|#3 Michigan Vs #1 Penn State|
For years and years I have said and stood by my opinion that Michigan is the best team in NCAA DI wrestling yet to win a national team title. I provided an assortment of facts, statistics and other information to assert this claim in an article I wrote for Takedown Wrestle years ago. Long story that I will not get into now, as it is another story for another time, but because of issues of deception, I no longer have access to that article (as well as many other articles that I wrote). I can't help but have to say there's an issue as to why I didn't keep my own copies as well, because I know it begs the question. Won't get into all of that now, but it's why I cannot provide a link to that article.
Point is, 2021-2022 could be the Wolverine's year. With some of the blows that Iowa has faced and the question marks that continue to haunt the Hawkeyes, the door of opportunity is open further than initially thought at the beginning of the season. Michigan's biggest test will be Penn State and this Friday, we'll get to see how exactly the Wolverines match up with the Nittany Lions.
On paper there is only one match I can't see Michigan winning. That's on paper. On the mat is a completely different story, but overall the Wolverines match up well with the Nittany Lions. Theoretically speaking, there's no reason why Michigan can't win this dual & set the precedent for the rest of the season.
125 - #1 Nick Suriano Vs #9 Drew Hildebrandt
Against a team like Penn State, you're gonna need every point that you can get. This is an opportunity for Suriano to prove why he's currently ranked #1 and to get the major decision. Three matches into the season, Suriano has two majors and a tech, but he has yet to face anyone ranked as high as Hildebrandt.
133 - #8 Dylan Ragusin Vs #1 Roman Bravo Young
This marks the only match where I can't see Michigan being competitive. As good as Ragusin is, he doesn't match up well with RBY. Now what I can see, is Ragusin keeping the match to a decision. The last these two met, RBY won a 9-2 decision. I think Ragusin can keep it closer this time.
141 - #4 Stevan Micic Vs #1 Nick Lee
With Micic's recent upset loss to Pittsburgh's Cole Matthews, it might make some forget just how good Micic is and what he is capable of. Upset losses can have that effect on perception sometimes. Do I think Micic is capable of pulling off an upset over Lee? Yes, I do. In the least, this should be a very good match up. Can't see more than a 4 point spread between the two.
149 - #16 Kanen Storr Vs #19 Beau Bartlett
Evenly matched, this is where Storr is going to have to step it up a notch and win a match that could essentially go either way. It is vital for a Wolverine victory.
157 - #18 Will Lewan Vs U.R. Tony Negron
As said earlier, against Penn State, each additional point makes a huge difference & this is where Will Lewan may have to step outside of his comfort zone and go for some big points. He likes to play it safe & he doesn't mind winning by decisions. In order to win this dual though, taking risks and going for the major may very well be what the Wolverines need.
165 - #10 Cam Amine Vs #24 Creighton Edsell
While hoping for some upsets, it'll be equally as important to avoid them too. This match will be closer than ranking suggest and Amine will need to win this match.
174 - #6 Logan Massa Vs #1 Carter Starocci
Some may roll their eyes, but I really don't see why. Yes, Massa can go toe to toe with Starocci and Starocci is not out of Massa's league. I don't see why so many think that he is. The last the two met, it was right down to the wire into the tiebreakers when Starocci broke a 1-1 tie with a fury of 6 points to win 7-1 t.b. It'd take Massa wrestling at 100%, mentally and physically but this is a match that the Wolverine can win.
184 - #2 Myles Amine Vs #1 Aaron Brooks
Amine is an Olympic Bronze medalist for a reason. If he finally wants to get over the hump and win an NCAA title he's going to have to go through Brooks. Might as well show the nation on Friday that Brooks will have his hands full defending his title this season.
197 - #8 Patrick Brucki Vs #2 Max Dean
More of a stretch and less of a probability, but I wouldn't count Brucki out against Dean. The likelihood of an upset doesn't have a high percentage, but it is better than 0. In the realm of things, what's important is that Brucki should be able to keep this to a decision.
HWT - #2 Mason Parris Vs #4 Greg Kerkvliet
I'll give you that when Parris and Kerkvliet last met, Kerkvliet wasn't 100% when he dropped an 11-3 major decision. So no, I can't see Parris getting bonus points again, but I will say that Parris is ranked #2 for a reason and I think it'll show in this match.