Tonight No. 11 Indiana will battle No. 19 Wisconsin at the UW Fieldhouse in Madison, Wisconsin. The dual meet will air live on the Big Ten Network at 7 p.m. CST. Indiana comes into the dual meet with a perfect 11-0 record, while Wisconsin is 4-6. The Badgers have won the last six meetings over the Hoosiers dating back to 2003. Below is a weight-by-weight breakdown of the dual meet. 125: No. 1 Angel Escobedo (Indiana) vs. Drew Hammen (Wisconsin) Escobedo, a 2008 NCAA champion and three-time All-American, has been dynamite this season, going 22-0 and winning both the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational and the Southern Scuffle. He has benefited greatly from the return of two-time NCAA champion Joe Dubuque, who returned to the coaching staff of his alma mater after three seasons as an assistant coach at Hofstra. Hammen has struggled this season, going 5-12 and losing his last six matches. Bottom Line : Escobedo is one of the nation's top wrestlers, while Hammen is trying to find his way in Division I wrestling. Escobedo should dominate an overmatched Hammen. Prediction : Esccobedo (Indiana) pins Hammen (Wisconsin) 133: Matt Ortega/Geno Capezio (Indiana) vs. No. 8 Tyler Graff (Wisconsin) Graff is one of the nation's top freshmen. After going 18-2 last season as a redshirt, Graff has stepped into the Badger lineup this season and made an immediate impact. He is currently 17-4 this season. He won a Midlands title last month, winning in the championship match 18-5 over returning All-American Steve Bell of Maryland. He has beaten Bell twice, as well as 2008 All-American Nick Fanthorpe of Iowa State and 2009 All-American Scotti Sentes of Central Michigan. Ortega is 9-10 this season, but has dropped his last four matches. Capezio is 5-6, which includes a 13-5 loss to No. 10 Danny Mitcheff of Kent State. Bottom Line : Graff has established himself as a legitimate All-American threat as a freshman, while Ortega and Capezio have combined to post a 14-16 record against subpar competition. Graff has earned bonus points in eight of his nine matches against unranked opponents, so he should be able to get bonus points in this one. Prediction : Graff (Wisconsin) major dec. Ortega (Wisconsin) 141: Danny Monaco/Max Ortega (Indiana) vs. No. 20 Cole Schmitt (Wisconsin) Schmitt, a freshman, broke into the national rankings this week for the first time this season, coming in at No. 20. At the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals, Schmitt knocked off returning All-Americans Chris Drouin of Arizona State and Alex Krom of Maryland. The Hoosiers have been using both Monaco and Ortego at this weight class. Ortega (15-7), a true freshman who was a five-time New Mexico state champion, has a better record than Monaco (10-9) … but Monaco has faced stiffer competition. Bottom Line : Schmitt has proven that he can not only compete with the nation's top 141-pounders, but also beat them. However, he has also shown come inconsistency. He has 10 losses and four have come to wrestlers not currently ranked in the top 20 in Division I. Monaco and Ortega came to Indiana with impressive high school credentials, but both are struggling right now. Prediction : Schmitt (Wisconsin) dec. Monaco (Indiana) 149: Matt Coughlin (Indiana) vs. No. 2 Kyle Ruschell (Wisconsin) Ruschell, who placed third at the NCAA Championships last season, has beaten every wrestler he has faced this season not named Brent Metcalf. He won the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational in December, which included victories over No. 3 Lance Palmer of Ohio State and No. 6 Jason Chamberlain of Boise State. He is currently 19-1 with his lone loss coming in the finals of the Midlands to Metcalf. Coughlin earned All-American honors as a freshman in 2006, but has battled injuries and has not been able to get back to that level. He comes into tonight's match with a 15-7 record. Bottom Line : Ruschell is wrestling at a very high level right now and should be able to handle Coughlin. Prediction : Ruschell (Wisconsin) dec. Coughlin (Indiana) 157: No. 7 Kurt Kinser (Indiana) vs. Greg Burke (Wisconsin) Kinser, a two-time NCAA qualifier, is 17-3 and ranked No. 7. He finished runner-up at the Southern Scuffle, losing in the fourth tiebreaker to No. 6 Thomas Scotton of North