Feb. 9, 2012
The No. 13 Missouri wrestling team will take place in the restructured 2012 NWCA/Cliff Keen National Duals this weekend, serving as one of six participants in the Rutgers Regional in Piscataway, N.J. Joining the Tigers will be Cal Poly, No. 14 Kent State, No. 11 Michigan, No. 4 Minnesota and host Rutgers.
The Tigers earned the No. 3 seed and will face off against Cal Poly on Saturday at 1 p.m. On the other side of the bracket, fourth-seeded Kent State and Rutgers, the No. 5 seed, will battle. The winner of the Missouri-Cal Poly match will get No. 2 seed Michigan in the semifinals, while the Rutgers-Kent State winner will take on top-seeded Minnesota.
There are four regional sites overall, made up of six teams each. The winner of each regional will advance to next weekend's Final Four and Championship round, held at a site that will be announced. The NWCA has received bids from Oklahoma State, Minnesota, and Missouri to host the Championship round on Sunday, Feb. 19, should their programs qualify. The University of Northern Iowa has also committed to hosting the Championship Round regardless of whether their team qualifies or not. The other regionals include:
Iowa State (Ames, Iowa): Iowa, Oregon State, Virginia Tech, Wisconsin and Northern Iowa
Cornell (Ithaca, N.Y.): Central Michigan, Oklahoma, Purdue, Illinois and American
Oklahoma State (Stillwater, Okla.): Boise State, Ohio State, Nebraska, Wyoming and Chattanooga
Live results will be provided by Rutgers at their official website: www.ScarletKnights.com. The Scarlet Knights website will also provide free live video of Rutgers' matches, along with the championship round no matter who is in it. Updates will also be provided at Mizzou wrestling's official Twitter page: @MizzouWrestling.
SCOUTING CAL POLY
The Cal Poly Mustangs come into the weekend with a 5-6 record on the season, though have lost four of their last five. Last Saturday, the Mustangs fell to Utah Valley by a 19-17 final, but they knocked off Arizona State, 26-11, the week prior. For the year, the Mustangs have wins over Cal State Bakersfield, Menlo College, Boise State and San Francisco State, while they've lost to Oregon State, American, Stanford, Wyoming and Air Force.
Cal Poly currently has three wrestlers ranked in the top-20 of the latest Intermat poll, led by 141 pounder Boris Novachkov, who is second in the country and 25-2 on the year. Ryan DesRoches ranks fourth at 174 pounds and has a record of 23-1, while Ryan Smith is 18th at 197 with a 19-9 mark.
Missouri and Cal Poly have met four times prior, with the Tigers taking three of those contests. Mizzou's three wins came in their first three meetings, but the Mustangs were victorious last time they faced off in 2009-10, winning by a 22-15 score.
THE REST OF THE FIELD
Kent State: Currently ranked 14th in the nation ... currently 12-4 on the year ... won the MAC Championship after finishing the regular season 5-0 ... currently on a 10-match winning streak ... have four wrestlers ranked in Intermat's top-20: Nic Bedelyon (125, 4th), Tyler Small (141, 10th), Ian Miller (149, 9th) and Brendan Barlow (HWT, 16th) ... Tigers and Golden Flashes have faced off twice this year ... Mizzou won 34-12 at Kent State in December; Kent State won 18-14 at the Virginia Duals last month ... Mizzou leads the all-time series 5-1-0.
Michigan: Come in at No. 11 in the NWCA poll ... currently 6-5 on the season with a 4-4 record in Big Ten action ... took second at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invitational ... placed first at Mat Town Invitational ... split their last six duals, beating Indiana, No. 19 Central Michigan and Michigan State while falling on the road to No. 3 Minnesota, No. 6 Ohio State and No. 2 Penn State ... seven of their 10 starters are ranked in the top-20: Zac Stevens (133, 16th), Kellen Russell (141, 1st), Eric Grajales (149, 6th), Dan Yates (165, 13th), Justin Zeerip (174, 8th), Max Huntley (197, 15th) and Ben Apland (HWT, 10th) ... Mizzou is 1-3-0 all-time against Michigan.
