WHAT: #3 Iowa State vs. #15 Oklahoma State
WHERE: Hilton Coliseum
WHEN: 2 PM – Sunday, January 29th
HOW TO WATCH: ESPN+
HOW TO LISTEN: Varsity App or Cyclones.com
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Iowa State looks to move to 5-0 in Big 12 duals when the Cowboys of Oklahoma State come to town on Sunday afternoon. American wrestling legend John Smith is in his 32nd season as head coach of the storied program. It has been a turbulent last 12 months or so for OSU wrestling. The team hasn’t exactly been cohesive and results have shown that. They are staring down the barrel of another season below the program’s very, very high standards. This is not what they planned with the NCAA tournament being in their backyard (Tulsa) this season. That being said, OSU may be wrestling their best all year right now. They smoked an up and coming Northern Colorado team last weekend. And their only loss of the year was to a good Minnesota team. The Cowboys are led by Mr. Silver Daton Fix at 133. They’ve got a few other All-Americans in the lineup with Wyatt Sheets, Dustin Plott and Travis Wittlake. Kaden Gfeller is a returning Big 12 Champion. Carter Young and Luke Surber wrestled at NCAAs last season. Its still Oklahoma State, even in a “down year”. They have good wrestlers. After Iowa State stunned the Cowboys in their own arena last year, the visitors will be out for blood. There’s trap matches potential upsets on both sides of this meet.
Individual rankings from FloWrestling. Iowa State listed first.
125: Connor Knopick or Caleb Fuessley vs. Zach Blankenship
- OSU will be without starter Trevor Mastrogiovanni for the second weekend in a row. Filling in is true freshman Blankenship, who was a good in-state pickup. I probably lean OSU on this one, but there is a chance for the Cyclones to steal this one.
133: Ramazan Attasauov or HM Zach Redding vs. #2 Daton Fix
- Fix is a winner plain and simple. I would be shocked if he got upset here, but both Attasauov and Redding have held Fix without bonus points. Redding did it most recently in the Southern Scuffle semifinals, wrestling a 5-2 match.
141: #15 Casey Swiderski vs. #16 Carter Young
- Here we have two young guns with high upsides and a lot of question marks around them. But I think Swiderski is learning to deal with his shoulder issue, and he’s really only had one bad performance (ASU). I like him in this one.
149: #6 Paniro Johnson vs. HM Victor Voinovich
- This is a matchup of freshman that have had good seasons. Paniro is just having an elite season. This will be a close match and a good test for Johnson, who certainly has a target on his back.
157: HM Jason Kraisser vs. #11 Kaden Gfeller
- Gfeller won the Big 12 title at 149 last season. He was just a match away from All-American status last year and fits the very definition of a wily veteran. But good scramblers have given him trouble. And that is why I think Kraisser has a decent shot at pulling the upset in this one. John Smith would lose his mind.
165: #2 David Carr vs. HM Wyatt Sheets
- These two have wrestled a ton and it always goes Carr’s way. Sheets is a good wrestler even if he hasn’t always shown it this season. We’ve seen him keep matches close against Carr. But we’ve also seen Carr go and get bonus points against Sheets like in last year’s dual. That moment will go down as an all-time great David Carr moment in my book. I think the face of the Iowa State program does it again.
174: HM Julien Broderson vs. #5 Dustin Plott
- Plott is very talented and very accomplished. All-American, Big 12 Champ, Southern Scuffle Champ. When he’s on, he’s national finalist level good. But he has shown a couple vulnerabilities this season against guys he’s supposed to blow by. If Broderson is on his A-game, a win here is in play.
184: #4 Marcus Coleman vs. #12 Travis Wittlake *KEY MATCHUP*
- This is an even bigger match than the rankings indicate in my opinion. Wittlake took 4th in the country in 2021 down at 165. After adjusting to 184 this season, he’s hitting his stride. I think Coleman uses his exceptional top wrestling to win this match.
197: #3 Yonger Bastida vs. HM Luke Surber
- Both these guys love scoring points and creating action. The over/under on this match has to be around 25. Surber made the Big 12 finals at heavyweight last season. But I think Bastida might be able to get the major and a valuable bonus point here.
285: #8 Sam Schuyler vs. #17 Konner Doucet
- Doucet loves to keep things close and decide matches on the mat. A third of his matches this season have gone to tiebreakers. I think Schuyler gets a couple takedowns to win this one decisively and avoid that mess.
Iowa State 20, Oklahoma State 11
I have the Cyclones favored at 149, 165, 184, 197 and 285. Bonus points can give Iowa State some wiggle room. The Cowboys are favored at 125, 133, 157 and 174. Don’t be surprised if Iowa State steals one though. That leaves 141 as the only tossup. OSU needs it to win the dual. I’ve also got cranky old John W. Smith losing a team point for complaining to the officials at some point in the meet. Go Cyclones.