Friday, January 22, 2010

Preview: Iowa Hawkeyes

Sorry about the lack of posting for the last few weeks, but the high school season has been incredibly busy lately, and the Virginia duals would have been a lot of work to recap to highlight almost zero interesting things.

Tonight, Michigan will be taking on the Iowa Hawkeyes at Cliff Keen Fieldhouse. Conference play means the season is starting to wind down, Michigan will wrestle each conference team once, then wrestle in the Big-10 Championship tournament, then any of Michigan's national qualifiers will go on to wrestle at the NCAA Championship tournament. Hopefully I can find a way to put the NCAA qualifying process into print somewhere between now and then, but for now, lets focus on the Hawkeyes.

Iowa is the current #1 team in the country, defending national champs, and is riding a 52 dual meet winning streak. They are very, very good. This will be, by far, the toughest competition Michigan faces this year, as Iowa is incredibly strong throughout their entire lineup.

125: #4 Matt McDonough (Iowa) - Sean Boyle (Mich): A showdown between 2 highly touted young wrestler, McDonough being a rsFr., Michigan probably isn't going to win. McDonough is one of college wrestling's top newcomers, where Boyle has struggled slightly to adjust to the college game. A Major would be nice here, but it's probably going to be a tech or a pin.
Iowa 6 - Michigan 0

133: #6 Daniel Dennis (Iowa) - Zac Stevens (Mich): Dennis is an interesting story, a 4 time place-winner in high school, he never won a state title, and was always a journeyman type wrestler until he broke out last year, and was ranked as high as #1 for parts of the season. Stevens will have trouble beating him, but both are very sound, technical wrestlers. Dennis isn't a pinner, and Stevens isn't one to get pinned, or even teched, so even though Dennis wins, I can't see it being more than a major.
Iowa 10 - Michigan 0

#7 Montell Marion (Iowa) - Mark Weber (Mich): Weber has been a bit of a disappointment this year, and has gotten pinned by a few highly ranked opponents he has faced. Marion was unranked until recently, when he shutout the then #5 wrestler in the country, and shot up to #7. Despite Weber's early pins, wrestlers like Marion who come out of nowhere are almost never big pinners, so a Major is the most likely outcome.
Iowa 14 - Michigan 0

#1 Brent Metcalf (Iowa) - ??? (Mich): I have no idea who Michigan will throw out here, as the usual 149'r, Beaudry, is apparantly injured. It will not matter, this is 6 for the Hawkeyes.
Iowa 20 - Michigan 0

Aaron Janssen (Iowa) - Mark Boyer (Mich): Just our luck, Iowa's first unranked wrestler will likely be wrestling Dave Johnson's backup, as Johnson got injured at the Virginia Duals. I have no idea by how much Iowa will win this match, but it's very unlikely that a backup at a spot Michigan has struggled at lately will knock off one of Iowa's starters, so I'll just go with a decision.
Iowa 23 - Michigan 0

#5 Ryan Morningstar (Iowa) - Aaron Hynes (Mich): The hits just keep coming, as one of Michigan's better wrestlers gets matched up against one of Iowa's toughest. Morningstar is incredibly talented, but I don't think he can get any more than a major on Hynes, who should be able to stay in it, mainly thanks to his ability on top and as a shooter.
Iowa 27 - Michigan 0

#2 Jay Borschel (Iowa) - #16 Justin Zeerip (Mich): Hey, look, a ranked Michigan wrestler! In what will probably be the best match of the day, 2 former 4 time state champs should face off here. Borschel will probably end up the winner, but Zeerip is really coming into his own, and certainly has the tools to get the win, Borschel is just so much more experienced its very unlikely. No more than a decision here though, Zeerip is tough as nails and should hang with him the whole match.
Iowa 30 - Michigan 0

#9 Phil Keddy (Iowa) - Hunter Collins (Mich): It's a little strange to see Keddy down at #9, as the past two years he has finished 4th and 6th at the NCAA's. Collins is starting to develop nicely, but still can't compete with the big dogs, as evidenced by his 20-5 tech fall loss to #5 Dustin Kilgore. Probably somewhere near the same result here, a Tech fall.
Iowa 35 - Michigan 0

#9 Anthony Biondo (Mich) - Luke Lofthouse (Iowa): Wow, a matchup we are favored in. In case this seems wrong to anyone, its because normal Iowa starter Chad Beatty, currently ranked #4, is recovering from a foot injury suffered early in the year. Thank god he is, because this is one of Michigan's only opportunities for points. Biondo should major Lofthouse, although Lofthouse showed some spunk last weekend against #7 Alan Gelogaev of Okie St. At least I hope so.
Iowa 35 - Michigan 4

Blake Rasin (Iowa) - Ben Apland (Mich): I'm not sure what to think of this matchup, Iowa's starting HWY, a returning All-American, has been out for quite a while, and Apland has only been inserted into the lineup this year. Apland has a lot of potential, and I think we will see that against Rasin. The biggest case for a Rasin win is his 7-5 loss to #1 Jared Rosholt, where he took Rosholt down twice. This match will either be a decision or a pin, as a lot of HWY matches are, and I think Rasin probably comes out on top.
Iowa 38 - Michigan 4

Well that looks horrifying. I'd tell you to come out and watch, but really, this is going to be a bloodbath. Iowa is just so deep, that even with 2 wrestlers who would have been All-Americans out, and a National Champ that got kicked off the team earlier, they are still the best team in the country.

This meet will not be televised, which might be a good thing, although it will be covered online at For those of you interested in Michigan High School wrestling, 2 of the top teams in the state, St. Johns, and my boys, Richmond, will be wrestling before the MSU-Minnesota meet tonight, and from what I have heard it will be broadcast somehow. I'll probably tweet any info on finding that later, if anyone is interested. There will be some prospects to watch there, most from St. Johns as Richmond's real asset is their depth, most notably Taylor Massa, Jordan Wohlfert, Jacob Schmitt, and Brant Schafer, although Brian Henke from Richmond is definetly a D1 prospect.

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