FARGO, N.D. – The No. 15 North Dakota State wrestling program will welcome in No. 10 Minnesota to the Scheels Center for a top-15 showdown at 7 p.m. on Friday night, before hosting Buffalo in a noon dual on Sunday.
Friday’s dual against Minnesota will be televised live on WDAY Xtra. Cullen Holt (play-by-play) and Jack Maughan (color) will have the announcing duties.
While Friday’s dual will be televised, both duals will be streamed live on NDSU All-Access. The duals will also have live results through TrackWrestling. Links for coverage will be available on GoBison.com.
Tickets are available online at GoBison.com/tickets or by visiting or calling the Bison Ticket Office in the south lobby of the Sanford Health Athletic Complex at (701) 231-6378 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets will also be available on Friday night and Sunday at the door. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for youth ages 3-17.
Wrestling fans are encouraged to use the parking lots on the south side of the Scheels Center and east side of the Shelly Ellig Indoor Track & Field Facility after 6 p.m., as well as parking in the R lot south of the Ellig indoor facility. Parking will also be available north of the Sanford Health Athletic Complex in the Fargodome lot, but will not be free, and may be limited due to the NDSU football game.
100 is On Deck
NDSU Head Coach Roger Kish is one victory shy of 100 career victories in dual matches at the helm of the Bison. With the Bison win over Binghamton, Kish is improved to 99-67 in his 12th season.
Highest Ranking in Program History
After receiving votes in the preseason poll, the Bison vaulted into the top 25 at No. 19 after a week one upset of then-No. 8 Nebraska. The Bison moved to No. 18 before the dual against Binghamton and reached a new program high after the win, climbing to No. 15 in the NWCA Coaches Poll, where they have held firm heading into the week. Prior to this season, the Bison had never been ranked higher than 19.
Freshmen Making Early Statement
Redshirt freshmen Michael Caliendo (165) burst onto the scene last year with a pair of ranked wins to claim the Daktronics Open as an unattached wrestler. He started this season ranked and has gone 5-0 with victories in duals against Nebraska and Binghamton, as well as a Bison Open title after a 3-0 weekend that included a victory over #25 Andrew Sparks (Minnesota) in the title match.
Rematches of Bison Open Finals
Some of the NDSU and Minnesota projected matchups have gone head-to-head quite often over the years at the Bison Open, most notably in the finals. Michael Caliendo claimed an 11-10 win over Andrew Sparks for the 157 title this season. This year, Aaron Nagao picked up a win over McGwire Midkiff in the 133 final, and Jared Krattiger edged Gaven Sax 4-2 in the 174 final. Last season, Brayton Lee edged Jared Franek in overtime, while Isaiah Salazar picked up a late takedown in a 4-3 win over DJ Parker.
The Series – Minnesota
This is the 22nd meeting in the series, with Minnesota holding a 19-2 advantage. The Bison have lost 17 straight matches, with the last victory coming on December 5, 1970, in a 25-10 win in Minneapolis. The Bison are 0-9 all-time in Fargo and 0-7 in the Division I era.
The Series – Buffalo
This is the third meeting between NDSU and Buffalo, including the second-straight season with a dual after NDSU won 34-7 last season in New York, which was also on December 11. The series is tied 1-1, with Buffalo winning the only other meeting 25-15 on January 14, 2005, in Hampton, Va.
NCAA D1 Qualifiers
The Bison have 58 NCAA Div. I qualifiers in 14 years of postseason eligibility since moving to Div. I in the 2004-05 season, including 15 over the last three seasons. Rich in wrestling history, the Bison sent 26 wrestlers to NCAA Div. I Championships from 1971 to 1991, bringing the total to 84 in program history. The Bison have 10 placing finishers at the Div. I Championships, including a best finish of 3rd by Steven Monk at 165 in 2014. In 2015, Kurtis Julson and Hayden Zillmer both placed in the top 8.
The Bison at Home
NDSU holds a 282-120-8 (.698) record at home over the course of the program’s 65-year history. Since January of 2019, the Bison are 16-5 (.762), with four of the five losses coming against ranked opposition.
Head Coach Roger Kish
Roger Kish is in his 12th season at the helm of NDSU wrestling, taking over the program in 2011-12 after he spent two years as an assistant coach under the legendary Bucky Maughan.
Under his tenure, the Bison have had seven All-Americans. Steven Monk (134) and Trent Sprenkle (109) are two of the top three win leaders in a storied Bison wrestling history. Since the move to the Big 12, Kish has also guided Cam Sykora (133 in 2020) and Luke Weber (165 in 2021) to Big 12 Individual Championships.
Kish was a two-time All-American and two-time NCAA runner-up for Minnesota at 184 pounds with a career record of 117-27 for the Gophers. He then spent two seasons on staff at Minnesota as a graduate assistant.
The Bison hit the road for a pair of duals, traveling to Little Rock, Arkansas, to take on Little Rock on December 18. The Bison will then travel to Columbia, Missouri, for a matchup with No. 7 Missouri on December 20.