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On Friday night, I was set to plop down here in the office and fire out another fine episode of Short Time Shots. By the way, that's the show you're listening to and it's a look back at the day's scores and more in college wrestling. I'd also be your host, Hall of Fame wrestling writer, broadcaster and announcer Jason Bryant.
But once my wife and I finished having some quiet time watching the most recent episode of Top Chef, I went to the Mat Talk Online headquarters and realized there were like a lot of duals last night. By the time I finished logging them into the nation's most robust college wrestling scoreboard, which you can find at almanac.mattalkonline.com, it was nearly 2 a.m. and I had to be up early Saturday to make chocolate chip pancakes for the girls. Sometimes, I just don't have the time to push out a daily scores episode.
Today is different, because there were 104 dual meets that I could track on Saturday – there's a few JUCOs that won't report their results until March, but that's not important right now.
It's Saturday, January 27 and here's what we had to roll with.
We had two stellar top 10 duals, one in the Big Ten and another between former Big 12 rivals. Where to begin? Let's go with the place that had the bigger crowd and that would almost always be Iowa.
No. 7 Michigan beat No. 4 Iowa 21-17 in front of over 10,000 fans in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Michigan wasn't as explosive as it was a week prior when the Wolverines trounced Minnesota. In fact, it seemed like they left a lot of potential bonus points on the table. Credit Iowa for wrestling very tough and nearly pulling out the win in a dual where they were without the services of All-American Michael Kemerer. Alex Marinelli stayed unbeaten, topping Logan Massa 3-2 at 165 pounds, but Michigan would sweep the last four weights with the biggest win coming at 197 pounds where Kevin Beazley topped Cash Wilcke 6-5. The win set up the dual-winning triumph by heavyweight Adam Coon, who beat Sam Stoll 3-2.
In Stillwater, things were a bit wild and crazy, like the Wild and Crazy Kids. Anyone remember that? Chances are, if you're below the age of 32, you don't. Nickelodeon was so awesome back in the day — You Can't Do That On Television, Double Dare, Turkey TV. Oh, speaking of things you're not supposed to do – Jaydin Eierman of Missouri decided to complicate things even more by pinning two-time national champion Dean Heil at 141 pounds in Missouri's 21-19 win over No. 5 Oklahoma State. Combine that with Willie Miklus' modest upset over Preston Weigel at 197 pounds and Brian Smith has his Tigers 16-0 and a clear No. 3 in the Coaches Poll.
What's going to make things interesting in the voting this week is the fact Iowa was without Kemerer, but hey, big boy sports right – you play without your starting quarterback, you lose, you drop in the rankings. Rank it like a team sport, when you're looking at dual rankings.
No. 10 Virginia Tech got quite a fight from Duke, but a fall by Zack Zavatsky at 184 pounds gave the Hokies enough breathing room to improve to 2-0 in the ACC and 12-2 overall. Zavatsky has scored 10 straight bonus point wins. He also helped the Hokies knock off Lehigh on Friday night.
Cornell won two matches on the day. The Big Red beat Harvard 35-3 and Brown 27-9. The two wins give Cornell 80 straight dual meet wins in the Ivy League. Fredy Stroker saw his first action in the Cornell lineup. He split matches on the day, beating Harvard's Brock Wilson but losing to 500th-year senior Justin Staudenmayer of Brown. What's also of interest is Max Dean of Cornell beat his cousin Kanon Dean of Harvard 3-0. Last year, Max's brother Gabe beat Kanon. Must be a rather uncomfortable silence at the kids table on holidays up in Michigan.
Rider has emerged as the top dog — or in this case, horse — in the EWL after the 19th-ranked Broncs beat 23rd-ranked Lock Haven 22-12. Let's cut right to the chase here. 165 pounds, right? Well, Chance Marsteller continued his climb up the rankings, beating two-time All-American Chad Walsh 8-4.
The only other ranked team in action was No. 22 Wyoming, which beat Fresno State 40-6. Ok, let's just get this out of the way, Dewey Krueger is the Jose Oquendo of college wrestling. Don't know who Jose Oquendo is? Look it up. Or don't. The guy was the ultimate utility man in baseball. He could play every position, and over the course of his major league career, he did. Last week, Krueger weighed in at 157 and yes, won by fall at 197. On Saturday, he got another victory, this time at 184 pounds. If Missouri would have been able to borrow him, I'm sure Brian Smith would have thrown HIM out there at heavyweight.
