Friday, January 7, 2022

Top Matches to Watch Saturday Jan 8th, 2022

 Now I've already written about Cornell & Lehigh which I believe will be the most exciting dual in NCAA Division I tomorrow. With that said, there will be plenty of other exciting action around the country. While not every dual will feature 10 marquee matches, nearly every dual will have at least a few matches that you will not want to miss. Here are the matches I will be paying attention to tomorrow

149 lbs 
#2 Sammy Sasso (Ohio State) Vs U.R. Peyton Omania (Michigan State) 

On the surface it may seem very strange and out of place that I would put a match between the #2 ranked guy in the nation and a wrestler that isn't even ranked in the top 33 on my list of matches to watch. Yet I have it on here for a reason. A good reason.  In wrestling, the topic that generates more conversation than anything else, is someone getting knocked off. No other sport loves the upset more than the sport of wrestling.  In two of the matches where Sasso and Omania have met, Sasso has had his way with Omania 9-1 & 10-3. That's what you'd expect out of an NCAA runner-up against a guy who finished with a 4-8 record last season.  However, there was another match where Omania gave Sasso one hell of a scare taking him to a 7-6 decision.  

165 lbs 
#7 Carson Kharchla (Ohio State)  Vs U.R. Caleb Fish (Michigan State) 

Another opportunity for one of Michigan State's unranked wrestlers to potentially pull off a huge upset. Caleb Fish may not currently be ranked in the top 33, but he's already proven he's capable of knocking off top ranked opponents when he upset All American #18 Zach Hartman of Bucknell earlier this season. Kharchla is 13-1 thus far on the season & it would take Fish wrestling at his very best, but the possibility is there. 

184 lbs
#7 Kaleb Romero (Ohio State) Vs #29 Layne Malczewski (Michigan State)

Now this match DOES favor Romero, but I don't think it'll be anywhere near the distance that the #7 Vs #29 ranking suggest that it'll be.  Malczewski is a pretty tough customer and he's had a lot more matches at 184 lbs than what Romero has.  An upset? No, but Malczewski will show that the difference between the two is a hill, not a mountain. 

197 lbs 
#20 Gavin Hoffman (Ohio State) Vs #19 Cam Caffey (Michigan State)

Now THIS will be the match of the dual between the Buckeyes and the Spartans. You have two top talents only one ranking apart, both looking for that W that will help come seeding meetings for the BIG 10. The last time the two met Caffey edged Hoffman 3-2.  It'll be another tight one between the two. 

184 lbs
#22 Travis Stefanik (Princeton) Vs #30 George Walton (Rider) 

Ooh the rubber match! Don't you just love them? This will be the match of the night between Princeton and Rider.  Stefanik owns a 3-2 decision over Walton & Walton stuck Stefanik in 5:45. I predict a close match similar to the nosehair victory Stefanik pulled out, that could go either way.  

133 lbs
#18 Kai Orine (North Carolina State) Vs #29 Richie Koehler (Rider) 

Rankings highly favor Orine over Koehler but I'm not so sure that results do.  Orine owns a nice 10-5 decision over Lehigh's Jaret Lane, who beat Koehler 10-4, but Koehler owns two victories over wrestlers that have beaten Orine.  Orine lost 3-1 sudden victory to Stanford's Brandon Kier, who Koehler manhandled 15-2.  Orine also lost by fall to Bloomsburg's Cole Rhone in 4:38, who Koehler pinned at 6:06. These results don't always mean anything, but sometimes they do.  Should be an interesting match. 

141 lbs
#15 Ryan Jack (North Carolina State) Vs #27 Quinn Kinner (Rider) 

This is another match that I'm looking really forward to.  A part of me thinks that Jack might be able to go out there and have his way with Kinner, but another part of me thinks that Kinner might keep this much closer than expected. Truth to be known, a small part of me thinks Kinner might even be able to pull off the upset.  There are times this season when Jack has looked really hot. Other times when he's simply looked solid. Kinner on the other hand has had hot and cold moments himself. One of those who shows up matches. 

174 lbs 
#18 Dustin Plott (Oklahoma State) Vs U.R. Triston Wills (Little Rock) 

Some wrestling fans enjoy shutouts.  I'm not one of them. I'd much rather have a back & forth dual full of unpredictability than I would watch one team just cream another.  Looking over the matches for Oklahoma State Vs Little Rock however, I think we're gonna see the match result end 10 Cowboys 0 Trojans.  If anyone on the Little Rock team stands a chance at knocking off a Cowboy, ironically enough it is former Cowboy Triston Wills. He's thus far wrestled Plott twice during his career.  In January of last season, Plott stuck his former teammate in 2:45.  Yet in February, Wills took Plott to a 3-1 match.  Little Rock has had some big things happen since starting their wrestling program a few seasons ago, but if Wills were to knock off Plott, that would easily be a top 5 moment for the program. 

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