A new set of rankings out and to be honest I was a little surprised that Michigan took the #2 over Iowa. I guess they must have been more impressed with Michigan in their not so close team, but very close individual losses to Penn State, than they were in Iowa's victory over Ohio State. This dual against #11 Minnesota, gives Michigan a chance to prove the despite what they looked like against the Nittany Lions last weekend they still are at this time the #2 wrestling team in the nation. With the primary focus of the wrestling world being on Iowa & Penn State, do not lose focus that there will be other great duals on Friday night. This is one of them.
125 lbs - #9 Pat McKee Vs #1 Nick Suriano
The unpredictable and inconsistent but often dangerous McKee can pose a threat to just about anyone when he's on and poised to wrestle. Yet, even at his very best, Suriano is going to be very difficult to beat. Suriano not only knows how to handle funk, he often demolishes it. McKee could very well keep this one close & might even ooh & ah the crowd with some offensive points of his own. Then again Suriano might come out and just lay on a beating.
133 lbs - #26 Jake Gliva Vs #8 Dylan Ragusin
Considering that Ragusin has defeated some of the wrestlers that have beaten Gliva rather decisively, I'm going with a probable major for the Wolverines in this one.
141 lbs - #15 Jake Bergeland Vs #4 Stevan Micic
Hopefully Micic is back and ready to Rumble for the Wolverines on Friday. Having never met & having no common opponents, I do think this could possibly be another major decision for the Wolverines. Some fans lost some faith in Micic when he dropped a decision to Cole Matthews of Pitt a while back & while a dominating win over Bergeland wouldn't restore it completely, it would help.
149 lbs - #25 Michael Blockhus Vs #16 Kanen Storr
Again Michigan favored, but this is one that I could actually see a mild chance at an upset for Minnesota. Blockhus wrestles a style that I can see possibly slowing Storr down, thus keeping the score low. When the score is low, it presents an opportunity at an upset. As said, a mild chance, but it is there.
157 lbs - #4 Brayton Lee Vs #14 Will Lewan
I can see this one being much closer on the mat than what it is on paper. I don't these two are truly separated by 10 spots. Lee has proven he's susceptible to loss having recently been upset by Wisconsin's Garrett Model. Lewan has proven his upset capabilities in the past, owning a victory over three time All American Alec Pantaleo. The last these two met was at last year's BIG 10 championships when Lee won an 8-3 decision. Lee still the favorite, I think the score will be close this time.
165 lbs - #20 Cael Carlson Vs #12 Cam Amine
Watching Carlson on the mat I can tell that within in due time this freshman is going to be very good. Not everyone comes straight out of high school fully polished, nothing to improve upon, 100%. Some take time to develop their skills, hone their craft and learn their trade. There's nothing wrong with that, and I think Carlson is one of those guys. You can see his effort and desire. You know he's gonna get better. Upset Amine at this time? I don't rule it out. Amine himself is a wrestler that made tremendous improvements from the time he first arrived at Michigan up until now. An All American last season, he'll be tough to beat.
174 lbs - #20 Bailee O'Reilly Vs #6 Logan Massa
While O'Reilly has wrestled very well at various points this season, I think Massa, who I still consider to be an NCAA Champion contender will be too much for his at this point. Can O'Reilly keep this to a decision? I think so, but I predict Massa will win with absolute clarity.
184 lbs - #23 Isaiah Salazar Vs #2 Myles Amine
I think we're gonna see bonus points here for the Wolverines. I'd be surprised with anything less than a major.
197 lbs - #31 Michial Foy Vs #6 Patrick Brucki
The last these two met Brucki majored Foy 13-3, but I think as much as Foy has improved since that time that he can keep it to a decision this time. Foy seems bigger & stronger than what he was a year ago and I think that will show in this match.
HWT - #1 Gable Steveson Vs #4 Mason Parris
After a tough loss to Greg Kerkvliet of Penn State, the world isn't doing Mason Parris any favors by giving him Steveson next. Yet in a strange way, this could potentially boost his confidence. Steveson has wrestled him three times & only been able to major him once. That was by a score of 12-4. The other two times, Steveson won by decision. 8-4 and once by a close 8-6 decision. If Parris can keep it close with him again, I think that might restore whatever was lost in the Kerkvliet match. Then again we're talking Gable Steveson, Olympic Gold Medalist. Can Parris "Kyle Reese" himself enough to combat the Terminator that is Steveson? Will he have good enough weapons?