Jan. 12, 2011

No. 18 Northwestern (13-0, 1-0 Big Ten) vs. No. 14 Illinois (2-1, 1-0 Big Ten)
Friday, Jan. 14
Welsh-Ryan Arena
Evanston, Ill. ? 7 p.m. CT
TV Coverage: Big Ten Network (live)
Announcers: Tim Johnson, Lee Kemp
Live Stats: NWCA Live Score Book

Northwestern Weekly Release -- Jan. 12

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Coming off a hard-fought victory over a ranked opponent, No. 18 Northwestern aims to make it two in a row when it hosts 14th-ranked Illinois at 7 p.m. Friday in a showdown that will be aired live by the Big Ten Network.

Fans can also track play-by-play live stats through the NWCA Live Score Book.

Northwestern Athletics is hosting a Family Fun Night Presented by Coke Zero in conjunction with the match, which includes free NU wrestling mugs and Coke Zero for the first 300 fans in attendance as well as a postmatch autograph session with the team. Tickets to all Northwestern wrestling matches can be bought at the door and are priced at $7 for adults, $4 for students, youths and senior citizens and $3 for large groups.

What to Watch For
Northwestern and Illinois boast a combined six ranked wrestlers on their rosters. One key matchup figures to be at 149 pounds where the Wildcats' 13th-ranked Andrew Nadhir and Illinois' Eric Terrazas, currently No. 12, will butt heads for the second time in two weeks. Nadhir holds a 2-1 edge in the all-time series, winning in duals the last two years before Terrazas eked out a win in tiebreakers in the third-place match of the 2010 Midlands Championships on Dec. 30.

The probable matchup at 184 also has the makings to be a good one as NU senior Aaron Jones brings a 10-1 dual record into his bout with freshman and 19th-ranked Tony Dallago of Illinois. By most estimations, Jones sits just outside the top-20 rankings, and a win against a ranked opponent Friday would go a long way toward helping him qualify for the NCAA Championships for the first time in his career. Illinois has won three of the last five meetings with the Wildcats, with NU's most recent win coming by a 22-11 margin in 2008.

Illinois has won three of the last five meetings with the Wildcats, with NU's most recent win coming by a 22-11 margin in 2008.

Wildcats Clip No. 20 Pitt, 17-15
After putting away Millersville and Drexel by a combined score of 86-9 in its morning matches, No. 21 Northwestern stepped up to face 20th-ranked Pittsburgh in the marquee matchup of Sunday's Pitt Duals. Despite missing two starters, NU was able to split the outcomes of the 10 matches and claim a 17-15 road win thanks largely to bonus-point victories by Levi Mele at 133 and Andrew Nadhir at 149. In addition to those wins, NU received a huge boost from reserve Marcus Shrewsbury, who stepped in for an injured John Schoen at 197 and secured a 3-2 decision over Pitt's Phil Sorrentino.

Big Ten Championships Coming to NU in March
Don't miss out on your chance to watch many of the nation's top amateur wrestlers competing in Welsh-Ryan Arena when Northwestern hosts the 2011 Big Ten Championships, Saturday-Sunday, March 5-6. Tickets are on sale now and are available by calling the NU ticket office at 888-GO-PURPLE. For a complete ticket breakdown and schedule of sessions, click here.

Precin Among NU's All-Time Wins Leaders
Two-time NCAA All-American and top-ranked 125-pounder Brandon Precin continues to climb Northwestern's list of all-time winningest wrestlers. In his three-plus seasons of varsity competition, Precin owns a career record of 125-28, landing him fourth all-time at Northwestern and 31 shy of 1990 NCAA champion Jack Griffin's school-record 156. Precin has posted win totals of 33, 37 and 33 in his first three seasons and now stands 22-0 in 2010-11.

Major Accomplishment
With two more major decision victories at the Pittsburgh Duals, senior 149-pounder Andrew Nadhir now has a team-leading nine on the year, surpassing his total of eight from a year ago. No other wrestler on the Wildcat roster has more than four thus far in 2010-11.

Looking Ahead
With the Big Ten dual season finally in full swing, Northwestern will head on the road next weekend to face a pair of conference opponents, Michigan and Michigan State, on Jan. 21 and Jan. 23, respectively.

No. 20 Northwestern vs. No. 14 Illinois: Probable Starters
125: #1 Brandon Precin (NU) (22-0) vs. Logan Arlis (IL) (8-10)
133: Robert Joyce (7-5) OR Levi Mele (NU) (12-3) vs. #7 BJ Futrell (IL) (16-3)
141: Kaleb Friedley (NU) (19-4) vs. #3 Jimmy Kennedy (10-1) OR John Deneen (IL) (0-1)
149: #13 Andrew Nadhir (NU) (21-2) vs. #12 Eric Terrazas (IL) (15-4)
157: #9 Jason Welch (NU) (17-2) vs. Jackson Morse (IL) (16-5)
165: Kevin Bialka (NU) (9-8) vs. Conrad Polz (IL) (5-6)
174: Robert Kellogg (NU) (3-9) vs. #14 Jordan Blanton (6-3) OR Ben Friedl (3-1) (IL)
184: Aaron Jones (NU) (14-4) vs. Tony Dallago (IL) (11-8)
197: John Schoen (NU) (14-5) vs. Mario Gonzalez (IL) (10-2)
285: Ben Kuhar (NU) (10-10) vs. Pat Walker (IL) (7-6)

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