Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Can The Tarheels Upset the Buckeyes? (11-7-2021)

 Per the NWCA coaches poll, the Ohio State Buckeyes are currently ranked #12 in the nation and the Tar Heels of North Carolina are ranked #14.  While not a huge upset on paper, North Carolina garnering an upset over Ohio State would be noteworthy for a number of reasons. First and foremost it helps to showcase that the Carolina blue and white as much as they claim hoops, is indeed also a wrestling school.  Secondly, wins over a top tier BIG 10 team such as tOSU help to establish the credibility of ACC wrestling. There's been a lot of hard work and dedication on the part of the coaching staff at North Carolina, such a win would be good for the program. 

So what will it take for the Tar Heels to overcome the Buckeyes?   Let's take a look. 

125 - Spencer Moore Vs Malik Heinselman 

Regardless of who North Carolina puts out onto the mat, it'll be difficult for them to avoid a major decision against someone as seasoned as Heinselman. Now what the Tar Heels can do is prevent a technical fall or fall from taking place.  In situations where duals are on the line, there can be a big difference between 4 and 6 points. There can even be a difference between 5 and 6 points. I don't think UNC can keep this one to a dec, but they can keep it to a major. 

tOSU - 4 
UNC - 0 

133 - Jamie Hernandez/Joe Heilmann Vs Dylan Koontz 

Whether UNC starts Hernandez or Heilmann for this match, it doesn't matter. Bonus points will be needed in this match, and more than just a major.  Hernandez will have to get the fall. 

tOSU - 4
UNC - 6

141 - Kizhan Clarke Vs Jordan Decatur/Dylan D'Emilio 

I think the Buckeyes fare better with D'Emilio than they do with Decatur, but either way this should be a win for Clarke.  I can't see him getting the major, but he should be able to pull out the win. The key will be avoiding an upset. 

tOSU - 4 
UNC - 9

149 - Zach Sherman Vs Sammy Sasso 

A lot of wrestling publications are calling Sasso the forerunner for the NCAA title this season and even for those that aren't, all of them have Sasso ranked ahead of Sherman.  Do I believe Sherman has it within him to upset Sasso? Yes, I do and what a mark it'd make on the wrestling world if he were to do that this Saturday.  At this point, I think it's fair to give it about a 25% chance. I'm not utopian, I'm being fair about his chances. Sherman is moving up a weight class and we have yet to see him compete vs other DI competition at 149.  Sasso on the other hand made the NCAA finals last season & the dual is taking place in Columbus. Calculations point to Sasso, but Sherman does stand a chance and his winning this match is what UNC would have to have if they were to overcome tOSU. 

tOSU - 4     
UNC - 12 

157 - Austin O'Connor Vs Not Sure 

At this point I really have no idea who the Buckeyes send out against O'Connor but at any rate I don't think it matters. Gallagher, Hepner, Hubbard, I think last year's NCAA champion up a weight class can flatten any one of them and will need to if the Tar Heels are going to pull this one off. 

tOSU - 4 
UNC - 18 

165 - Sonny Santiago Vs Carson Kharchla 

This will be another area where North Carolina needs to do what they can to avoid bonus points.  Easier said than done. If they can hold Ohio State to a dec, that helps in the overall team score. 

tOSU - 7
UNC - 18 

174 - Ethan Smith Vs Gavin Kane 

Smith is too much to overcome for Kane to even hint at an upset, but I do think Kane is good enough to keep Smith at 7 points or less, giving the Buckeyes only a decision.  Smith isn't a big point getter to begin with and often wrestles a slower, more methodical match.  Kane wrestles smart and doesn't try anything stupid, this match should end in only a decision. 

tOSU - 10
UNC - 18 

184 - Clay Lautt Vs Kaleb Romero 

Now it comes down to business.  It's not a huge upset by most accounts but it is still an upset and Lautt is going to need to pull it off in order for North Carolina to stay in this dual. A Lautt win is crucial. 

tOSU - 10
UNC - 21 

197 - Max Shaw Vs Rocky Jordan/Gavin Hoffman  

Easier said than done, but Shaw is going to have to keep it to a decision against either one of these guys and I think that is more doable against Hoffman than it is Jordan.   

tOSU - 13
UNC - 21 

HWT - Brandon Whitman Vs Tate Orndorff 

Again in order for North Carolina to say in this dual, Whitman must keep Orndorff within 7 points or less.  Usually that isn't too tall of an order for the HWT's.  

tOSU - 16
UNC - 21 


Now is this the most likely scenario? No, it's not.  What it does prove though is that North Carolina CAN beat Ohio State if the cards were to fall into place.  It'd take some major as well as some minor upsets and every bit as important it will take guys who might have otherwise been majored, fighting hard enough to keep it to a decision. 

No comments:

Post a Comment