Who: #3 Iowa 14-0 (9-0) vs #2 Oklahoma State
Where: Stillwater, Oklahoma
When: Sunday, February 24th, 2019 2:00 PM
Watch Online: Flowrestling (Subscription required)
Last weekend wrapped an undefeated conference slate for the Iowa Hawkeyes that won them a share of the Big Ten Conference dual championship, their first since 2016. Claiming the other share of the championship was Penn State, who due to conference scheduling rotation did not appear on Iowa’s schedule this season. This weekend’s contest will arguably be the Hawks’ toughest yet when they take on #2 ranked Oklahoma State on the road. If Iowa manages to pull off the upset it will be the first undefeated season since the 2009-10 campaign.
Over the last five years Iowa have experienced a lot of success against their rival, winning four of the last five meetings. That may change this weekend with the Cowboys holding a higher dual rankings, and on paper they will be favored in six of the ten matches. Only two weights feature a matchup without both wrestlers being ranked in the top 20 (157 and 174), and seven individuals ranked in the top five are scheduled to compete.
The main event that fans have been talking about for weeks leading up to this dual is the 133-pound meeting between Iowa’s #3 ranked Austin DeSanto and Oklahoma State’s #2 ranked Daton Fix. Both wrestlers were considered elite recruits in the class of 2017 and given both are currently ranked in the top three they are delivering on that hype.
Fix is a renowned freestyle wrestler having won several World medals for the U.S. on the U17 and U20 teams. This past summer he finished second in the Senior division falling for former Hawkeye Thomas Gilman in the team qualification process. His trademark move is an inside trip
Other top matchups occur at 125, 165, and 197 pounds with Iowa finding themselves favored in all three of those matches. The first being round three between #2 Spencer Lee and #4 Nick Piccininni at 125. Lee holds the advantage 2-0 with the last meeting a win by fall for the Hawkeye.
Coming off his huge win over #3 Evan Wick of Wisconsin, Alex Marinelli will take on #10 Chandler Rogers at 165. When the pair met last year during the dual it was a 5-2 Marinelli victory.
The final top ten meeting takes place at 197 where #4 Jacob Warner and #7 Preston Weigel will square off for the first time in their careers.
With the Cowboys favored in over half of the matches, Iowa is going to need a few breaks in order to take this dual and maintain their season long perfection. With the dual taking place on the road, the building and energy will be with the Cowboys.
Two matches that seem most likely to favor a Hawkeye upset would be at heavyweight, where #10 Sam Stoll will certainly be in his match against #2 Derek White, and at 184 when #13 Cash Wilcke faces #10 Jacobe Smith. Wilcke is no stranger to knocking off a higher ranked opponent on the road going back to his upset over then top five ranked Taylor Venz of Nebraska earlier this month.
Momentum and bonus points could also play a huge role in this dual, especially if things start traditionally at 125 pounds. Another win by fall victory for Lee over Piccininni would obviously give Iowa some much needed team points in the dual. If DeSanto manages an upset at 133 a lot of air could come out of the building heading into the 141-pound meeting between #17 Max Murin and #11 Kaid Brock. Early in the year we saw Murin feed off the energy of his two teammates ahead of him in the lineup, which could obviously play right into Iowa’s favor.
At minimum the Iowa-Oklahoma State dual has always been a good source of entertainment throughout the years, and this year doesn’t look like it will be any different.
Dual Preview (TOM Rankings)
#3 Iowa vs #2 Oklahoma State
125 #2 Spencer Lee vs #4 Nick Piccininni
133 #3 Austin DeSanto vs #2 Daton Fix
141 #17 Max Murin vs #11 Kaid Brock
149 #11 Pat Lugo vs #6 Kaden Gfeller
157 #7 Kaleb Young vs Wyatt Sheets/Jonce Blaylock
165 #2 Alex Marinelli vs #10 Chandler Rogers
174 Mitch Bowman vs #6 Joe Smith
184 #13 Cash Wilcke vs #10 Jacobe Smith
197 #4 Jacob Warner vs #7 Preston Weigel
285 #10 Sam Stoll vs #2 Derek White