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  • Photo: Photo/Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Photo/Tony Rotundo

    Arizona State at Michigan Preview & Predictions

    Logan Massa has gone 3-0 against Anthony Valencia over the last two seasons (Photo/Tony Rotundo, WrestlersAreWarriors.com)

    No. 3 Michigan and No. 13 Arizona State kick off their dual meet season on Friday with a match at Detroit Catholic Central High School in Novi, Mich. Three Wolverine starters, Malik Amine, Myles Amine and Kevin Beazley, spent their high school years wrestling at DCC. The dual will feature 13 ranked wrestlers and three matchups of top-ten wrestlers.

    The following is a weight-by-weight preview of the dual meet. The lineups are a prediction of each team's best squad.

    125: No. 7 Ryan Millhof (Arizona State) vs. Austin Assad (Michigan)

    Following a seventh-place finish at the 2016 NCAA tournament, Millhof decided to transfer from Oklahoma to Arizona State. He redshirted last season and only competed in the Edinboro Open where he won three matches before defaulting out of a finals match against Barlow McGhee (Missouri). So far this season, Millhof has wrestled only one match. He defeated Liam Cronin (Indiana) via 17-0 tech. fall.

    Assad went 8-5 last year as a redshirt freshman. Five of those eight wins came at the Eastern Michigan Open where he won first place. At the Cliff Keen Invitational, Assad dropped an 11-6 decision against Joshua Kramer, who just lost to Millhof at the ASU wrestle-offs via major.

    Millhof has an edge in the experience department, and he does hold wins over the likes of returning NCAA champion No.4 Darian Cruz (Lehigh). However, Assad is a solid wrestler, who has proven to be a tough out in the past.

    Prediction: Millhof (Arizona State) dec. Assad (Michigan)

    133: Ali Naser (Arizona State) vs. No. 2 Stevan Micic (Michigan)

    Naser has shown flashes of brilliance during his career. However, most of those moments have come in freestyle where he has picked up wins over Olympic medalist Coleman Scott and No.1 (at 125) Nathan Tomasello (Ohio State). He recently went 5-1 with two bonus-point victories at the Michigan State Open to finish third. His only loss came in a one-point match against Ben Thornton (Purdue).

    Last season Micic finished third at the Big Ten Championships and fourth at the NCAA Championships. Of his seven losses on the season, five came against NCAA champions Cory Clark (Iowa) and Tomasello, neither of which will be back at 133 pounds this season.

    Micic is the clear favorite in this match even though Naser has been known to pull an upset. The Wolverine wrestler scored bonus points in 53 percent of his matches last year. However, Naser has only given up bonus points twice during his time at ASU. He will be looking to keep it close for the dual, but that will be a tough task.

    Prediction: Micic (Michigan) maj. dec. Naser (Arizona State)

    141: Nicholas Villarreal (Arizona State) vs. Salvatore Profaci (Michigan)

    Villarreal started last season for the Sun Devils. He finished 8-12 and went 1-2 at the Pac 12 Championships. Profaci also took some lumps last year. He ended up finishing 14-17 on the season, but he did qualify for the NCAA tournament. His best wins came over Randy Cruz (Lehigh) and No. 9 Jared Prince (Navy).

    These two just wrestled last weekend at the Michigan State Open. Profaci defeated Villarreal 7-2. He shouldn't have an issue duplicating that result here.

    Prediction: Profaci (Michigan) dec. Villarreal (Arizona State)

    149: No. 13 Josh Maruca (Arizona State) vs. Malik Amine (Michigan)

    Last season Maruca qualified for the NCAA tournament by winning the Pac-12 Championship. He finished 2-2 and failed to place, but he did score a signature upset over Anthony Collica (Oklahoma State).

    Amine started his last season by going 10-1 at the Cleveland State Open and the Purple Raider Open. He filled as a started in duals after Christmas and went 2-4 with wins over Shayne Oster (Northwestern) and Laike Gardner (Lehigh)

    Maruca has a chance to break through this season and earn All-American status. He should be the favorite in this match.

    Prediction: Maruca (Arizona State) dec. Amine (Michigan)

    157: No. 12 Josh Shields (Arizona State) vs. No. 7 Alec Pantaleo (Michigan)

    Shields recently defeated former NCAA champion Jason Tsirtsis in the Arizona State wrestle-offs. Last season he finished third at Midlands, won the Pac-12 and qualified for the NCAA tournament. Already this season, he has defeated No. 13 Colin Heffernan (Central Michigan).

    After finishing sixth the 2016 NCAA Championships at 149 pounds, Pantaleo took a redshirt season last year. During the freestyle season, he placed fifth at 70 kilograms at the U.S. Open with wins over Jason Welch and Jason Chamberlain.

