National Duals pairings set as top five teams in USA Today/NWCA Coaches Poll aim for dual meet title
Manheim, Pennsylvania — The last two undefeated Division I programs will be in the hunt for the championship at the EAS Sports Nutrition/NWCA National Duals presented by Hibiclens and the United States Marine Corps in honor of Cliff Keen.
The nation’s top five teams all qualified for the National Duals Finals Weekend on Feb. 21-22 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City. Iowa, Missouri, Ohio State, Minnesota and Cornell come in ranked 1-5 in the USA Today/NWCA Division I Coaches Poll released on Tuesday.
No. 1 Iowa (15-0) won two weekend duals, including a 30-6 win over Virginia in the first round of the NWCA National Duals. The Hawkeyes will open with Chattanooga, which had an exciting 19-16 win over Oklahoma to qualify for the Finals Weekend. The Mocs (12-5) have won nine duals in a row. A wild 12-11 upset win by heavyweight Jared Johnson over nationally-ranked Ross Larson gave the Mocs the win.
No. 2 Missouri (21-0) topped visiting American 34-3 in the first round of the National Duals. Missouri leads Division I in dual meet victories and will bring a balanced squad to Iowa City to face No. 12 Illinois (13-4). The Fighting Illini blanked Kent State 38-0 in the opening round with freshman Isaiah Martinez picking up a huge fall over returning All-American Ian Miller of Kent State at 157 pounds. Many are looking forward to the 125-pound match between two-time NCAA champion Jesse Delgado and top-ranked Alan Waters of Missouri.
No. 3 Ohio State (13-3) went on the road and defeated then-No. 15 Edinboro 30-7. The highlight of the dual was a 6-3 win by top-ranked three-time NCAA champion Logan Stieber over second-ranked Mitchell Port of Edinboro at 141 pounds. The Buckeyes will face No. 11 Lehigh (13-4). The Mountain Hawks started off slow, but pulled away from George Mason en route to a 27-9 victory.
No. 4 Minnesota (11-2) went on the road and topped then-No. 23 North Dakota State 26-9. The Golden Gophers will face No. 5 Cornell in the quarterfinals. The Big Red (15-1) beat visiting Drexel 35-6.
The four quarterfinal matchups will take place on Saturday, February 21 at noon central, with the semifinals to follow at 3 p.m. Semifinal losers will wrestle the third-place dual on Sunday along side the championship final at 11:30 a.m.
In duals that impacted the rankings unrelated to the National Duals, Oklahoma State (10-3) moved up to No. 6 after a wild 21-18 win over visiting Penn State. The Nittany Lions fell two spots to No. 7 this week after the loss. N.C. State (15-5) picked up a solid 27-12 win over Pittsburgh to vault up five spots to No. 20. The Wolfpack has beaten ranked teams on consecutive weekends.
Full information on tickets, times and television showings for the National Duals can be found at www.nationalduals.com
3,Ohio State,13-3,275,Big Ten,3
6,Oklahoma State,10-3,245,Big 12,7
7,Penn State,10-4,229,Big Ten,5
8,Iowa State,10-2,214,Big 12,8
24,North Dakota State,8-4,38,WWC,23
Dropped Out: None
Others Receiving Votes: North Carolina (10-4) 5, Chattanooga (12-5) 1, Northwestern (10-8) 1