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Wrestling: Rutgers - UNC preview; RU to honor John Sacchi

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Two teams in need of a win face off Friday night

Roy DeBoer with permission

Rutgers vs North Carolina

Friday, January 12, 7:00 pm at the RAC

Two teams will be hungrily looking for wins this Friday night when No. 17 Rutgers (3-3) hosts No. 24 North Carolina (6-7) at the RAC. Start time is 7:00 pm.

Rutgers is on a rare three match losing streak, having been upset by then-unranked Lock Haven and then losing to Iowa and Ohio State at home. The Iowa match was very close, and so the Knights know they are in the thick of any match. Ohio State, at No. 2, was closer than some would have thought, with Eleazer DeLuca and Richie Lewis both taking down ranked wrestlers.

North Carolina may be in a more desperate position. The Heels have lost three of four and dropped five spots in this week’s rankings. They have wrestled four Big Ten teams thus far and are 3-1 against those squads, having only lost to No. 22 Purdue (6-31) at the Journeyman Duals in early November. Since then, they have defeated Nebraska (22-14), then-No. 8 Minnesota (26-15), and Michigan State (30-6).

Ranked Wrestlers

Using rankings from The Open Mat, every weight class except heavyweight has at least one ranked wrestler in it. But there are only two head-to-head match ups of ranked wrestlers. The first is at 133 where No. 13 Scott DelVecchio faces No. 16 Zach Sherman (12-7) and the second is at 149 where Eleazer DeLuca, now at No. 11, faces South Plainfield’s redshirt senior, No. 5 Troy Heilman (18-2).

125 - 2 Nick Suriano

133 - 13 Scott Delvecchio vs 16 Zach Sherman

141 - 15 AC Headlee (UNC)

149 - 11 Eleazar DeLuca vs 5 Troy Heilmann

157 - 10 John Van Brill

165 - 11 Richie Lewis

174 - 9 Ethan Ramos (UNC)

184 - 12 Nicholas Gravina

197 - 19 Daniel Chaid (UNC)

NCAA Wrestler of the Week

Beat a top wrestler from a top program and look what happens!!

Honoring John Sacchi

For 17 years, John Sacchi - the “silver fox” - was on the sidelines guiding Rutgers wrestling. Sacchi upgraded the Knights’ schedule and the product on the mat as he built a 167-102-5 record and had 23 NCAA qualifiers. He was only the 16th college coach to reach 400 victories in his career. In 2007, Sacchi was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Roy DeBoer with permission

On Friday, during intermission of the UNC match, Rutgers Athletics will honor Sacchi for his work and success “on the banks”.

It is a well-deserved honor for an outstanding coach, the man who led the way for Rutgers to be in the position it is in today.