With Christmas approaching fast, the vast majority of NCAA Division I wrestling matches next week take place Monday or Tuesday. There should be some excellent duals on offer, but none catches the eye quite like number 13 Northern Iowa hosting 17th-ranked North Carolina, making it TOM's NCAA Wrestling Dual of the Week. Both teams were at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational two weeks ago, but only two pairs of expected starters found each other in the big brackets out west. The battle begins at 7 pm central time, Monday, December 18th at West Gym on the campus of UNI. Expect a lot of close matches and the team score could remain tight throughout.
This will be the eighth meeting between the two schools with the Panthers leading the all-time series 4-3. These programs haven't faced each other since 1989, though, when Don Briggs led Northern Iowa and Bill Lam was in charge in Chapel Hill. That last meeting came on January 6th at the Virginia Duals with the Tar Heels winning 24-19 thanks in large part to bonus-point victories from their two eventual All-Americans that year, Doug Wyland and Enzo Catullo. Current Ohio head coach Joel Greenlee received a forfeit for UNI at heavyweight. He would finish second in the country two months later behind six-time NCAA champion Carlton Haselrig (Pitt-Johnstown).
As always with our Dual of the Week, we’ll break down each match-up, what each team needs to do to win, make our predictions, and have WrestleStat’s take on the dual as well.
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