Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Virginia Tech Vs North Carolina State Preview (Friday Jan 21st, 2022)


Like in Highlander when it's all said and done, when it comes to who rules the ACC, there can be only one. At the moment the fight for who's #1 in the ACC is between #11 Virginia Tech and #4 North Carolina State. While the seven spot discrepancy within the rankings highly favors the Wolfpack, a weight by weight study suggest the Hokies can be neck and neck, and take this dual to the wire. 

125 - #21 Sam Latona Vs #14 Jakob Camacho 

Here is a classic example of ranking & result at an ultimate contrast.  Latona is seven spots behind Camacho in the rankings, yet 3-0 against him.  Thus far Latona has managed a 10-5 decision, a 2-1 tiebreaker and a 7-4 decision.  One can look at this upcoming match one of two ways. It's hard to beat someone that you're 0-3 against. It's also hard to beat someone as good as Camacho four times in a row.  

133 - #5 Korbin Myers Vs #17 Kai Orine 

Ranking& results Vs common opponents, this one highly favors the Hokie over the Wolfpack. Might even be an opportunity for V.T. to put some bonus points on the board. 

141 - U.R. Collin Gerardi Vs #15 Kevin Jack 

The Wolfpack is favored in this one, but I wouldn't completely count out Gerardi.  Experience plays a factor from time to time, and Gerardi does own victories over opponents that have beaten Jack in the past. As much as Jack has improved from this year to last, it's hard to bet against him, but it's also important to remember the overall importance of this dual.  Someone as seasoned as Gerardi will be mentally prepared for it. 

149 - #6 Bryce Andonian Vs #3 Tariq Wilson 

Wilson has shown us with two 3rd place finishes at the NCAA tournament that when he's hot, he's not only difficult to beat, he's downright unstoppable. Wilson at his best is a lean, mean scoring machine. In a dual like this, NC State could use that version of Wilson.  A win Vs Andonian is vital, but if he could turn it into a major, even better.  On the same hand Andonian has looked pretty good this season as well. A R12 wrestler at last year's NCAA tournament, he is hungry to do bigger and better things this season. What a hero it would make him if he were to pull off this upset. 

157 - #23 Connor Brady Vs #10 Ed Scott 

Scott is one of the most improved wrestlers in the nation. Went from a 6-6 record last season, to being 16-1 this season, with notable wins over Iowa's Kaleb Young, Princeton's Quincy Monday & Missouri's Jarrett Jacques. Brady isn't exactly a pushover carrying an 11-2 record himself, but as redhot as Scott has been gotta go with the white and red on this one. 

165 - U.R. Clayton Ulrey Vs #22 Thomas Bullard 

I do not see a chance for a V.T. upset in this one, but I do think that Ulrey can keep it to a decision against Bullard.  The Wolfpack will look for and want bonus points here, but I don't see any reason why the Hokies shouldn't be able to deny them.  

174 - #3 Mekhi Lewis Vs #4 Hayden Hidlay

Here's the match we've all been waiting for.  This is our Connor MacLeod Vs Duncan MacLeod moment of the dual.  Hidlay is a four time ACC champion looking for this 5th ACC title this season and the only one that stands in his way is Lewis, an ACC champion in his own right.  There is so much riding on the line in this match that it isn't even funny.  You may be a V.T. fan or you may be an NCST fan, but the only way we as wrestling fans can lose here is if one of these guys is sat and doesn't compete. 

184 - #13 Hunter Bolen Vs #3 Trent Hidlay 

Another example where ranking and result clash.  10 spot difference in the ranking, you can trust ole JT#1 that his match is going to be a 1-2 point nail biter. In four matches thus far, Bolen leads the series 3-1.  This includes a 3-1 decision & two 2-1 decisions Vs a 3-1 sudden victory loss.  While I think the Lewis Vs H.Hidlay match will provide more excitement, this match between the larger Hidlay and Bolen will be every bit as important. 

197 - #33 Dakota Howard Vs #19 Isaac Trumble 

This is another area where I think the Wolfpack can pick up some bonus points & where the Hokies are going to want to do everything they can to avoid them.  It'll be tough against a guy like Trumble who has a go for it attitude that works out for him 9/10th's of the time.  In 12 victories this season, four have been majors, two have been techs and one has been a fall. 

HWT - #13 Nathan Traxler Vs #23 Owen Trephan 

I think this could possibly be an area where the Hokies could hope for some bonus points. Traxler has been on a role as of late winning his last nine matches in a row, including knocking off Zach Elam of Missouri and sticking Binghamton's Joe Doyle in the first period. Trephan has looked very good at times this season too, including a 5-2 victory over Doyle and most impressive a 12-4 major over South Dakota State's A.J. Nevills. Comparatively speaking however, Traxler's wins Vs the same opponents have been more dominating than Trephan's, and most notable, Traxler owns a victory over West Virginia's Michael Wolfgram, who recently defeated Trephan. 

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