Up next in our preview we have a pair of seniors in 157 Mike Kelly and Nick Moore at 165. Today I break down the 157 bracket, and Kirk will takedown 165.
1. Isaiah Martinez, ILL
2. Dylan Ness, MINN
3. James Green, NEB
4. Brian Murphy, MICH
5. Doug Welch, PUR
6. Josh Demas, OSU
7. Mike Kelly, IOWA
8. Anthony Perrotti, RU
9. Luke Frey, PSU
10. Louis Mascola, MD
11. Luke Blanton, IND
12. TJ Ruschell, WIS
13. Ben Sullivan, NU
14. Travis Curley, MSU
Hawkeye Wrestler Outlook: This will be the last go around for senior, Iron Mike Kelly. It also will be his first Big Ten tournament. Kelly has done a solid job at 157 this year as he is currently ranked 15th in the recent Intermat rankings. As solid as Kelly has wrestled, it still has been a season of “almosts”. While losing close matches to a handful of top 10 ranked opponents the biggest “almost” of the season came in a 11-9 loss to #2 Dylan Ness of Minnesota. Kelly had the lead late into the third period but couldn’t hang on for the upset over the dangerous Ness. The question this weekend is can Kelly beat a guy he isn’t supposed to beat and finally get over that hump? 157 is a weight class that has a few studs at the top and a lot of solid wrestlers throughout the rest of the bracket. With a good tournament, Kelly could be looking at a top 4 finish but if he doesn’t bring his “A” game he could just as easily find himself battling it out in the 9th-12th range.
Possible Semifinal Match ups:
Isaiah Martinez, Illinois (26-0) vs Brian Murphy, Michigan (22-9)
Redshirt Freshman Isaiah Martinez will enter his first Big Ten tournament with an undefeated record. He has handled most of his competition this year also raking up bonus points in 21 of his 26 matches. Sophomore Brian Murphy comes into his second postseason of his college career looking to improve on his 0-2 finish last year at NCAA’s. Look for Martinez to continue his dominance in the semis and set up a rematch with an opponent he edged by 2 points back in January.
James Green, Nebraska (26-3) vs Dylan Ness, Minnesota (26-1)
Assuming Ness can get by Kelly and Green can get by a tough Demas in the quarters we could see a Green vs Ness rematch in the bottom semi. Green and Ness met early in December where Ness edged his opponent, 4-3. Should these two meet, it will be a great battle where funk meets quickness. This will be a close match but Ness has taught us 3 years in a row to not bet against him when the lights are on in March.
Finals Prediction: Martinez vs Ness
1. Bo Jordan, OSU
2. Isaac Jordan, WIS
3. Taylor Walsh, IND
4. Pierce Harger, NU
5. Jackson Morse, ILL
6. Garett Hammond, PSU
7. Nick Moore, IOWA
8. Nick Wanzek, MINN
9. Austin Wilson, NEB
10. Pat Robinson, PUR
11. Nick Visicaro, RU
12. Garrett Sutton, MICH
13. Roger Wildmo, MSU
14. Justin Alexander, MD
Hawkeye Wrestler outlook: This is the last chance for Nick Moore, the 4-time Iowa High School State Champion at West High in Iowa City, who has yet to stand on the All American stand at the end of the year. Nick looks to be in a ok spot in the bracket with a possible first round match with Pat Robinson (Purdue) who Nick is 2-0 against in his career with 2 bonus point victories. After that he will likely see the #2 seed out of Wisconsin Isaac Jordan, these two have never met in college. Nick has the talent to beat Jordan but will have to get to his offense early to establish the pace, this will be a match that will take multiple takedowns to win. I have Nick placing 5th at the tournament.
Possible Semifinal Match-ups:
Bo Jordan, Ohio State (16-0) vs Pierce Harger, Northwestern (25-4)
No prior meetings this year
Looks like it was worth the wait to see Bo Jordan the freshmen has been very impressive this year racking up bonus points in 11 of his 16 victories and finishing with a perfect 9-0 record in B1G duals. Harger on the other hand has had a great senior year for the Wildcats placing runner-up at Midlands and later avenging the loss to Walsh (Indiana), his Midlands finals opponent, with a 15-0 tech fall. I’m taking Jordan in this one but Harger will not make it easy for him.
Isaac Jordan, Wisconsin (19-2) vs Taylor Walsh, Indiana (30-4)
Jordan dec Walsh 3-1 on 12/11/14
With Walsh there is always the wildcard of the pinfall, he leads Division I wrestling with 21 on the year. Isaac will be looking to make it an all Jordan finals by slowing down the pace of the match and controlling the ties. He won 3-1 earlier this year and beat Walsh 2-0 at last year’s B1G tournament. Jordan makes it 3 in row against Walsh and the cousins from Ohio battle it out for the top podium spot at 165.
Finals Prediction: B. Jordan vs I. Jordan
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141 – 149 Big Ten Preview
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