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Iowa Wrestling exterminates the Badgers, 32-3

The Hawks followed the holiday season up with a big helping of badger meat. Mmm, mmm, mmm.

DeSanto drops the returning champ like a sack of rocks.
Darren Miller // Hawkeyesports

“The national tournament more importantly is the most important thing.”

-Head Coach Tom Brands

You’re damn right it is Coach! And you’ve got your guys realizing that early.

Carver-Hawkeye Arena was lit Sunday night as 10,600+ watched our No. 1 Hawkeyes obliterate the Wisconsin Badgers, 32-3. To say it was an obliteration is a bit of an understatement. An annihilation is more like it. No, perhaps it was more like an extermination. It was a scorched-earth assault on all Badger kind and I loved every second of it.

I don’t think any true fan with reasonable knowledge ever feared an upset, but it was within plausibility that the Badgers could keep things close and make it exciting. It was exciting alright, just not in the way the Wisconsin fanbase was hoping.

This is an early season defining win for our Hawkeyes and won they can draw inspiration from. The Badgers aren’t necessarily a loaded team, but they are a competent one and they showed it, but we showed the nation that we’re ready to be back atop the mountain.

Everyone wanted to know how we’d preform with the #1 ranking in front of our names, well, we were lights out.


125 #1 Spencer Lee tech fall Michael Cullen, 16-0. Iowa 5-0

133 #2 Austin DeSanto dec. over #1 Seth Gross, 6-3. Iowa 8-0

141 #14 Max Murin dec. over #6 Tristan Moran, 3-2. Iowa 11-0

149 #3 Pat Lugo dec. over #21 Cole Martin, 5-3. Iowa 14-0

157 #3 Kaleb Young dec. over Garrett Mordel, 12-6. Iowa 17-0

165 #3 Alex Marinelli dec. over #2 Evan Wick, 4-2. Iowa 20-0

174 #3 Michael Kemerer fall over Jared Krattinger, 5:47. Iowa 26-0

184 #24 Johnny Sebastian dec. over Cash Wilcke, 7-5 SV2. Iowa 26-3

197 #3 Jacob Warner dec. over Taylor Watkins, 5-2. Iowa 29-3

285 #11 Tony Cassioppi decision #5 Trent Hilger, 3-2. Iowa 32-3

With this dual win, Tom Brands now has 100 conference dual victories and Iowa pushes it’s record to a perfect 3-0. Wisconsin drops to 6-1.

Iowa won 9 of the 10 matches including two by bonus points: Spencer Lee with a tech fall (go figure) and Michael Kemerer with a pin (again, go figure). But more impressively, was what we did in the toss-up matches. We won 4 of 5 of the swing matches with all four of those wins resulting in an upset of a higher ranked opponent.

#14 Max Murin knocked off #6 Tristan Moran. #3 Alex Marinelli carved out his fourth consecutive win over #2 Evan Wick, and #11 Big Tony Cassioppi prevailed over #5 Trent Hillger. But the highlight of the night belong to #1 Austin DeSanto and his career defining, dominating win over #1 Seth Gross.


***Due to a rush call into work I have to narrow this down significantly***

Lee kicked ass as Lee normally does. Lugo was looking strong and appeared to have the upper hand before shutting it down in the 3rd period and coasting to the finish line. Kaleb Young rebounded, though I’d be hesitant to call it a great effort. He got the win, but lacked the big time offensive spark and even gave up a poor takedown in the first that probably cost him the major.

Kemerer continues to roll and looks like a true finalist contender and Jacob Warner got the job done, though it wasn’t fantastic nor was it pretty. But a win is a win.

Regardless of some less than stellar performances, those matches were never in doubt.

133: Austin DeSanto has arrived, ladies and gentleman. There were few people out there that thought he could pull off the upset, myself included. He put me in my place and I’ve never been more happy to be proven wrong. From the opening whistle he wrestled him match and imposed his will on the #1 ranked Seth Gross, it was a truly amazing performance. What’s more inspiring is how DeSanto fought in the 3rd. Gross chose up to implement his ferocious ride and look for near fall points, but Austin stayed cool, calm, and collected underneath. He boxed out hard and made Gross waste well over a minute looking for something that wasn’t there. ADS racked up three takedowns over a guy that has been arguably the best wrestler in the country the past few weeks.

And I’d be remiss to add how impressed I was with how well he handled himself post match. The kid is growing up before our eyes. Not only has his wrestling jumped levels, but so has his character.

It was truly gritty performance and will push DeSanto into the #1

And for your viewing pleasure, here is the match in its entirety.

165: This was an emotional night for Marinelli and he showed his courage once again, topping his arch-rival, Evan Wick, 4-2. There isn’t much more to say about Marinelli other than how freakishly strong and smart he is.

Wick is one dangerous wrestler and The Bull has his number. Now, he needs to keep this focus for the rest of the year and into the NCAA’s. He’s shown he can beat these guys on a regular basis, now he needs to do it when it matters most.

184: Cash just didn’t show up in this match, dropping a heartbreaker 7-5 in SV2. All credit to Sebastian, but this is a match that Cash should’ve won, unfortunately, he may not get the chance to redeem himself. Young Nelson Brands has been breathing down his neck for the first month of the season and Cash wrestled not to lose, instead of wrestling to win.

He was hesitant on his shots, constantly looking at the clock, and at times, just seemed disinterested. I don’t want to overreact and get too down on the guy, but his loss was the only blemish on an otherwise perfect night.

285: Big Cass is here to kick some ass! Rhyming his name with kicking ass is never going to get old. We’ve been wondering all off season how well he’d do against elite competition, now we know. Sunday night Cassioppi bookended a fantastic night with a fantastic win over the returning All-American, Trent Hillger, 3-2.

Cass looked strong, quick, agile, and down right smart out there. If there’s one area that needs improvement, it’s his bottom game. But that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. Cass is going to continue to develop and get better in the bottom position, which is going to make him even a bigger threat.

Similar to DeSanto, this is a confidence booster and could send him to the next level in a hurry. I said last week I was waiting to hop onboard the Cassioppi Express. Well, I just purchased my ticket and I’m on for the long haul!

Overall, this was easily one of the best duals wins we’ve had in quite some time. The close nail-biting dramatic wins are always fun, but the absolute extermination of the 3rd ranked team in the country is even better.

This team is hyper-focused and they’re on a mission. I truly feel bad for the next opponent.

Okay, I don’t really. Sorry, Princeton.

Up next we travel to#20 Princeton on Sunday, Dec 8 at 1 PM GT.

(thank you to all for the edit!)