Tuesday, March 28, 2023
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Friday Night D1 Wrestling Action

This weekend is going to be absolutely loaded with great wrestling and you do not have to wait until Sunday to start watching. Tonight’s duals feature three matchups amongst the top teams in the nation and multiple nationally ranked opponents will be squaring off. Below you will be able to find just when and where you can catch this action tonight, and what matches to be looking for.

#8 Virginia Tech vs #5 NC State

The Hokies of Virginia Tech are set to take on the Wolfpack of NC State on Friday night. This dual has major impact on the ACC conference team race, so expect the Hokies to bring their A-game in an attempt to capture their first win over the Wolfpack since 2021. The match will take place at 7 p.m. on the ACC Network.

This dual is expected to have several highly-ranked bouts making for an exciting night of wrestling. First one that stands out is at 184lbs, #7 Hunter Bolen will face off against #3 Trent Hidlay. These familiar foes have wrestled five times, with Bolen currently holding the edge in their series, 3-2, but hasn’t defeated Hidlay since February 2021.

At 149lbs, No. 9 Caleb Henson will take on No. 15 Jackson Arrington. Henson, a freshman, has been terrorizing some of the top-ranked wrestlers in the 149lb weight class this year. In this match, he will have the opportunity to add another ranked victory to his resume against another standout freshman.

Lastly, at 285lbs, No. 23 Hunter Catka will face off against No. 12 Owen Trephan. In their third time wrestling each other, both wrestlers have improved since their last matchup and this one could very well be the deciding match of the dual.

#2 Iowa vs #10 Nebraska

The Iowa Hawkeyes, currently ranked second in the nation, will host the Nebraska Cornhuskers at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday night. The dual is set to start at 8 p.m. CT. The dual will be broadcast live on Big Ten Network.

In their last encounter, Iowa emerged victorious with a 20-15 score in Lincoln on February 2, 2022. Compared to the beginning of season, Nebraska has found new life mid-season and has been on a tear as of late, recently defeating Big 10 opponents #13 Minnesota and #14 Northwestern. This recent Cornhusker win streak paired with a generous #2 team ranking from one media site, has upped the ante for this dual meet and should make for another great atmosphere inside Carver-Hawkeye.

One of the most highly-anticipated matchups of the night will be at 125lbs between top-ranked Spencer Lee of Iowa and Nebraska’s Liam Cronin, who is currently ranked as high as No. 3 nationally with a 13-2 record. Cronin is looking to ride his momentum, as just last weekend he notched two ranked wins over #4 Michael DeAugustino and #5 Pat McKee, earning him a lot of watching eyes for this weekend against the #1.

Another closely-watched bout will be between No. 2 Real Woods of Iowa and No. 4 Brock Hardy of Nebraska at 141 lbs, who has a 19-2 record this season. Woods has seen limited action but has looked good when does wrestle. Hardy is a talented freshman, and Woods will be his toughest test so far in his college career.

A fan favorite this season at 157lbs, Iowa’s Cobe Siebrecht will have a tall task against No. 1 Peyton Robb. Robb is 17-0 so far this season, but Siebrecht always brings the fireworks, and you truly never know with him. Robb has wrestled some tight matches this year proving to not be invincible, and Cobe has the potential to make a big move that could swing this match.

#1 Penn State vs #4 Michigan

The Penn State Nittany Lions, currently boasting an unblemished 8-0 record, will host the Michigan Wolverines, who are also undefeated with a 7-0 record, in an exciting Big Ten wrestling dual at the Bryce Jordan Center on Friday night. The dual will be nationally televised on the Big Ten Network and begin at 7 p.m.

The Nittany Lions are coming off a bye weekend and last competed on January 6th, when they defeated Wisconsin 28-11. This weekend marks the start of a three-dual home stand for Penn State, whose lineup features four freshmen. Michigan enters this dual with nine ranked wrestlers, so while on paper this dual will need to be heavy on upsets for Michigan to pull off a win, there will still be plenty of quality matches taking place tonight.

At 133lbs, #1 Roman Bravo-Young of Penn State will take on #12 Dylan Ragusin. To some this may not exactly be a match of intrigue with 2x NCAA Champ Bravo-Young winning the past three encounters between the two. However, interestingly Ragusin has never allowed RBY a bonus point victory over him. This is impressive when it comes to facing off with a great who is currently in the Hodge race. This will be a good chance to gauge how much RBY has or hasn’t jumped level since last meeting.

The 149lb weight class makes for a fascinating match up. In a battle of redshirt freshman, #14 Shayne Van Ness and #21 Chance Lamer will face off. While Shayne Van Ness is ranked higher, Lamer boasts a 27-5 record while Van Ness is at 11-2, giving Lamer an edge in experience. With both wrestlers at a win percentage of 84% and and bonus-point percentage of 46%, this will make for a sneaky-good match up.

Penn State true freshman Levi Haines has been catching everyone’s attention lately, and we’re hoping the #17 ranked wrestler will be using the last of his five redshirt event allotments to face #10 Will Lewan of Michigan. This would be a great test for Haines, and if he were to win one would think you would more than likely see his redshirt be pulled officially and become a mainstay in Penn States’ starting lineup. Lewan, a 2022 All-American is no pushover, and at last year’s dual versus Penn State defeated Terrell Barraclough 5-2. If Haines were not to get the nod tonight, we will see Barraclough in his place.

Last but not least, at HWT we will see the match of the night. #1 Greg Kerkvliet of Penn State will be scrapping against #2 Mason Parris of Michigan. Parris has been an elite heavyweight his whole career but has always been battling monsters like Gable Steveson and Tony Cassioppi. Along the way, another roadblock in Greg Kerkvliet popped up and he is now his biggest issue. Kerkvliet’s record sits at 7-0, while Parris boasts an impressive 17-0 record. However, in head-to-head combat, Kerkvliet holds a comfortable lead over Parris with 3-1 record. While the dual may be decided well before the heavyweight’s turn, this will be the match everyone is sticking around for to witness, don’t miss out!


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