MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota (3-3) is set for yet another ranked Big Ten tilt this weekend, as they travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan for a Friday night contest with the fourth-ranked Michigan Wolverines.
The dual will be nationally broadcasted on Big Ten Network as action gets underway inside the Crisler Center at 6:00 p.m. CT. Live match-by-match updates can also be found on Twitter at @GopherWrestling.
Tale of the Tape – The Wolverines
Michigan heads into the contest being led by fourth-year head coach Sean Bormet, who carries a 31-9 career record as the head coach of the Wolverines. Their lineup features a total of seven wrestlers inside the top ten, highlighted by Tokyo Olympians Myles Amine and Stevan Micic, as well as top-ranked 125-pounder Nick Suriano. The Wolverines are coming of their first loss of the season after falling to top-ranked Penn State last Friday, and hold a 6-1 record going into Friday’s contest.
The Series with Michigan
Minnesota trails the all-time series against the Michigan Wolverines with a record of 30-32-2 in a series that dates back to the 1943-44 season. Michigan has claimed the previous two meetings over the Gophers, however, Minnesota has won six of the last ten duals over the Wolverines, with their most recent victory being on December 11, 2016, with a 22-18 road victory in Ann Arbor.
First Meeting: L, 3-25 (1943-1944)
Last Meeting: L, 15-22 (1/19/2020)
Longest Win Streak: W8 (2/16/1997-2/7/2003)
Longest Losing Streak: L9 (2/24/1968-2/1/1975)
Current Streak: L2
Michigan hosted Minnesota for a dual at the Crisler Center on Jan. 8, 2021, and won a tightly contested 22-15 dual where the Wolverines won six of the ten matches, including four of the last five matches to pull off the win. The dual opened at 141 pounds where Mitch McKee took a decision victory over Cole Mattin. Bailee O’Reilly and Devin Skatzka won back-to-back matches at 165 and 174 pounds to push the Gophers to a 12-6 lead at the intermission. Patrick McKee took the Gophers’ final victory of the day at 125 with an overtime decision win at 125 pounds, but it wasn’t enough to stop the comeback victory by the host Wolverines.
Friday evening’s dual will have a total of 18 ranked wrestlers between the two teams, including a total of eight potential ranked matches.
The feature bout of the evening will be at heavyweight for a potential NCAA finals rematch between Gable Steveson and Mason Parris. Steveson is 3-0 against Parris all-time including one bonus point victory.
Patrick McKee faces a great opportunity as he’s slated to battle against top-ranked Nick Suriano at 125 pounds. Suriano won the 2019 NCAA title at 133 pounds while at Rutgers.
Jake Bergeland could see a tough test at 141 pounds as he could wrestle former NCAA finalist and Tokyo olympian Stevan Micic.
Brayton Lee will have yet another top-15 opponent this weekend, as he takes on #14 Will Lewan at 157 pounds. Lee defeated Lewan at the Big Ten tournament via an 8-3 decision last season.
At 174 pounds, Bailee O’Reilly looks to continue his climb up the rankings as he’ll wrestle sixth-ranked Logan Massa.
The Gophers will close out their road dual schedule next weekend as they travel for a weekend doubleheader, taking on the Illinois Fighting Illini on Friday, Feb. 4, before heading to West Lafayette to wrestle Purdue on Sunday, Feb. 6. Minnesota will then close out the regular season at home against the Ohio State Buckeyes on Friday, Feb. 11.