Left and center photos by Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com, right photo by Mark Lundy, LutteLens.com
The dual of the year between Ohio State and Penn State may be in the rearview, but that doesn't mean this week's slate of individual match-ups is lacking. We've got a pair of one versus two showdowns to talk about including the long-awaited rematch of Kyle Snyder (Ohio State) and Adam Coon (Michigan). In several of this week's 10 most important matches, the outcome seems predestined. However, this will be a chance for several young wrestlers to stake their claim as legitimate title threats with the post-season just around the corner. The second to last week of the regular season is coming, here are the most important matches in NCAA Division I wrestling this week!
TOM Predictions Season Record: 40-26
All times eastern. Matches are in chronological order.
#6 Scott Parker (Lehigh) vs. #14 Ali Naser (Arizona State), 133 pounds, Friday, Feb. 9th, 9:00 pm at Arizona State
As he headed to the Southern Scuffle, Parker was undefeated and, though he had missed time due to injury, he had the look of a man ready to better his eighth-place finish at nationals from a year ago. Maybe he came back a little too soon as the junior was upset twice in Chattanooga during a 3-2 performance, then went back on the shelf for a month. He wrestled one match at the Edinboro Open before defaulting out, though that appeared to be the plan all along. Assuming Parker is back and finally healthy, his clash with Naser on Friday is a chance for him to prove the Scuffle wasn't an accurate depiction of his skills. The Sun Devil has continued to be one of the most enigmatic athletes in college wrestling, beating Jack Mueller (Virginia) and Dennis Gustafson (Virginia Tech), but falling to Sean Nickell (CSU Bakersfield) last time out. His resume is full of great performances and weird losses making any match against him dangerous for those in the hunt for a high seed. Which Naser will we see and will Parker look like his old self? We'll find out.
Prediction: Parker by Decision
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