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Iowa Wrestling: No. 2 Iowa vs No. 9 Michigan

The Big Ten season finale is upon us and it’s a big one. Buckle up!

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

Tonight at 8:00PM CT sharp the Hawks play host to the 9th ranked Michigan Wolverines in what is the final conference dual of the year. Yup, you read that right. This is the B1G finale. I can’t believe this season has already demolished the time barrier and we find ourselves eyeing the post season just a few short weeks away.

Thankfully, we still have one more dual left against Oklahoma State before we completely turn our attention to March. BUT, we need to take care of business against Michigan first.

As it stands now, we’re 33-26-1 in the all-time series, including 9 of the previous 10 meetings. Though we haven’t faced our easterly rival since 2020 (which we won 27-9).


Michigan has been beat up the past few weeks going 3-3 with losses coming to #1 Penn State, #4 Ohio State, and #7 Oklahoma State, but they were able to stay afloat with wins over some of the B1G bottom feeders (Rutgers and Maryland). Albeit during this six dual run they’ve been snake bitten with some injuries and/or illness that has played merry hell with their full lineup. Sounds familiar, huh?

Regardless, they boast a salty lineup that can and will cause damage if they get rolling. They have nine appearing in Intermat’s rankings, including 4 inside the top 10: #9 Will Lewan (157), #4 Cam Amine (165), #8 Matt Finesilver (197) and are anchored by #1 Mason Parris (285). Mix in a couple more All-American threats in #18 Jack Medley (125) and #12 Dylan Ragusin (133) who was a R12 guy last year, and the picture starts to focus on where this team can actually finish in March.

Like everyone else that wrestles us this year, they’ll keep this dual close by controlling the ties, working the edge of the mat, and grinding the pace to a standstill. Although, I can see a handful going hard early and looking to open up their own scoring - before slowing it down to preserve their lead. I can see guys like Medley, Lemar, Maylor, Finesilver, and Yatooma firing off shots on the whistle in hopes to catch us unawares. This has worked on us the past couple of months, but the bigger question is if they can keep that pace up for a full 7 minutes.

They’re heavily favored at 285 and at least on paper, at 133, 157, 165, and 184. So, the goal is simple. Win those 5, pull an upset, and limit the damage of their weaker weights and they’ll give themselves a quality chance.

IOWA (13-1)

The past few weeks haven’t been all that fun for us either, although we have gone 2-1 with our lone loss coming to #1 PSU. We bookended that dreadful night with unnecessarily tight wins over #18 Wisconsin and #12 Minnesota. But per usual, we haven’t sent our best lineup to the mat over that time period either. Point of fact, we’ve only competed with a full complement once all year and that was the 34-6 drubbing over #10 Nebraska on January 20th.

Before then, nope. Since then, nope.

Following the Wiscy win, Jacob Warner has continued his headfirst slide into the middle of the pack and Abe Assad has been completely absent from any and all competition since getting decked against Wiscy. Plus, Nelson Brands has missed two of those duals as well. The illness rumor has been running amuck on the forums, so perhaps that could be playing a factor here, especially when considering how human Spencer Lee looked last weekend.

If we don’t get our best on the mat tonight this could be a 5-5 split with both teams relying on bonus points. We need superhuman Lee and Woods to stretch this lead as much as possible because we will be crawling to the finish line with the upper weights.

Perhaps what’s more important than winning this dual is the seeding implications several of these matches possess. Here’s looking at Teske, Siebrecht, PK, and Cassioppi. These final duals are when the major tectonic shifts appear in the rankings. Make no mistake that wins here can also impact the national tourney as well.


125 - #1 Spencer Lee vs #18 Jack Medley

133 - #16 Brody Teske vs #12 Dylan Ragusin

141 - #2 Real Woods vs #27 Cole Mattin // Pat Nolan

149 - #6 Max Murin vs #22 Chance Lamer // Fidel Mayora

157 - #14 Cobe Siebrecht vs #9 Will Lewan

165 - #7 Patrick Kennedy vs #4 Cam Amine // Alex Wesselman

174 - #16 Nelson Brands vs #28 Max Maylor

184 - Drake Rhodes vs #8 Matt Finesilver

197 - #12 Jacob Warner vs Brendin Yatooma

285 - #3 Tony Cassioppi vs #1 Mason Parris


125 - #1 Spencer Lee vs #18 Jack Medley

We need dominate Spencer back tonight. We need 6 points. That’s it.

133 - #16 Brody Teske vs #12 Dylan Ragusin

Teske didn’t look good last weekend against Minny’s Jake Gilva, a guy that’s going to struggle to even qualify for nationals. Despite the poor match, Teske gutted out an all-important win with a clutch TD late in the 3rd.

Gilva is no Ragusin. This is a monster test for Teske who is still working himself back into wrestling shape, but IMO - it’s now or not this year. Ragusin is a R12/ fringe AA and the exact type of guy we need to beat to reach the podium. A win here will make us believers.

157 - #14 Cobe Siebrecht vs #9 Will Lewan

Will Lewan is a returning AA who placed 5th last year and is the definition of a slow-paced grinder. He’s a defensive juggernaut that will hold steady for 6 and a half minutes then win on a late TD.

And that’s the type of match Cobe can’t afford to wrestle tonight. By now everyone knows he goes for the throws and is deceptively optimistic when he attacks, so how will Lewan counter the forward pressure and more so, will Cobe even try to exploit it?

Cobe needs to open up the floodgates and set the standard early. Even if his attacks end in stalemates, he needs to keep that pressure and work for stall calls. Everything he does early will pay dividends late.

165 - #7 Patrick Kennedy vs #4 Cam Amine

Cam Amine is a 2x AA and is in the position that PK wants to be in himself. The Wolverine has cemented himself in that 2nd tier of this class (behind the THREE returning champs) and solidly in the mix to reach the podium again.

With PK’s big win over PSU’s Alex Facundo a couple weeks back he’s jumped up the rankings and now sits where we all hoped he’d be. At least we hope that’s his real value on the mat.

Amine is a grinder and typically doesn’t bonus his way to a win. So like 157, this will be a clash of styles. If PK can get to the legs and not shoot himself out of energy I like his chances to break through, but he needs to be smart with his approach.

This also has seeding implications. Whoever wins this could pull in the #1 seed at B1G’s. Food for thought.

285 - #3 Tony Cassioppi vs #1 Mason Parris

Big Cass has not looked good against Parris going 0-3 with two falls to boot. Parris is a freak athlete and has arguably been the best heavyweight over the past 3 or 4 years not named Gable Steveson.

He even knocked #2 Greg Kerkvliet (PSU) 2 weeks back and has since driven his record to an impressive 22-0.

Cass has looked a smidge unsteady on his feet lately and that’s not a good attribute to step on the mat with against someone of Parris’ pedigree. I’m not saying a win is impossible, but highly improbable. He needs to do whatever he can to hold this to a decision and keep the Wolverines at bay.

But should he need extra motivation - seeding - is it. If he somehow pulls off the upset of his career they’d be hard pressed not to give him the #1 seed and have Parris and Kerk battle it out on the bottom of the bracket.

Anyways, more hopeful food for thought.

Broadcast Info

Opponent: Michigan

Dual time: 8:00PM GT (Central) // Friday, Feb. 10, 2023

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

TV/ Online: BTN // Foxsports

Radio: iHeartRadio (AM800 KXIC)