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Iowa Wrestling: No. 2 Iowa vs No. 11 Northwestern - Preview

Tradition. History. Friday marks the 300th dual in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Syndication: HawkCentral Joseph Cress/Iowa City Press-Citizen / USA TODAY NETWORK

Friday night marks the 300th dual in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, which coincidentally, is almost 40 years to the date that CHA opened its doors with a dual meet win over Oklahoma (Jan. 3 1983).

When we think of Northwestern wrestling the word “historic” doesn’t come to mind, but for Friday night, perhaps it should.

Despite leading the all-time series 74-7-1 and rattling off 14 consecutive dual wins dating back to 2005, this will undoubtedly be an all-out war on our home mat. Health is theprimary factor here as we’re not only battling injuries, but also sickness. However, we must realize that these particular Wildcats are downright good.


Northwestern has seen limited action so far this year, but they’ve capitalized on their few encounters: beating Virginia, 20-13, winning the Midlands tournament, and upending #12 Minnesota, 18-11, last weekend.

Since the NWCA polls debuted in October, they’ve steadily climbed the rankings and now find themselves positioned at #11. They’re riding a 7 dual win streak dating back to last year and placed 6th in the NCAA’s (only 9 points shy of the podium). Though they’ve graduated their lone NCAA champ in Ryan Deakin, this is arguably a deeper and more talented team.

According to the latest Intermat Wrestling rankings they have 9 inside the top 33 including 5 inside the top 10.

A path to victory is conceivable and entirely possible - especially considering the ailments surrounding our current lineup. Win the weights they’re favored at (141, 157, 197), win a couple tossups (133, 149, 174, 285), and hold decisions in the other weights. This isn’t an easy task, but it is plausible.

IOWA (9-0)

I hate to say it, but if Real Woods (141) and Jacob Warner (197) don’t go, we’ll be staring down the barrel of an ugly loss.

Both of our returning All-American’s weren’t listed in the mid-week lineup dump. Warner appeared to come up limping a couple weeks back, but has mostly battled through - whereas Woods has wrestled sparingly, with 4 of his 6 matches coming at the Soldier Salute 2 weeks ago. He did not make an appearance against Illinois or Purdue.

Per usual, bonus points are going to play a major factor. Assuming Spencer Lee goes, he’ll have a tough matchup against returning AA #3 Michael DeAugustino (who supposedly is also battling his own injuries). But if Lee does Lee things and wants to push his current win streak to 46, then we need a win via tech or fall.

Likewise, our other potential bonus point opportunities lie at 165 and 184. Patrick Kennedy and Abe Assad have their work cut out for them, but majors are a definite possibility and they need to wrestle their asses off and capitalize.

Guys, I’m nervous. The disgusting performance against Illinois last weekend is still very much in my mouth and we cannot afford a repeat of that awful night. And Illinois is no Northwestern.

These Wildcats are coming into hostile territory sensing blood in the water and they’ll be in all-out frenzy mode - we must be ready!

Before I jump into the lineups I want to post Spencer’s match from last weekend against Purdue’s Matt Ramos. I have never, NEVER seen a match like this. When Ramos threw Lee I immediately had visions of Lee’s loss to Nick Piccininni (osu) from a few years ago, but the moment he escaped the fall, I knew Ramos was done like dinner.

The raw emotion we say on display following the pin was… something else. I have my own thoughts, but I’d love to hear your reactions in the comments below. But for your entertainment, here’s that incredible comeback in all its glory.


125: #1 Spencer Lee vs #3 Michael DeAugustino

133: Brody Teske // #17 Cullan Schriever vs #13 Chris Cannon

141: Drew Bennett vs #10 Frankie Tal-Shahar

149: #4 Max Murin vs #5 Yahya Thomas

157: #20 Cobe Siebrecht vs #9 Trevor Chumbley

165: #10 Patrick Kennedy vs #23 Maxx Mayfield

174: #16 Nelson Brands vs #20 Troy Fisher

184: #8 Abe Assad vs Evan Bates

197: Zach Glazier vs #28 Andrew Davison

285: #3 Tony Cassioppi vs #4 Lucas Davison


***technically all of them***

125: #1 Spencer Lee vs #3 Michael DeAugustino

Naturally I need to select this. DeAugustino is a gamer and came into his own during last year’s run to 7th at the NCAA’s. Lee doesn’t want a repeat of the Ramos match, so I expect him to be a bit more cautious on his feet, at least to start. But knowing we need bonus I think he’ll be going for another 1st period fall.

133: Brody Teske // #17 Cullan Schriever vs #13 Chris Cannon

Cannon is a 2x AA and the exact type of opponent we need to beat to get on the podium ourselves. Canon kept things close last year in a 7-3 loss to Austin DeSanto, so that probably doesn’t bode well for our chances here. A win here would be a big-time surprise, but Cannon isn’t a bonus machine and wrestles tight matches. Anything can happen late in the 3rd in a 1 or 2 point match.

149: #4 Max Murin vs #5 Yahya Thomas

This is the co-match of the night. Max leads their all-time series 3-0, but has hasn’t reached the podium unlike Thomas, who placed 3rd 2 years ago (R12 last season).

Thomas is strong and insanely athletic and is the type of opponent that usually gives Murin fits, which is the reason it’s surprising he’s been topping him in their heads-up bouts. In order to win this dual Murin needs to push his record to 4-0 and gut out another big victory. This will be an early, but big momentum swinger.

285: #3 Tony Cassioppi vs #4 Lucas Davison

Davison has always been a talented guy, but now that he’s in his 2nd full season at heavyweight he’s starting to put it all together. They’ve met once before with Big Cass the victor, 7-3, but was out-placed by Davison on last year’s podium. Davison finished 6th whereas Cass was 7th.

Cassioppi likely has the all-around size on his side, but Davison is damn strong and damn athletic - which has historically been a problem for our big man.

Similar to Illinois, the fate of this dual could come down to heavyweight. We need Big Cass at his absolute best!

Broadcast Info

Opponent: Northwestern

Dual time: 8:05PM GT (Central) // Friday, Jan. 12 2022

Location: Carver-Hawkeye Arena // Iowa City, IA

TV/ Online: ESPNU

Radio: iHeartRadio (AM800 KXIC)