By Eric John
Two top 20 teams will battle it out this Sunday, January 21, 2013 at the University of Missouri when No. 7 Missouri hosts No. 12 Central Michigan. This will be a hotly-contested dual between two teams having a solid year. Below you will find our weight by weight breakdown and our final prediction.
Where: Columbia, Mo.
When: January 21– 1:00 Central
Coverage: CBSSports.com ULive (Subscription) or Missouri All-Access
#7 Missouri vs. #12 Central Michigan
Matchups (Subject to change)
125: #3 Alan Waters vs. #9 Christian Cullinan
133: #7 Nathan McCormick vs. #8 Scott Sentes
141: Nicholas Hucke vs. Scott Mattingly
149: #18 Drake Houdashelt vs. Donnie Corby
157: Kyle Bradley vs. Lucas Smith
165: #16 Zach Toal vs. Mike Ottinger
174: #15 Todd Porter vs. Craig Kelliher
184: #8 Mike Larson vs. #2 Ben Bennett
197: #11 Brent Haynes vs. Jackson Lewis
HWT: #1 Dom Bradley vs. #5 Jarod Trice
125: We are expecting to see Missouri’s Alan Waters back this weekend. He has been out since December 16. Waters is a perfect 16-0 on the year and has looked real strong. He is definitely a serious contender at the weight. Christian Cullinan has been a surprise to some and brings a 15-5 record into the dual. He has struggled to beat wrestlers in the top 10 but has come close. If Waters is back at full strength he should be able to control the match. It will be interesting to see if Cullinan’s size is an issue or not for Waters.
Pick: Waters by decision
133: Missouri’s Nathan McCormick comes into this one as the slight favorite. He has posted a 21-2 record on the year. Both losses came to guys ranked above him. Scotti Sentes is not off to the start many thought he would be. He has not been bad, just a little inconsistent while building a 10-4 record. This one should be close, the key for McCormick will be if he can get away from underneath. Sentes can be a hammer on top. Riding time may be the factor in this match.
Pick: Sentes by decision
141: Missouri’s Nick Hucke has been up and down this year and has only one three of his last eight matches. Scott Mattingly has only won four of his last eight. You should be getting the picture here. This one could go either way. It all depends on who steps up and takes control of the match. This one should be close and the lead may change hands several times.
Pick: Mattingly by decision
149: Missouri’s Drake Houdashelt will enter the bout as the favorite on paper. He is wrestling better then you may think. His currently has a 16-7 record with three of those loses coming to guys ranked in the top five. Since the Cliff Keen he is 7-3 and avenged one of those losses. Donnie Corby is on the verge of being ranked and has won four in a row with two of those being over ranked wrestlers. A win here should move him into the rankings. Both wrestlers are wrestling well heading into this match. Expect a close one.
Pick: Corby by decision
157: Missouri’s Kyle Bradley who was ranked until recently has posted an 18-7 record. Consistency has been the issue with him so far. He did wrestle well at the Southern Scuffle and if he can wrestle like that this week, he should be in good shape. He will face Lucas Smith who has won seven of his last 10 and those losses were all to top 10 wrestlers. Smith has the ability to put points on the board and if he is aggressive he should give Bradley all he can handle.
Pick: Bradley by decision
165: Missouri’s ZachToal is the favorite here over returning national qualifier Mike Ottinger. Toal only has one odd loss on his record; otherwise his losses have come against highly ranked opponents. Toal has shown throughout his career that he can go with just about anyone. He just needs to be consistent. Ottinger entered the season with high hopes, but things have not exactly gone his way. He comes into this one having loss six of his last seven matches.
Pick: Toal wins by decision
174: Todd Porter is coming off a solid performance at the Southern Scuffle and has won eight of his last 10 matches. He will have his hands full with Craig Kelliher who has won four of his last five. This is an interesting match-up and one that if Kelliher wins he could find himself in the top 20 for the first time this year. They have a common opponent in John Fausey of Virginia. Porter has a win over him while Kelliher dropped the match.
Pick: Porter by decision
184: This should be a good match-up. CMU’s Ben Bennett has been perfect this season going 19-0. Of those wins he has posted bonus in 15 of them. That is pretty impressive. He will face Mike Larson who is wrestling well himself will be looking to pull an upset. He has had his chances this year against some of the top guys at the weight but has come up short. He will need to figure out a way to get out from underneath or he could be in for a long night.
Pick: Bennett by decision
197: Brent Haynes is one that is hard to figure out. He will come up big and win matches you may not expect, then he will drop one you did not see coming. He should be ok here. Jackson Lewis has had his struggles this year and faces the dangerous Haynes. He will need to try and keep it close to avoid bonus.
Pick: Haynes by major decision.
HWT: Battle of the big men. Missouri’s Dom Bradley is on a roll after knocking off former No.1 and returning national champion Tony Nelson of Minnesota. He has a 22-0 record and will look to stay perfect here. Jarod Trice’s only loss this season’s been to Oregon State’s Chad Hanke. This will be very close and could swing either way. A takedown should decide it in a low scoring bout.
Pick: Bradley by decision
AWN Pick: Missouri 19, Cornell 12