Black or Cardinal, either way this dual is gonna be gold!! The Iowa Hawkeyes in a quest to be crowned NCAA team champions by year's end have their toughest challenge to date on the season. The Iowa State Cyclones come into town ready to do battle with upset on their minds. The tornadoes are coming in fierce winds, looking to destroy everything in their path. Yet Hawks are ferocious birds, often known to brave the harshest of weather.
Here's the lineup fellas & if it's good enough for Cody Goodwin, then it's good enough for JT#1!
|Tom Brands Vs Kevin Dresser
We have two of the best collegiate wrestling coaches in NCAA DI going head to head with both knowing the importance of this epic dual. Tom Brands in his expectation of absolute excellence looking to add another W to the long list of Hawkeye victories and Kevin Dresser looking to knock Iowa off the pedestal of being the top program in the state as he continues building a tradition of his own. Is the bad blood that boils truly between these two living legends or is it more in what they represent? Two sides to this coin. What happened at Virginia Tech all those years ago objectively speaking was an unfortunate series of events. Tom Brands from what I have been told and from what understand was always upfront and truthful about his desire to be head coach at the University of Iowa. Reliable sources have informed me that he made it clear that if ever offered a position at Iowa, he would take it. If true, I respect that. In fact, I only have one problem with it. Piss off who it may, Brands has spoken more than once in the past of how during Gable's time as a wrestler there were 150+ programs in NCAA Division I. At the time he left Virginia Tech for Iowa, I believe there a little over 70. We discontinue & add so much so often, it's hard to keep track. The point is, he spoke of how we've lost so many programs throughout the years. He criticized athletic directors, athletic programs & school administrations for not doing more for their wrestling teams. He challenged them to lay it all down and do what they could for wrestling at their school. Virginia Tech was one of the first programs to take Brands' message to heart. They hired him as a coach, upgraded their facilities and brought in a phenomenal recruiting class. Do something to show wrestling is vital to the school? Brother the Hokies went ABOVE and BEYOND. So trust me, I get the bitterness. I get the anger. I love Tom Brands & I'm not saying that to kiss anyone's ass. Ask me how I feel about Andy Seras, I don't hold my feelings back on anyone. Facts are facts, it's that simple. Brands, again from what I understand was upfront about the "if Iowa ever offers me" but at the same time you can't be that blinded by black & gold light that you completely disconnect yourself from the other point of view. I get it from both sides.
Dresser plays the diplomat and I don't know if he realizes how blatantly obvious his passive aggressive nature is. He's not fooling anybody. Wrestling has a difficult time facing itself in the truth that its got more in common with football, basketball, baseball, boxing, hockey than it'd like to admit. Their are rivalries here where there's a respect for who you are, what you've done and what you're capable of, but there's also a desire to draw blood. Brands is gonna keep it civil in any post dual interview he gives should Iowa win, but inside he'll be happier than a pig in shit if he sends Dresser back to Ames with a L. Should the Cyclones win, Dresser will find the nicest way possible to say, Wewinna Brandi Vicci. Translated to, "We kicked your ass Brands." This is Cobra Kai Vs Eagle Fang Miyagi people. May the best team prevail.
|Aiden Harris Vs Kysen Terukina
The absence of Spencer Lee poses extremely well for the Cyclones. Coming into a dual like this without Lee is like driving a tank into battle without any missiles or bullets for the machine gun. In what otherwise very well could have been a fall for the Hawkeyes, is now going to be no less than a decision for the Clones. No offense to the 2021 NJCAA All American but the transition to NCAA DI wrestling has thus far NOT been a smooth transaction for him. Maybe eventually he'll get the hang of things, but against a top twenty wrestler in the nation? Mark this one no less than 3 points for Iowa State.
|Cullen Schriever Vs Ramazan Attasauov
There comes a time in every Hawkeye's career where he has to step it up and be the hero for his team. That time is now for Cullen Schriever. On paper, this is another victory for the Cyclones. The Cardinal and Gold are expected to win this match. With Lee out & the situation with Woods still up in the air, Iowa is gonna have to win matches like these. Looking at it from Iowa State's perspective, same thing. A must win match.
|Drew Bennett OR Real Woods Vs Casey Swiderski
If it is at all possible, Iowa needs to send Real Woods out on the mat Vs Casey Swiderski. A lot can happen in wrestling & trust me, I know all about parity but comparatively speaking, against Bennett, I think Swiderski is very, very capable of getting the major. Matter of fact, even if they do send Woods out on the mat, I'm still not counting Swiderski out of this match. Woods would certainly be favored but Swiderski is young, hungry and fearless. In a match of this magnitude, with this much on the line? Yeah, the Hawks are gonna want Woods out there.
