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  • Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Photo: Tony Rotundo

    Five B1G Takeaways from the Big Ten (2/22/24)

    We are going into the final week of Big Ten dual meets, and I honestly can’t believe that we made it here so quickly. The incredible competition from this season, specifically in the B1G, has had us glued to every move again this season and last week certainly was another great installment.

    Dean Hamiti Completes Undefeated Conference Season

    It hasn’t been the easiest year for Hamiti. He took some losses earlier this year and even bumped up to 174 for a few matches to give himself a break from making 165. But one thing that never broke was his conference winning streak. And on Sunday he punctuated his dual meet season with a gritty 14-11 win over Michael Caliendo. He was then named the Co-Wrestler of the Week.


    The Pat McKee vs Eric Barnett Series

    This is a rivalry that deserves so much more credit. At the beginning of the new year, I wrote about how epic this series has been and how good this dual would be as well and it didn’t disappoint whatsoever. This was the 10th time that McKee and Barnett faced off and just like the others, it was fire. McKee notched his sixth win over Barnett and now leads the series 6-4, he was also named Co-Wrestler of the Week with Dean Hamiti. Of his six wins, five have been by bonus with four of them being by fall and the other by major. This might be one of the best rivalries that gets no love.


    Nebraska vs Penn State Was Awesome

    Something apparent about Nebraska this season is that they show up to compete and they compete very hard each time out. We’ve seen teams be very good at home and then not so good on the road, but the Cornhuskers haven’t really been one of those teams. Despite the loss in State College, PA, you have to give credit to the Manning/Snyder squad. At the halfway point of the dual, Penn State trailed for the first time this season. It wasn’t until after Carter Starocci’s tech fall at 174 over Bubba Wilson that the Nittany Lions had the lead. Lenny Pinto brought the Huskers back to within a point, but the best closing duo in the country – Aaron Brooks and Greg Kerkvliet – shut the door. But you have to give props to Nebraska, hopefully, they can continue their momentum into the postseason.


    Another Gabe Arnold Sighting Against Wisconsin

    I love that freshmen can maintain their redshirt and can compete on up to five dates. It’s definitely good for their development and for fans to see some of the upcoming talents on big stages. Last weekend, for the fourth time this season, we saw Arnold on the mat up at 184 again. After making his debut at 174, he’s made his biggest impact by bumping up for the Hawkeyes. So, here’s the question when it comes to Arnold: Does he remain in redshirt or not? He would definitely be a step up at 184 for Iowa as they get set to face a very tough Oklahoma State this weekend. If Arnold meets Dustin Plott it would be his toughest test this season.


    A Race for Second

    Let’s be honest. PSU is so far ahead of the pack that the rest of the conference is fighting for second. So far this season we have seen a tremendous amount of parity between the other top teams. As we fast forward to the B1G Conference Championships we look at the standings and see that after Penn State’s flawless 8-0 record we have Ohio State at 7-1, then Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota all sitting at 6-2. Michigan is just outside of the top five with a 5-3 record. In this tier of teams, the Gophers finished by winning six straight duals with their only losses coming against Nebraska and Iowa to kick off the dual meet season. Of note, we saw Iowa beat Nebraska, Nebraska beat Michigan and Michigan beat Iowa. And despite tOSU being in second in the conference, the only top-five team they have faced is Penn State. So it will be interesting to see how things go when Iowa and Nebraska get into the mix next week.

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