The University of Minnesota has announced their 2018-19 schedule, which displays a pair of the best rivalries in the sport of wrestling and four of the top 13 teams from the 2018 NCAA Championships at home.
The Gophers will host eight home duals, as well as the 2019 Big Ten Championships that will take place in Williams Arena next year. All times, dates and venues are subject to change.
Minnesota will host a pair of mega rivalries at Maturi Pavilion in Oklahoma State and Iowa. The three teams combined have won 60 of the 89 NCAA Championships in history. The three teams make up half of the teams to have ever won multiple NCAA team championships.
The 2018-19 schedule will open with the Daktronics, which will be once again in Brookings, S.D. Minnesota last season had three champions at the Daktronics, two of those three will return in 2018-19 in Ethan Lizak and Mitch McKee.
Nine days later the Gophers will host the Cowboys of Oklahoma State, a matchup that should prove to be quite compelling.
After traveling to Brookings, S.D. twice last season, South Dakota State will now return to Minneapolis to take on the Gophers. The post-Thanksgiving matchup will take place on Nov. 25, with the Gophers looking for their fourth straight year with a win over the Jackrabbits.
It will be a quick turnaround for the Maroon and Gold as they travel to Las Vegas in late November for the Cliff Keen Invitational, one of the premiere tournaments during the NCAA wrestling season.
A week after Cliff Keen, Minnesota will return to the west coast for a matchup with Fresno State. The 2018-19 season will be just the second season Fresno State is back in Division I wrestling. It will be a tough environment for Minnesota, as Fresno State averaged the fifth most fans per dual last season at 4,566.
Minnesota will return to the South Beach Duals for the second straight year after a 21-day break due to finals and winter break. The South Beach Duals will be in their second season as an event, with Minnesota participating in the inaugural event last season, finishing 2-2 in their time in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
The Big Ten season will finally begin in January when the Gophers return to Minneapolis for the first time in over a month to take on Rutgers, which will showcase the returning 125-pound finalist Nick Suriano.
A week later Minnesota will host their biggest rival in Iowa at Maturi Pavilion. The Sunday matchup will be a chance for Gopher fans to see multiple All-Americans including 2018 125-pound champion Spencer Lee.
It will then be a three-match road trip for the Golden Gophers in the month of January. It will begin with Illinois and Northwestern followed by a trip to Madison.
Minnesota will return home to take on Purdue before traveling to Nebraska for a tough road test with the Cornhuskers returning multiple All-Americans.
The end of the regular season will be three home duals for Minnesota. It’ll be Maryland, Indiana at Maturi Pavilion. The Gophers will the take on Rider that will tentatively be hosted at Williams Arena, but is subject to change.
For the first time since 2008 the Gophers will host the Big Ten Championships, with it once again being hosted at Williams Arena. Following the best conference tournament in the country, the wrestling program will take their talents to the NCAA Championships, which are hosted in Pittsburgh, Penn. in the second half of March.
University of Minnesota 2018-19 Schedule
11/4/18 – Daktronics Open – Brookings, S.D.
11/9/18 – at Air Force – Colorado Springs, Colo.
11/18/18 – vs. Oklahoma State – Maturi Pavilion
11/25/18 – vs. South Dakota St. – Maturi Pavilion
11/30/18 – Cliff Keen Invitational Day 1 – Las Vegas, Nev.
12/1/18 – Cliff Keen Invitational Day 2 – Las Vegas, Nev.
12/8/18 – at Fresno State – Fresno, Calif.
12/29/18 – South Beach Duals Day 1 – Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
12/30/18 – South Beach Duals Day 2 – Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
1/6/19 – vs. Rutgers – Maturi Pavilion
1/13/19 – vs. Iowa – Maturi Pavilion
1/18/19 – at Illinois – Champaign, Ill.
1/20/19 – at Northwestern – Evanston, Ill.
1/25/19 – at Wisconsin – Madison, Wis.
2/3/19 – vs. Purdue – Maturi Pavilion
2/8/19 – at Nebraska – Lincoln, Neb.
2/10/19 – vs. Maryland – Maturi Pavilion
2/17/19 – vs. Indiana – Maturi Pavilion
2/22/19 – vs. Rider – Williams Arena
3/9/19 – Big Ten Championships Day 1 – Williams Arena
3/10/19 – Big Ten Championships Day 2 – Williams Arena
3/21/19 – NCAA Championships Day 1 – Pittsburgh, Penn.
3/22/19 – NCAA Championships Day 2 – Pittsburgh, Penn.
3/23/19 – NCAA Championships Day 3 – Pittsburgh, Penn.