|Max Murin Vs Paniro Johnson
How many times have you read me say, "Max Murin is one of the best yet to All American in the country?" Are you sick of me saying it? Well, gal darn it! It's frickin' true! He is. Matter of fact, he's good enough to be an NCAA finalist this season! That is the T-R-U-T-H. But to quote Tom Brands, you only deserve what you earn. Many people are wondering the truth potential of Paniro Johnson. He did after all knock off Austin Gomez of Wisconsin, the guy who knocked off three time NCAA champion Yianni Diakomihalis of Cornell. There is so much riding on the line for each of these outstanding young men. For Murin it's his opportunity to say, I'm here, I'm for real, take me seriously. For Johnson, it's Gomez was no fluke, I'm as good as many of you already think I am. Could easily be the match of the dual.
|Cobe Siebrecht Vs Jason Kraisser
This could potentially be a spot where Iowa gives themselves some breathing room. Cole Siebrecht is riding on a high after a huge upset against two time EIWA finalist Anthony Artalona of Pennsylvania. With Lee out and potentially Woods also out there are two all but guaranteed victories for the Cyclones. They're favored at 141& 149 at this point is a tossup. If we start at 125 lbs, there's a real possibility that by the time we get to 157, it could be all Cyclones. That's a ton of pressure on Siebrecht's shoulders. It'd be up to him to swing the momentum in the opposite direction. Get a major for the Hawks or at least the victory. Krassier being a senior who hasn't and most likely won't have a lot of highlights by the time his collegiate career is said and done, will be looking for the upset. What a "had to be their" moment that would make to one day tell his grandkids.
|Patrick Kennedy Vs David Carr
Exactly how good is Patrick Kennedy? We're gonna find out, aren't we? Do I think he can keep this to a decision with David Carr? In this environment, with this atmosphere, under these conditions? Yes, I do. I think Carr is too good, too prepared and too smart to be upset, but I do think Kennedy can keep this at a decision. It's vital for Iowa that he does. It's vital for Iowa State that he does not.
|Nelson Brands Vs Julien Broderson
Nelson Brands entire career thus far for the Hawkeyes has been up and down, up and down. He's looked like a million bucks at times and at other times he's looked like the best buck 49 buffet in town, Clark. This will be a situation where he needs to be the prior. On paper, this match favors the Hawks, but Broderson is far, far from a pushover. This is NOT a match to overlook. Not an egg to count before it is hatched. Iowa needs the Nelson Brands who went out and whipped Taylor Venz of Nebraska 13-5 to show up. Iowa State needs the Broderson who once knocked off Anthony Montalvo of Arizona State to show up. For the sake of both teams, both need to be at their best.
|Abe Assad Vs Marcus Coleman
Much like at 149 lbs, got a lot riding on this match from both an individual standpoint and from a team standpoint. You got one guy, Marcus Coleman who has already been an All American and another guy, Abe Assad who is looking to become an All American. This is where being held at Carver Hawkeye Arena becomes such an important part of this dual. When you got 15,000+ cheering you on, that gives you an extra boost of energy. You can be the greatest sportsman that ever lived & show tremendous class, but if you're representing the opposing team, you might as well be in the Roman Coliseum because all the black & gold faithful wanna see is you get fed to the lions. That can be an extremely intimidating and have an adverse effect on your wrestling. Mental edge is so important in a matchup like this. It'll be a challenge to Coleman to overcome. A great win for either regardless of who wins this classic.
|Jacob Warner Vs Yonger Bastida
There are a lot of people doubting Jacob Warner right now. A loss to Rocky Elam of Missouri at the NWCA All Star Classic & barely holding on in an 11-10 win after getting turned twice by Cole Urbas of Pennsylvania. Some are even going as far as calling his trip to the NCAA finals last season a fluke. Here's the thing that rings true about wrestling critics. If they feel they are right, which they will if Yonger Bastida wins this match up, they're only going to grow louder. Bastida upset Warner last season 4-2 & if he beats the Hawkeye again, the snakes of opprobrium will come crawling. Yet if he pulls off a win against the future Cuban World/Olympic representative, they'll crawl back silently into the dark, dirty hole they came from. 197 is pretty wide open this year. I think most of us can agree to that. Warner needs this win bad. Hell, in this dual, Iowa needs this win bad. Bastida himself an NCAA title contender, he needs this win bad. So does Iowa State.
|Tony Cassioppi Vs Sam Schuyler
If we start at 125 lbs and end the dual at HWT, from Iowa's perspective Tony Cassioppi will need to show Sam Schuyler that there is the top 4 at HWT and then there is everybody else. It may very well be that Iowa NEEDS a major or better in this situation & it'll be up to Cassioppi to deliver it. From Iowa State's perspective, Sam Schuyler has already shown us that he's made some tremendous improvements. Look no further than a recent upset over Trent Hillger of Wisconsin for proof of that. Keeping the Hawkeye to a decision here could very well be the difference between victory and defeat for the team.
I honestly do feel that each point counts here. I don't see this being a blow out. Getting the major or avoiding the major is going to be so vital in a dual like this. If anyone, anywhere can pull off a fall that may spell the end for the other team.
We gotta get these two on the mat!
Enjoy the dual!