#1 Penn State travels to #3 Iowa Friday night to take part in the most anticipated dual meet of the 2023-24 season. While this has been a Big Ten dual since the Nittany Lions joined the conference in 1990, the rivalry has exploded since Cael Sanderson moved to State College prior to the 2009-10 season. Sanderson’s Penn State teams and Tom Brands’ Hawkeyes have been responsible for winning 15 of the last 16 NCAA titles.
With such highly ranked teams involved, there are also plenty of great individuals involved in this dual, as well. This year is no exception as 19 of the 20 wrestlers expected to compete tonight are currently ranked by InterMat. In addition, there are two returning (three-time) NCAA champions involved. 10 have already earned NCAA All-American honors at least once in their careers.
Since this rivalry has taken off after Cael Sanderson’s arrival, we have looked at some key numbers in the rivalry, particularly in duals, since the 2009-10 season.
(1) The number of times these teams have met in a “non-conference” dual. During the 2013-14 season, the schedule generated by the Big Ten Conference did not feature an Iowa/Penn State match. The coaches agreed that the dual needed to happen so it was called a non-conference match. That dual took place in December of 2013, which was the second time in that calendar year the squads clashed.
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