With only two weeks remaining in the regular season, most teams will just coast into the postseason, right? Not the case with our dual of the week, as second-ranked Oklahoma State travels to face fourth-ranked Missouri, Saturday in a meeting of the unbeatens. The host Tigers are hoping to set an attendance record (currently at 2,772) when they put a 35-match winning streak on the line. There are four matches slated between ranked wrestlers and two others that would be included, but one of the wrestlers is just back from injury. There will be stars wherever you look, on either bench, as five wrestlers that will take the mat Saturday are currently ranked in the top-five of their respective weight classes.
John Smith’s Oklahoma State squad comes in at 13-0 with notable wins against Minnesota, Northern Iowa, Princeton, and Iowa State on their resume. Despite the number two ranking, there are plenty of questions surrounding this OSU team. As we’ll detail later, there is a possibility of more weight-shifting in the Cowboy lineup. Oklahoma State features a talented group that has one undefeated wrestler and two others that only have one loss on the season. Of course, regardless of the result of this match, Oklahoma State still has Iowa on the schedule next week, so things won’t get any easier.
Trying to fend off the Cowboys is head coach Brian Smith’s team that has rarely been tested during the 2018-19 season. Only one of there 15 wins have had a margin of fewer than nine points, team score-wise. The last time these two teams met was in late January of 2018 when Missouri got by the Cowboys 21-19, which is included in their 35-match winning streak. This years Mizzou team is much more equipped to for success in duals compared to a tournament format. With only four wrestlers currently in the top ten, they will need some of their other six starters to wrestle above seed to get into the NCAA trophy contention in Pittsburgh.
Here's a breakdown of the probable matchups and TOM's predictions, along with projections from WrestleStat
125 - #4 Nick Piccininni (Oklahoma State) vs. Dack Punke (Missouri)
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