 and finishing in 6th place against a not-exactly-loaded field. Hopefully it was just rust and further experience will improve Brody's performances. He's not listed as an option in Iowa's Match Notes, but it certainly seems like he could go in this dual meet. If not, though, Carton should be a perfectly fine replacement, regardless of who Wisconsin ends up putting on the mat at this weight -- neither guy has been too impressive this year.
PREDICTION: Carton via DEC (IOWA 12-0)
149: #2 Brandon Sorensen (SO, 15-0) vs. UR Andrew Crone (SO, 8-6)
Sorensen is wrestling extremely well right now and his confidence should be sky high after strong performances last weekend (including a second-straight win over arch-rival Jason Tsirtsis). That's bad news for Crone, who's lost last four of his last six matches. Sorensen will cruise to a big victory.
PREDICTION: Sorensen via MAJ DEC (IOWA 16-0)
157: #16 Edwin Cooper, Jr. (SR, 7-6) vs. UR T.J. Ruschell (JR, 7-9)
Cooper got torn apart by #1 Isaiah Martinez last weekend, but bounced back with a first period pin in his next match. Ruschell hasn't had much luck against anyone but the most overmatched opponents this year, so if Cooper wrestles smart and avoids mistakes, he should prevail here.
PREDICTION: Cooper via DEC (IOWA 19-0)
165: UR Patrick Rhoads (SR, 6-6) or UR Burke Paddock (RS FR, 9-4) vs. #3 Isaac Jordan (JR, 14-0)
While Grothus made a stuttering return to the lineup at the Pat Flanagan Open last weekend, Burke Paddock (who missed time earlier this season due to the death of his father) came back and finished first at 165 lbs at the same event. Granted, the competition wasn't the stiffest, but it should still have been a nice confidence boost for Paddock. But it doesn't really matter which guy Iowa sends out at this weight -- Jordan is very, very good and he's going to roll over either guy.
PREDICTION: Jordan via MAJ DEC (IOWA 19-4)
174: #10 Alex Meyer (JR, 13-2) vs. UR Ricky Robertson (SO, 10-6)
Robertson is talented, but not very consistent. Hey, that sounds kind of like a 174er that we know... That said, Meyer is a bit more talented and more consistent than Robertson and if he displays the same attacking mindset that he did in blowout wins against Illinois and Northwestern last weekend, he should have an easy win here. I'm not all that sure that it will be easy, but I do expect Meyer to come away with the win.
PREDICTION: Meyer via DEC (IOWA 22-4)
184: #8 Sammy Brooks (JR, 14-2) vs. UR Ryan Christensen (RS FR, 12-11)
Christensen hasn't had much luck against Top 10-caliber opponents this year (0-6, five losses via bonus points) and I don't expect that to change against Brooks. Sammy seemed to shake off his recent funk in a dominant win at Northwestern, so hopefully that Sammy rolls into Madison as well. If so, Christensen's likely to spend a lot of time looking up at the lights.
PREDICTION: Brooks via MAJ DEC (IOWA 26-4)
197: #3 Nathan Burak (SR, 13-0) vs. UR Eric Peissig (SO, 3-9)
Peissig has lost 8 of his last 9 matches -- things are not going well. Meanwhile, Burak is undefeated on the season and looks as good as he has in his entire career. That's a bad combination for Mr. Peissig. Burak isn't the most prolific pinner, but if he can get Peissig on his back, a tech fall or pin could be in the works. That said, I think it's more likely that Burak runs a takedown clinic on him instead and racks up an easy major decision.
PREDICTION: Burak via MAJ DEC (IOWA 30-4)
285: #8 Sam Stoll (RS FR, 13-2) vs. UR Brock Horwath (SR, 11-8)
These two big fellas tangled just a few weeks ago, at Midlands -- Stoll came away with a 6-3 decision win. It's hard to see any reason why the result would be much different now. Stoll continues to wrestle very well and should pick up another comfortable win.
PREDICTION: Stoll via DEC (IOWA 33-4)
Use this thread to post results and play-by-play -- this meet is being aired on BTN proper, so it should be easier to watch than Iowa's other recent dual meets. I'll try to keep the comments up-to-date with results as well.
The usual rules apply.