After an outstanding showing at the Midlands Championships last weekend, the Knights are home on Sunday to face No. 2 Ohio State.
It’s never easy in the Big Ten, and the Buckeyes come in loaded. They feature ten - that’s every weight class - ranked wrestlers, all of them in the top ten at their weight. It includes three no. 1s: Nathan Tomasello (125), Kollin Moore (197) and Kyle Snyder (285).
Head coach Tom Ryan is in his twelfth year at Ohio State. He is 141-49 in Columbus, having won the Big Ten title last season, his second in three years. He led the Buckeyes to the 2015 NCAA title and was runnerup to Penn State in 2017.
The marquee match is the first one out of the gate at 125 — if it occurs. Depending on the ranking organization, you might have No. 1 vs No. 2 or No. 2 vs No. 1. But it all depends on whether redshirt senior Nathan Tomasello is recovered from an injury he likely incurred during the U23 World trials. It was reported he’d be back for early January, but the three time All American and 2015 NCAA champion has yet to wrestle this season. If he doesn’t face Tomassello, sophomore Nick Suriano (14-0) will likely go up against one of a group of 125 pounders: sophomore Hunter Lucas (13-3), or true freshman Brady Koontz (14-6), or Brakan Mead (7-9).
Rankings are based on Flowrestling’s most recent listing
125 lbs No. 1 Nathan Tomasello/Braken Mead (Ohio State) vs No. 2 Nick Suriano
133 lbs No. 3 Luke Pletcher (Ohio State) vs No. 13 Scott DelVecchio
141 lbs No. 6 Joey McKenna (Ohio State) vs Michael Van Brill
149 lbs No. 5 Ke-Shawn Hayes (Ohio State) vs No. 17 Eleazar DeLuca
157 lbs No. 6 Micah Jordan (Ohio State) vs John Van Brill/Brett Donner
165 lbs No. 7 Te'Shan Campbell(Oho State) vs No. 13 Richie Lewis
174 lbs No. 3 Bo Jordan (Ohio State) vs Jordan Pagano/Joe Grello
184 lbs No. 2 Myles Martin (Ohio State) vs No. 11 Nick Gravina
197 lbs No. 1 Kollin Moore (Ohio State) vs Kevin Mulligan
285 lbs No. 1 Kyle Snyder (Ohio State) vs Razohnn Gross
Big Ten Wrestler of the Week
Michael Kemerer, Iowa || 157 pounds – So.
- Led the Hawkeyes to their 27th team title at the 2017 Ken Kraft Midlands at the Sears Centre Arena
- Went 6-0 with four falls, one technical fall and a 5-2 decision against Arizona State’s No. 7 Josh Shields in the finals to win the 157-pound title
- Earned his second straight Midlands title and improved to 13-0 on the season
- Claimed an individual award for most falls in the least amount of time (four in 9:54)
- Earns the second Wrestler of the Week award of his career
- Vs. Rutgers on 12/8: TF over Brett Donner, 25-8
The Knights held at No. 17 in the NWCA poll after their second place finish at the Midlands. As reported by NWCAOnline, not much changed overall with most teams competing in tournaments over the holidays. The top seven teams remained the same, but fourth-ranked Missouri improved to 12-0 with four wins in the South Beach Duals, including three over ranked teams. The Tigers beat No. 12 Cornell 27-11, No. 22 Rider 31-8 and No. 24 North Carolina 24-9. Arizona State is in the Top 10 for the first time since October of 2005.
And about the Penn State match.....
If you were planning on going on January 28th, I hope you have tickets already. On Wednesday, Rutgers Athletics announced that the match against the current No. 1 team in the nation is sold out. Rutgers had a crowd of 6,754 for its first match at the RAC against Iowa on December 8. This marks the first time in program history that Rutgers has ever had a sellout in wrestling.
"We want to thank our fans for making our match against Penn State a sellout," said head coach Scott Goodale. "The RAC is one of the greatest places to wrestle at in the country, and it is because of the atmosphere our passionate fan base provides at every home match."