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Wrestling vs. West Virginia

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The wrestlers are headed to Morgantown on Saturday to close out the brief Big XII conference dual season.

The Morning Sun

Back on the road following their 26-18 win over Oklahoma last weekend, the wrestlers are looking to secure second place in the Big XII with a win over an outmanned West Virginia team. The outcome of the meet itself should never be in doubt, but there are a couple of intriguing individual matchups worth paying attention to.

Where: Morgantown, West Virginia

When: Saturday, February 7th, 5PM CST

Liveblog: Available here

Video: WVUSports.com

Projected Lineups:

Weight Iowa State Cyclone Wrestler Record - West Virginia Mountaineer Wrestler Record
125 UR/30 Kyle Larson 17-10 vs. UR/19 Zeke Moisey 23-11
133 6/6 Earl Hall 21-4 vs. Cody Stainbrook 12-14
141 UR/26 Dante Rodriguez 13-5 vs. 13/13 Micheal Morales 25-8
149 14/11 Gabe Moreno 21-5 vs. Louis Colonna 1-10
157 UR/27 Luke Goettl 16-6 vs. Tim Wheeling 7-12
165 4/4 Micheal Moreno 17-2 vs. Ross Renzi 10-10
174 11/11 Tanner Weatherman 17-7 vs. Parker VonEgidy 7-5
184 15/17 Lelund Weatherspoon 14-2 vs. UR/28 Bubba Scheffel 16-12
197 2/3 Kyven Gadson 19-1 vs. UR/29 Jake Smith 21-6
HWT Quean Smith 13-9 vs. UR/29 A.J. Vizcarrondo 10-14

Rankings from Intermat / 1-22-15 NCAA Coaches Panel

Key Matches:

125: After his loss last weekend to the wrestler ranked 32nd in the coaches panel, this became an extremely important match for Larson.  He was sitting at 30th in the first panel and since then he has had  close losses to #8 Klimara and #32 Millhof.  With a win over Moisey he'd have a good shot at jumping up a few spots, with a loss he might be out of the rankings entirely.  And after Saturday he has no ranked opponents left other than #5 Peters of UNI, so it would be pretty tough for him to make up lost ground in the last few duals.  That makes this match pretty close to a must win.

141: Dante will be facing the only WVU wrestler included in this week's Intermat  rankings.  This isn't a "must win" for Dante (that comes next weekend against Arizona State & UNI), but a win here would move him from being on the fringe of NCAA qualification into a pretty secure spot.

174: I'm actually kind of hoping the coaches give Tanner the weekend off to heal up and/or clear his head and we see Logan Molina here.  But the released lineup indicates that is not likely.  Another loss, or even a close win, would be cause for concern about whether the team will be able to count on points from Weatherman come NCAAs.  While a dominating major decision or pin would give some confidence that he's back on the upswing and ready to face the last month of the season.

HWT: First, let's have a short lesson on why I'm constantly making comments about whether or not Quean Smith has pinned himself.  To do that, let's look at his last match at Big XII's last season, with a ticket to NCAAs on the line.

Damn it Quean.  Stop pinning yourself.

Up to this point in the season Quean has shown improvement over last year and even wrestled fairly tough against some pretty good wrestlers.  But Quean lacks any wins over guys ranked either in the top 20 by Intermat or the top 33 by the coaches.  In each of his four remaining matches he'll have the opportunity to fix that, and that starts with Vizcarrondo, who was ranked 29th in the last coaches poll.  Similar to Larson's situation at 125, a win against Vizcarrondo on Saturday would keep Quean's NCAA hopes alive going into the last few weeks of the regular season.  While a loss would likely remove him from contention for a berth.

For a full comparison of every matchup, check out WrestleStat's dual comparison page for this meet.

Prediction:

Lots of this.

WVU is recruiting well under their new coach and will be good in a couple of years.  But right now they don't have the horses to compete with the Cyclones.  I think they win 3-4 matches and ISU cruises to a comfortable 24-10 type win.  If we can win the tossups at 125 and HWT this could get very ugly for the Mountaineers.

Next up:

The wrestling team will be back in Hilton next weekend to take on Arizona State on Friday night at 7PM and Northern Iowa on Sunday at 2PM.