Other things in the Division I world that you SHOULD be paying attention to – Binghamton improved to 8-4 and they stand at 5-0 in the EIWA, which is technically in first place. Cornell is 3-0 in conference, but 5-0 is greater than 3-0. Today the Bearcats beat Penn 19-18 and Drexel 21-12 to complete the cheesesteak sweep. That's one helluva job interim head coach Kyle Borshoff has done since taking over the program earlier this season. Sometimes those types of teams can just fall apart with a mid-season coaching change. That loss pretty much seals Drexel's fate from getting ranked this season. But yes, the Dragons did wrestle without Austin DeSanto, but what did we say earlier about wrestling with who you've got?
Oh, by the way, that Bell's Hopslam I was talking about the other night? Yeah, pine tree juice. I got about two swigs into it and went NOPE. You can keep your double imperial death star IPAs. I like some hops, but mother of all that's holy, yes, it tasted like stoned cat Christmas tree urine. But hey, I guess some people like that, but I ain't them people.
Hofstra's been catching some hell, but the Pride today picked up a good 22-17 win over Buffalo after falling behind 14-0 early on. Dennis Papadatos – the best hair product game in college wrestling.
Navy won the All-Academy championships hosted in Charleston, South Cackalacky by The Citadel. The Mids won six individual titles and Jadaen Bernstein was the outstanding wrestler of the event. Army West Point was second.
That wraps up our Division I recap, all those scores and more again, at almanac.mattalkonline.com. Speaking of Division I, you know I've talked about the best, most awesome, stellar, bodacious NCAA Division I preview guide? Well, it's available for pre-order now by going to mattalkonline.com/fanguide18. Use the offer code “podcast” and save yourself $5. Trust me, it's the ONE thing you need going into Cleveland this year. Yeah, you don't need clothes, but you need this digital preview guide.
In other places around the country, Grand View won its 64th dual in a row. The Vikings beat second-ranked Missouri Valley on Friday before finishing up the conference dual schedule with a 31-16 win over No. 14 Baker. Grand View hasn't lost a dual since 2013. They've only lost NINE in school history. This is the 10th year of the program.
Ashland went 6-0 at the Midwest Duals hosted by Belmont Abbey, which isn't exactly in the Midwest, it's in North Carolina. Four of those wins came on Saturday. Bellarmine earned its first two conference victories in school history. What's interesting is Bellarmine, which is in Louisville, Kentucky, started a wrestling program by absorbing what was left of the program at St. Catherine's, which closed its entire school two years ago. The Knights beat Truman State and Drury.
Tiffin also picked up four wins on the day, beating Queens, Belmont Abbey, Coker and Limestone. Western State Colorado upset No. 10 Central Oklahoma 26-18 in a single dual, while in Division III, we had multiple wins registered by a slew of teams as quads were aplenty.
Centenary, Johnson & Wales, TCNJ, NYU, Gettysburg and York — the one in Pennsylvania — all had successful dual days.
Earlier this month, the namesake of the Pete Willson Invitational, former Wheaton coach Pete Willson passed away. The tournament named in his honor is like the Southern Scuffle or Midlands of Division III. On Saturday, Messiah put five in the finals and outdistanced second-place Mount Union to claim the team championship.
The most impressive performances were turned in by 125-pound champion Carlos Fuentes of Wheaton, who beat Baldwin Wallace's Chris Doyle 12-3 in the finals. Mount Union's Jairod James knocked off 2016 Division III champion Ben Swarr 6-4 in the finals at 174 pounds. And UW-La Crosse's Wesley Schultz pinned Messiah All-American Kyle Koser in a minute in the 197-pound final.
The tournament showed good individual balance as eight different teams won individual titles, led by Messiah's three — Stephen Maloney at 149, Kevin Edwards at 157 and Jeff Hojnacki at 165.
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Order the single greatest preview guide ever assembled for the 2018 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships right now! Order now using the promo code “podcast” to save $5. Guide will be digitally delivered March 13!
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