The Dual of the Week is back and will take place in a familiar venue, Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The top-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes (6-0) are set to take on the seventh-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-1). Iowa comes into the dual fresh off of a weekend where they crushed the competition on an Indiana road trip by a combined score of 82-0. After the weekend, all ten of Iowa’s projected starters sit in the top-ten of the respective weight classes. The Hawkeyes appear poised to capture their first team title since the 2009-10 season and their team is arguably better.
Looking to stop the runaway train that is the Iowa team is head coach Mark Manning’s Huskers. Nebraska seemed as if they would come into this meeting undefeated, but they stumbled on Sunday against Big Ten rival Wisconsin, 25-18. Earlier in the season, the Hawkeyes crushed Wisconsin 32-3. Right now, Nebraska’s best win came over Northern Iowa in late-November, 23-19.
While this dual could end up being lopsided, there is plenty of talent on both sides of the gym and a handful of intriguing matchups. In fact, only one of the 20 projected starters is not in the top-20 at their respective weight class. We could be treated to a pair of matches between returning All-Americans and three rematches from the teams 2018-19 dual. In that meeting, the Hawkeyes prevailed 20-13.
For our dual of the week, we’ll break down all ten weight classes and give predictions for each. In addition, we have run dual projections through WrestleStat, as well.
125 lbs - NR Alex Thomsen (Nebraska) vs. #1 Spencer Lee (Iowa)
Alex Thomsen will head back to his home state to start the dual against the Hawkeyes. The redshirt freshman comes into the match with a 6-8 record and was pinned in his last outing by fellow freshman Eric Barnett (Wisconsin). Though he only has six wins, Alex does have some quality W’s mixed in there, taking out three-time national qualifier Christian Moody (Oklahoma) at the Journeymen Collegiate Classic, #30 Danny Vega (South Dakota State) at the Daktronics Open, and solid freshman Jace Koelzer (Northern Colorado) at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational. Also in Vegas, Thomsen was ever so close to pulling off a pair of upsets when he took #12 Alex Mackall (Iowa State) and #18 Jay Schwarm (Northern Iowa) into overtime below coming up just short. Thomsen also fell to Wyoming’s national qualifier Cole Verner in sudden victory. If any other circumstance, we could say that Thomsen could breakthrough Saturday night.
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