Storylines abound this week as the No. 5 Minnesota wrestling program closes out the regular season at home against Iowa on Sunday at 2 p.m.

Historic Williams Arena will host one of college wrestling's most anticipated rivalries this weekend as Minnesota and Iowa battle it out for the Big Ten Dual Meet Championship. Iowa (14-0-1 overall, 7-0-0 Big Ten) currently sits in the poll position in the Big Ten standings while Minnesota (15-3-1, 6-0-1) trails ever so slightly and is in a must-win situation in order to dethrone the Hawkeyes.

But taking down the three-time defending national champs won't be easy. Iowa currently holds a 76-dual unbeaten streak (the Hawkeyes tied Oklahoma State earlier this year to snap a winning streak). Last Sunday's win over Michigan gave Iowa a tie with Oklahoma State for the longest stretch without a loss in NCAA history. The Cowboys' streak, however, is a 76-dual winning streak.

Furthermore, the University of Minnesota will honor head wrestling coach J Robinson for his 25 years of service to the program during the Gophers' dual against Iowa on Sunday. Robinson, a former assistant coach at*Iowa,*has brought the Gophers' program to a new level during his tenure including coaching the Gophers to the first three NCAA titles in school history (2001, 2002, 2007). Robinson's ceremony will precede the dual.

Big Ten Network Coverage
The Big Ten Network will give fans who can't make it out to see the Gophers live a chance to watch this Sunday's action. The national sports network will broadcast Sunday's dual between two nationally ranked rivals on Sunday night at 8:30 p.m. CST and again

Follow the Action
Live results and updates will be made available throughout Sunday on Gophersports.com and the Golden Gopher Wrestling social media sites. Sunday's dual will also feature a live blog that can be found on Gophersports.com.

Follow the Gophers
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Next Up
Minnesota takes a rare weekend off after hosting Iowa before heading into the championship season. Northwestern will host the Big Ten Championships on March 5-6 before the NCAA championships take place in Philadelphia on March 17-19.


Last Time Out
Minnesota remained unbeaten in its last eight duals when the Gophers topped No. 10 Michigan 21-12 last Friday in Ann Arbor before drawing with No. 3 Penn State at home on Sunday in an 18-18 tie.

Get Score Updates on Your Phone
Fans can get scoring updates from all of Golden Gopher athletics through the Twitter pages @GopherScores and @GoldenWrestling. Just find and follow the selected Twitter accounts, then set up your phone or mobile device to receive the text updates. If you are not already on Twitter, you will need to create an account.

Match of the Meet
Each and every Gopher wrestling match is full of excitement and entertainment, but this weekend one bout stands out among the rest.* Sunday's 141 lbs. match will feature two of the best in the sport in Minnesota's Mike Thorn and Iowa's Montell Marion. Thorn, who leads all Big Ten wrestlers with 32 wins this year, is ranked second in the nation at 141 lbs. by InterMat while his Hawkeyes counterpart sits one spot back at third. And these two know each other well. The duo met three times last year with Thorn holding a 2-1 record against Marion. In their first meeting at National Duals, the Minnesota All-American picked up a pin over the Marion in just 0:42, but the Hawkeyes grappler gained revenge in dual competition when he scored a 15-7 major decision over Thorn on Feb. 14, 2010. But Thorn would get the last laugh in their last meeting, taking down Marion in the Big Ten championships semifinals with a 12-3 major decision in route to Thorn's first Big Ten title. Now the pair will meet for the first time this year on Sunday afternoon with the Big Ten Dual Meet Championship on the line.

Welcome Back Sonny
All-American Sonny Yohn returned to the Gophers' lineup for last Sunday's tie against the Nittany Lions and was part of a 12-6 run in the second half that secured the tie. Yohn's 10-2 major decision over Nick Ruggear was the redshirt junior's first action since Dec. 31 when Yohn was injured at the Southern Scuffle. Yohn is 11-2 on the year.

Every Point Counts
Redshirt senior Mike Thorn's 17-0 technical fall over Randall Languis at 141 lbs. last Saturday was just the latest in a long line of victims for the All-American. With a 31-1 overall record (17-0 in duals), Thorn has scored bonus points in over 65 percent of his matches this season (11 pins, seven major decisions, three technical falls).


Getting the Pin
All-American Mike Thorn cracked Minnesota's top-ten for career pins earlier this year and currently sits tied with Jacob Volkmann for ninth on the school's all-time list with 34 career pins. Thorn needs one more fall to take sole possession of ninth and four pins to tie Jason Davids (1994-98) and Mack Reiter (2004-08) for seventh on the Gophers' list. Jayson Ness (2006-10) ranks first in career pins at Minnesota with 73.

The Road to Philadelphia
Minnesota has fielded one of the toughest schedules in the country in 2010-11 -- having already taken on 11 nationally ranked programs with No. 2 Iowa still to go. The Gophers are 7-3-1 against ranked opponents this year while all three losses have come against top-five teams.

Date*Rank*Oponnent*Score*Result
11/27: *No. 9 *Central Michigan*21-17*W
12/05:*No. 2 *Oklahoma State*16-17*L
12/09:*No. 15 *Nebraska*26-8*W
01/08:*No. 6 *Boise State*18-17*W
01/09:*No. 1 *Cornell*16-20*L
01/09:*No. 4 *Wisconsin*17-19*L
01/16:*No. 13 *Iowa State*26-13*W
01/21:*No. 23*Purdue*26-15*W
01/23:*No. 15*Illinois*25-16*W
01/30:*No. 3*Wisconsin*21-15*W
02/13:*No. 3*Penn State*18/18*T
02/20:*No. 2*Iowa*?/?*?

15 and counting
All-American Zach Sanders has put together 15-straight dual wins dating back to December 9. All but two of those wins went for bonus points as Sanders has tallied two pins, two techincal falls and eight major decisions since his last loss. Sanders is 24-2 on the year.


Getting the Pin
All-American Mike Thorn cracked Minnesota's top-ten for career pins earlier this year and currently sits tied with Jacob Volkmann for ninth on the school's all-time list with 34 career pins. Thorn needs one more fall to take sole possession of ninth and four pins to tie Jason Davids (1994-98) and Mack Reiter (2004-08) for seventh on the Gophers' list. Jayson Ness (2006-10) ranks first in career pins at Minnesota with 73.

The Series
Iowa leads the series with Minnesota, 67-24-1, and hold a 31-11-1 advantage in Minneapolis. The Hawkeyes have won the last five meetngs, including a 28-9 decision last season in Minneapolis. Minnesota's last win in the series was Feb.18, 2007, when it posted a 29-13 victory at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.

Big Ten Championships Ahead
The Big Ten Championships will be held Mar. 5-6 at Northwestern University's Welsh-Ryan Arena in Evanston, IL. Tickets are available from the NU ticket office at 888-GOPURPLE. Fans may request to be seated in a specific school's designated seating areas. All session tickets are $40 for reserved seats, $36 for adult general admission and $24 for youth general admission. Single session ticket prices are as follows: Session I - $15 for adult general admission and $12 for youth general admission; Session II - $18 for reserved seating, $15 for adult general admission and $12 for youth general admission; Session III - $20 for reserved seating, $18 for adult general admission.




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