Minnesota: Ranked fourth in the country ... are 10-3 in duals this year and won the Big Ten championship with a 7-1 conference record ... finished second at the Southern Scuffle ... their only losses this year were on the road to three top-five programs in Cornell, Oklahoma State and Iowa ... the Golden Gophers have nine starters ranked in the top-20: Zach Sanders (125, 2nd), Chris Dardanes (133, 7th), Nick Dardanes (141, 8th), Dylan Ness (149, 10th), Cody Yohn (165, 14th), Logan Storley (174, 6th), Kevin Steinhaus (184, 7th), Sonny Yohn (197, 6th) and Tony Nelson (HWT, 4th) ... Missouri is 2-7-0 all-time against Minnesota.
Rutgers: Have a 12-6 overall record this season ... are currently 5-1 in the EIWA ... have dropped four of their last five, losing to Lehigh, Hofstra, West Virginia and Virginia while picking up a win over Navy ... have a trio of ranked wrestlers: Mario Mason (149, 8th), Scott Winston (165, 17th) and Greg Zannetti (174, 17th) ... Mizzou is 0-1-0 against Rutgers all-time.
Should the Tigers win the Rutgers Regional, they will compete in the NWCA National Duals Final Four next weekend. Action will take place on Sunday, Feb. 19 at a location that is to be announced. On Feb. 24, Missouri will head to Oklahoma State to close out the regular season.
NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS RETURN IN 2012
The NCAA Wrestling Championships will return to the Midwest in 2012, as the event heads back to St. Louis, Mo., after a two year hiatus. The three day tournament will run from March 15-17 and be held at the Scottrade Center. A limited number of tickets remain for the NCAA Championships and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com.
MIZZOU TO HOST BIG 12'S
For the fourth time in program history and first time since 2007, the University of Missouri will play host to the Big 12 Wrestling Championships, held in the Hearnes Center. The event will take place on Saturday, March 3, 2012. Head to mutigers.com for information on purchasing tickets.
WATERS AGAIN PICKED AS WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
For the third time this season, Missouri's Alan Waters has been named the Big 12 Wrestler of the Week, as announced on Monday, Feb. 6. Waters becomes just the second Tiger in program history with three career Wrestler of the Week honors, tying him with Ben Askren for most all-time. In total, Missouri wrestlers have now won four league weekly awards in one season for the first time in the Big 12 era. Waters joins current Oklahoma athlete Kendric Maple and former Oklahoma State star Jordan Oliver as the only wrestlers to be honored by the Big 12 three times in one season.
WRESTLING KNOCKS OFF NO. 10 OU, 25-12
With four big wins to close out the dual - two of those with bonus points - the No. 13 Missouri Tigers (12-3, 3-2 Big 12) defeated the No. 10 Oklahoma Sooners (12-3 (2-2 Big 12) by a 25-12 final on Sunday. Mizzou got out to a 6-0 lead with a pair of wins over top-10 opponents, as No. 3 Alan Waters knocked off No. 8 Jarrod Patterson by a 7-0 score, and No. 8 Nathan McCormick defeated No. 10 Jordan Keller, 5-3. The two teams were squared away at 9-9 at the midway point before Oklahoma jumped ahead 12-9 with a win at 165. However, the Tigers got four straight wins to end the match, including a major decision by Dorian Henderson and a fall by Mike Larson to pull out the win.
TIGERS FALL TO NO. 1 OSU, 22-12
The No. 13 Missouri wrestling team took the No. 1 Oklahoma State Cowboys down to the wire on Saturday afternoon, but couldn't pull out a couple of tight matches and ultimately fell by a 22-12 score. Opening the dual at 157, the Tigers jumped out to a 6-0 lead after No. 15 Drake Houdashelt beat No. 9 Albert White, 3-1, and Zach Toal defeated Dallas Bailey by a 5-4 decision. Oklahoma State evened things up with two decisions of their own before No. 11 Brent Haynes upset No. 7 Blake Rosholt, 10-4. No. 3 Alan Waters shut out No. 13 Jon Morrison by a 4-0 score to give the Tigers a 12-9 lead with three matches left, but the Cowboys swept the last three contests, including a win by fall and a major decision victory.
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