    Pantaleo is the more accomplished wrestler, but he is moving up a weight class this season. He is the favorite in this bout, but Shields is certainly a tough customer.

    Prediction: Pantaleo (Michigan) dec. Shields (Arizona State)

    165: No. 6 Anthony Valencia (Arizona State) vs. No. 3 Logan Massa (Michigan)

    Last season Valencia won the Pac-12 Championships at 165 pounds and entered the NCAA tournament as the seventh seed. He ended up going 2-2 and missing out on All-American status. Last summer, he finished fourth at the U.S. Open in freestyle at 74 kilograms, and he scored a win over No. 11 Chance Marsteller (Lock Haven).

    Massa ended his last season on a winning note with a victory over Isaac Jordan (Wisconsin) to finished third at the NCAA Championships. He went 32-3 on the season with his only losses coming against No. 2 Isaiah Martinez (Illinois) and No. 1 Vincenzo Joseph (Penn State).

    These two wrestlers already have an extensive history. Massa has won all three meetings. They met twice last year with the Michigan wrestler scoring a pair of major decisions. Last week, Mass defeated Valencia 6-0 at the Michigan State Open.

    Prediction: Massa (Michigan) dec. Valencia (Arizona State)

    174: No. 1 Zahid Valencia (Arizona State) vs. No. 4 Myles Amine (Michigan)

    Valencia started his season with a victory over No. 2 Mark Hall (Penn State) at the NWCA All-Star Classic. Last season Hall was the only man to defeat Valencia as he knocked him out of the NCAA tournament. The Sun Devil went on the finish third. During the summer, Valencia won a silver medal at the Junior World Championships and was part of the first U.S. team to take home the title since 1984.

    Amine had a great run through the NCAA tournament last year and ended up finishing fourth. He went 5-2 in the tournament with both of his losses coming against Valencia. At the tournament, he picked up wins over Ryan Preisch (Lehigh), Ethan Ramos (North Carolina) and Brian Realbuto (Cornell).

    In addition to a pair of wins at the NCAA tournament, Valencia also defeated Amine at the Cliff Keen Las Vegas Invite. After defeating Hall, he will want to keep that momentum going here with another victory.

    Prediction: Valencia (Arizona State) dec. Amine (Michigan)

    184: Kordell Norfleet (Arizona State) vs. No. 5 Domenic Abounader (Michigan)

    At this point, Norfleet might still end up redshirting his freshman season. He was part of Arizona State's eighth ranked recruiting class, and he was the No. 49 recruit coming out of high school last season. He picked up a pair of Illinois state titles his junior and senior seasons and went 77-1 over the stretch.

    After three trips to the NCAA Championships, Abounader is looking to finally become an All-American in his senior season. He is coming off a redshirt year after suffering an injury early in the season. So far this year, he went 4-0 at the Michigan State Open and defeated No. 9 Jordan Ellingwood (Central Michigan).

    Whoever Arizona State chooses to send out will have a tough time against Abounader. This will almost certainly be a one-sided match.

    Prediction: Abounader (Michigan) tech. fall Norfleet (Arizona State)

    197: Cade Belshay (Arizona State) vs. No. 6 Kevin Beazley (Michigan)

    Belshay is another freshman who might end up redshirting. He signed with Arizona State over the summer after a coaching change at the Pennsylvania. Last season he won the 220-pound CIF championship for Buchanan High School.

    Beazley is a graduate transfer from Old Dominion. He is a two-time NCAA qualifier and finished eighth last year to become an All-American for the first time. At ODU, he went 103-52 with 53 bonus-point wins.

    This is another matchup that heavily favors Michigan. Beazley has a vast experience edge that should carry him to a victory.

    Prediction: Beazley (Michigan) maj. dec. Belshay (Arizona State)

    285: No. 4 Tanner Hall (Arizona State) vs. No. 2 Adam Coon (Michigan)

    Hall entered last year's NCAA tournament as the seventh seed and ended up finishing third. Along the way, picked up upsets over Jacob Kasper (Duke) and Ty Walz (Virginia Tech). He recently competed at the NWCA All-Star Classic and dropped a decision against Nick Nevills (Penn State),

    Coon finished third at the 2016 NCAA Championships and then reached the finals of the U.S. Olympic Trials in Greco. Prior to the season last year he suffered an injury and ending up redshirting the season. Now he is back and the clear top contender to challenge the dominance of multiple-time champion Kyle Snyder (Ohio State).

    Surprisingly these two have never wrestled. Hall is an above average athlete for heavyweight, but Coon will have a meaningful size and strength advantage in this bout. Coon already dominated his way through four matches at the Michigan State Open, so rust will likely not be an issue.

    Prediction: Coon (Michigan) dec. Hall (Arizona State)

    Dual Meet Prediction: Michigan 25, Arizona State 9

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