The No. 13 University of Minnesota Gophers will be taking on No. 8 Michigan on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. in Maturi Pavilion. The Gophers have defeated the Wolverines the last two times the two teams have faced, including last season when the Gophers downed the No. 10 Wolverines on the road.
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP:
125: No. 4 Ethan Lizak (18-2) vs No. 13 Drew Mattin (14-6
133: No. 12 Mitch McKee (9-3) vs No. 5 Stevan Micic (11-2)
141: No. 10 Tommy Thorn (16-6) vs Sal Profaci (9-7)
149: No. 16 Steve Bleise (15-4) vs Malik Amine (10-7) or Ben Lamantia (10-3)
157: No. 19 Jake Short (9-6) vs No. 5 Alec Pantaleo (9-3)
165: No. 10 Nick Wanzek (17-3) vs No. 5 Logan Massa (9-2) or Reece Hughes (2-2)
174: Chris Pfarr (12-6) vs No. 6 Myles Amine (12-5)
184: Dylan Anderson (21-8) or Brandon Krone (5-2) vs No. 5 Domenic Abounader (11-3)
197: Dalton Lunde (1-2) vs Jackson Striggow (13-7)
HWT: Rylee Streifel (8-7) vs No. 2 Adam Coon (16-0)
LAST TIME OUT – ILLINOIS
The University of Minnesota Gophers completed a seven-point comeback against Illinois this past Sunday. Rylee Streifel helped the crowd to their feet with a last-second victory, giving Minnesota momentum that they would ride to the 17-14 dual victory over the previously No. 12 team in the nation. The Gophers picked up victories at 174, 125, 141, 149 and 157 on top of Streifel’s victory at heavyweight.
“It was great today. I thought the fight was there from our guys today,” head coach Brandon Eggum said after the dual. “It was a tough weekend of travel for us, and it could have been an excuse for some, but the guys were upbeat and they worked hard to earn this victory.”
GOPHERS MATCH DUAL VICTORIES
With their victory on Sunday, the University of Minnesota matched the dual victory total from a year ago. The Gophers finished last season with a 7-5 record, this season the Gophers have a 7-4 record with 7 more Big Ten dual remaining.
THORN NAMED WRESTLER OF THE WEEK
After his 2-0 record last weekend, junior 141-pounder Tommy Thorn was named The Open Mat’s wrestler of the week. He took down previously sixth-ranked Joey McKenna of Ohio State on Friday by major decision, 13-3. Then he finished the weekend with an 11-6 decision over Mike Carr of Illinois, who has defeated Chad Red of Nebraska earlier this season.
STEVE BLEISE MAKES MINNESOTA DEBUT
After wrestling 18 matches unattached, the University of Minnesota finally got to see Steve Bleise in action officially. The junior transfer from Northern Illinois came into Sunday with a 14-4 record, including a ranked victory at the Midlands Championships the week prior. Bleise was a round of 12 finisher at the 2017 NCAA Championships. Bleise was able to pick up a victory in his debut, a 4-1 decision over Eric Barone of Illinois, who was an NCAA Qualifier in 2017.
MATCHES TO WATCH – MICHIGAN
The match that will likely be most notable will come at 165-pounds. No. 10 Nick Wanzek will take on No. 5 Logan Massa. The two have not met before in college, with Wanzek wrestling at 174 last season when Massa won his match against the Gophers. At 125 and 133 the Gophers will also have some big matchups. No. 4 Ethan Lizak will take on No. 13 Drew Mattin, a freshman who was a three-time state champion in the state of Ohio. No. 13 Mitch McKee will be faced with a tough opponent, No. 5 Stevan Micic, who was an All-American last season.
NCAA ANNOUNCES FIRST COACHES PANEL RANKINGS
The NCAA began releasing their coaches panel rankings on Thursday. Eight Gophers appeared on the rankings. These rankings are used as part of the selection process to determine the qualifiers for the 2018 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships in March. Ethan Lizak being the highest individual at No. 4. Others included Nick Wanzek (10), Tommy Thorn (11), Mitch McKee (12), Steve Bleise (15), Jake Short (20), Owen Webster (22) and Chris Pfarr (28).
HOME SWEET HOME
The Gophers have posted a 4-0 record thus far in 2017-18. After a 2016-17 campaign when the Gophers were undefeated on the road, the Gophers look to do the same at home this season, their biggest test being Michigan on Sunday. The last time the Gophers finished a season with an undefeated dual home record was 2013-14. The Gophers finished 2nd in the NCAA Championships that season.