The calendar has turned from December to January which means IT”S DUAL SEASON. Pretty much nothing but duals from here on out, which is always fun. The majority of the DI teams in the country were in action recently be it at the Midlands, the Southern Scuffle, or the South Beach Duals, so this week’s dual schedule is not as extensive as upcoming weeks. Thankfully, we still have a great one on Sunday evening from Columbus, Ohio, where the ninth-ranked Wolfpack of NC State, under the guidance of 2018 NCAA Co-Coach of the Year award recipient Pat Popolizio, will meet third-ranked Ohio State. These two teams met last season, though it was mid-February rather than early-January. The Buckeyes took eight of ten matches from NC State in a 29-6 romp. Both sides would go on to earn a trophy at the 2018 NCAA Championships as Ohio State took runner-up honors and NC State tied for fourth-place. Expect the dual meet this year to be much closer.
Ohio State was one of the rare teams that did not compete over the holiday break so they will likely be refreshed and as healthy as you could expect a DI team to be in January. In their last time on the mats, the Buckeyes handed Chris Bono’s Wisconsin squad his first loss since taking over, 27-17. NC State will be coming into Ohio with a chip on their shoulder after losing their first dual meet of the year at the South Beach Duals. One day one of the event the Wolfpack fell to Wyoming 22-21 in a match that was decided on criteria; most falls, which was 2-1 in favor of the Cowboys.
After the rest of the dual slate is over Sunday, sit back turn on ESPN2 and watch this beauty of a dual meet, one that features four clashes between wrestlers currently in the top ten nationally.
I will be at the event tweeting results and any relevant info from @theopenmat
Here is a breakdown of the probable matchups and TOM’s predictions, along with projections from WrestleStat.
125: #13 Sean Fausz / Zurich Storm (NC State) vs. Brakan Mead / Brady Koontz / Hunter Lucas / Malik Heinselman (Ohio State)
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