Gophers host Ohio State on Senior Day

Minnesota (6-4, 5-3) plays host to a top-five team for the second straight Sunday when No. 4 Ohio State (9-2, 5-2) visits the Sports Pavilion. The dual will be Minnesota’s last on the home mat this year, finishing off the nation’s most challenging home schedule, one during which all seven of the Gophers opponents were ranked, including five in the national top five. Tickets are still available for Sunday’s dual at MyGopherSports.com.

Sunday’s dual will begin at 1 p.m. Central from the Sports Pavilion. Those who can’t be there in person to say goodbye to the six graduating seniors can stream the match live on BTN Plus, keep tabs on live stats via TrackWrestling.com, or get updates throughout the day by following Gopher Wrestling on Twitter ( @GopherWrestling).

minnlogoSo Far This Season
Last weekend, the Gophers won three of their final five matches against Iowa, but an early deficit was too much to overcome in a 27-11 defeat. That loss came after 21- and 17-point wins over Indiana and Purdue on the road, respectively. During its previous homestand in early January, Minnesota picked up a victory against No. 21 Wisconsin between losses to No. 3 Penn State and No. 5 Nebraska. In the previous calendar year, Minnesota swept a pair of road matches in Michigan after splitting a pair of non-conference duals in November against No. 1 Oklahoma State and No. 20 South Dakota State.

Mixed into their dual schedule, Minnesota wrestled at both the Cliff Keen Invitational and the Southern Scuffle. Two Gophers (Short, B Pfarr) won titles in Vegas as the Gophers finished fourth. In Chattanooga, Minnesota produced one individual champ (Lizak) and seven placewinners, finishing fourth at the Scuffle.

Ohio State’s trip to Minneapolis will cap its Big Ten season. The Buckeyes began conference competition 4-0, bookending blowouts of Northwestern and Maryland around wins against Wisconsin and Illinois. Ohio State dropped back-to-back matches against Iowa and Penn State before rebounding with a win versus Rutgers. This all followed a 4-0 non-conference season in which the Buckeyes defeated Arizona State, Missouri, Cleveland State and Kent State each by at least 12 points.

The Bucks crossed paths with the Gophers at the Cliff Keen Invitational, where Ohio State won the team title and a pair of individual titles as well (Tomasello, B Jordan). Ohio State also sent two wrestlers to the Midlands, with one placewinner (Martin).

Marquee Match
A top-five battle and a rematch of the Cliff Keen Invitational semifinals will take place at 197 pounds between No. 2 Brett Pfarr and No. 4 Kollin Moore. Pfarr handed Moore a major decision (15-7) in Vegas, one of just two losses for the redshirt freshman this season. The pair are a combined 44-3 this season (42-2 in matches not against each other).

Last Time Around
The most recent dual in the series came just more than two years ago in Columbus, a 22-13 win for Ohio State. The Buckeyes opened the dual with three straight wins, including a hang-on, 10-9 decision for Logan Stieber over Nick Dardanes at 141, before Minnesota answered with back-to-back wins from Jake Short and Dylan Ness heading to intermission. The Gophers again went 2-3 in the second half, with Logan Storley and Michael Kroells picking up wins (Kroells earning a major). Ohio State earned bonus points with a major at 125 and a pin at 165.

Series History
Sunday will be the 58th all-time meeting between the Gophers and the Buckeyes, a series Minnesota leads 42-12-3. The Gophers have won four of the past five meetings with Ohio State, but the Buckeyes hold the most recent victory.

Match Notes Ohio State Get Acrobat Reader

Parting Shot
Six graduating seniors will be honored at halftime of Sunday’s dual: Sam Brancale, Jordan Bremer, Brandon Kingsley, Michael Kroells, Ben Morgan and Brett Pfarr. All six seniors will depart having wrestled at least one career home match.

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