Carolina. At the Indiana Duals, Kinser was completely dominated by No. 3 Steve Fittery of American, losing by technical fall (17-1). Burke has been struggling this season. He is 4-12 and has lost five of his last six matches. Bottom Line : Kinser is a heavy favorite in this match and will be looking for bonus points. Prediction : Kinser (Indiana) pins Burke (Wisconsin) 165: No. 13 Paul Young (Indiana) vs. No. 1 Andrew Howe (Wisconsin) This is the marquee matchup of the dual meet. Howe, an NCAA runner-up last season as a true freshman, has been perfect this season, going 20-0. He won both the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational and the Midlands. Young is 24-4 with all four of his losses coming to wrestlers ranked ahead of him. Bottom Line : These two met earlier this season in the semifinals of the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, a match won by Howe, 3-2. Expect another tight, low-scoring match tonight … with Howe pulling it out once again. Prediction : Howe (Wisconsin) dec. Young (Indiana) 174: Trevor Perry (Indiana) vs. Jimmy Duffy (Wisconsin) Perry, a product of the nationally-renowned Davison, Michigan wrestler program that produced Brent Metcalf (Iowa), Jon Reader (Iowa State), and Paul Donahoe (Nebraska/Edinboro), is a three-time NCAA qualifier who is 17-5 this season. He failed to place at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational, but came back to place fourth at the Southern Scuffle. Duffey has struggled this season, going 3-12. Bottom Line : Perry is the superior wrestler and will be looking for bonus points in this match. Prediction : Perry (Indiana) major dec. Duffey (Wisconsin) 184: Eric Cameron (Indiana) vs. No. 17 Travis Rutt (Wisconsin) Rutt struggled at the start of the season, losing three of his first four matches. But the true sophomore has come into own. At the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals, Rutt went 4-1, which included a victory over No. 18 Steve Bosak of Cornell. Cameron is 17-8 this season, but he has struggled with consistency. He won 10 of his first 11 matches before losing three straight matches to unranked opponents in December. Bottom Line : This should be a competitive match. Rutt is the favorite (and the pick) based on recent results. Prediction : Rutt (Wisconsin) dec. Cameron (Indiana) 197: Matt Powless (Indiana) vs. No. 8 Trevor Brandvold (Wisconsin) Brandvold made his season debut on December 12 with a 7-2 victory over Dustin Bauman of Northern Iowa, which was his only match heading into the Midlands. At the Midlands, Brandvold was upset in his first match against Lehigh's Joe Kennedy, but came back to win six matches in the consolation bracket and place fourth. He avenged the loss to Kennedy and also defeated No. 3 Hudson Taylor of Maryland. Brandvold dropped a match to No. 5 Cam Simaz of Cornell at the NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals, but comes into tonight's match with a 9-3 record and a No. 8 ranking. Powless, who placed seventh at the Big Ten Championships last season as a freshman, is 22-8, but has not defeated a ranked opponent this season. Bottom Line : Brandvold should win this match, but the question is whether or not he will be able to pick up bonus points. Powless has given up bonus points in five matches this season, but Brandvold has earned bonus points only once this season. Prediction : Brandvold (Wisconsin) major dec. Powless (Indiana) 285: No. 2 Nate Everhart (Indiana) vs. Eric Bugenhagen (Wisconsin) Everhart, a two-time NCAA qualifier, has been one of the biggest surprises this season. He started the season ranked No. 16, but has climbed to No. 2 after building a perfect 24-0 mark. He won both the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational and the Southern Scuffle. Bugenhagen comes into tonight's match with a 10-12 record, but has dropped five of his last six matches. Bottom Line : Don't let the records fool you … This will be a tight match. Everhart is wrestling with a lot of confidence right now, but Bugenhagen has wrestled a tough schedule and proven that he can compete with the nation's best. Prediction : Everhart (Indiana) dec. Bugenhagen (Wisconsin) Dual Meet Prediction: Wisconsin 20, Indiana 19 Digg | Del.icio.us | Reddit | Newsvine | Email | Print



More...