Can we take a minute real quick to give the Michigan State Spartans a little (much deserved may I add) credit? This is a team that dwindled in the basement of the BIG 10 for quite sometime & the moans and groans of fans in complaint about it still echoes in my ears. Of course when the program turns around, these same people that could stand to give a little praise, don't. Since they won't, I will. The Spartans are currently 7-1 on the season, and this includes two BIG 10 wins. One over Indiana and the other over #16 Purdue. Michigan State has made some great strides and I for one am inclined to think they might get another upset over a ranked team when they wrestle Rutgers on Friday. They matchup pretty well with the Scarlet Knights in quite a few areas.
125 - U.R. Tristan Lujan Vs #31 Dylan Shawver
It'd take a mild upset, but Lujan is capable of pulling one off against Shawver. This will be a low scoring tight nit match. I predict less than half a dozen points scored in total. Something like 3-2 or 3-1.
133 - #11 RayVon Foley Vs #20 Joey Olivieri
Foley found out the hard way on Monday night that you can never overlook an opponent. A hard lesson to learn as he dropped a match to Indiana's Brock Hudkins. With that said, I think he'll go into this match more prepared and with a better game plan. Don't see a major, but this should be a victory for the Spartans.
141 - U.R. Jordan Hamdan Vs #3 Sebastian Rivera
This is NOT an example of where the Spartans match up well with the Scarlet Knights. Matter of fact, this is the exact opposite. In this situation the goal is to do everything you can to keep the match as close as possible. Avoid a major and keep it to a decision? Boy, that's gonna be tough to do. Avoid a tech or a fall and keep it to a major? I think that can be done.
149 - U.R. Peyton Omania Vs #18 Mike Van Brill
The sport of wrestling in so many ways is a game of mental strategy. While Van Brill has the higher ranking and the better record against like opponents, Omania has the head to head victory. In so many cases that can give a wrestler the mental edge that is needed for victory. Both of these guys could stand to win this match for varying reasons. Omania to help the Spartans in a possible upset over Rutgers. MVB to get out of his own head in such type matches.
157 - #19 Chase Saldate Vs U.R. Robert Kanniard
The over/under here clearly favors Saldate with an incy, wincy, teeny, tiny possibility of a Kanniard upset. Saldate should win comfortably though. That's my prediction. A solid decision.
165 - U.R. Caleb Fish Vs U.R. Andrew Clark
At this point I'm a little surprised that Fish hasn't found his way into the rankings somewhere within the top 33. I think he will be a candidate for NCAA qualification come season's end and I think he'll more than demonstrate it here. Spartans could use a major in this match, and I think Fish can get it.
174 - U.R. Nate Jiminez Vs #26 Jackson Turley
Like at 141, another match where the goal is to keep the score as low as possible. I think it'll be an easier task for Jiminez against Turley than what it's going to be for Hamdan against Rivera. I think Jiminez can keep Turley to a decision. He'll need to if the Spartans want to pull this upset off.
184 - #29 Layne Malczewski vs #5 John Poznanski
Malczewski is one of those wrestlers you never know quite what you're going to get out of him. Regardless of who shows up, it's not as much a matter of whether he can beat Poznanski or not, as much as it is how good of a match can he give him? At this point, I do not see an upset for the Spartans but I can see Malczewski giving Poznanski a good match. This could come down to a respectable decision or it could get ugly and Poznanski could score a lot of points. It really depends on which Malczewski shows up. Spartans will need the best one they have.
197 - #18 Cam Caffey Vs #7 Greg Bulsak
Both of these guys have looked outstanding at different times this season. Caffey with wins over Tanner Sloan (South Dakota State), Thomas Penola (Purdue) and Rocky Jordan (Ohio State). Bulsak upending NCAA runner-up Nino Bonaccorsi of Pittsburgh. Both of these guys have had some impressive showings. This could very well be the deciding factor in the dual, with both of these guys wanting to come out on top for both themselves and for their teams. You want excitement? You'll find it here.
HWT - U.R. Brad Wilton Vs U.R. Boone McDermott
You got an 8-10 Brad Wilton taking on a 9-7 Boon McDermott. Comparatively speaking Wilton owns a 7-2 decision over John Kelby of Cleveland State who stuck McDermott in less than a minute. Of course, having not seen the match, who's to say that wasn't simply a case of getting caught? Wilton also owns a 2-1 decision over Jacob Bullock of Indiana who owns a 9-1 major over McDermott & to me that is more revealing. Of course you can never go strictly based on these results due to the overwhelming amount of parity in our sport, but as to another important victory for the Spartans in this dual, it does provide overwhelming evidence.