MADISON, Wisc. -- If you ask Isaiah Patton about his senior year, you would be hard-pressed to find much to be excited about, but that changed Thursday night when he picked up a 3-2 win the third tiebreaker period to lock up the 20-18 dual win for 17th-ranked UNI over No. 12 Wisconsin.
The win was locked up with Patton's win at 197 but started with a first-period win by Jay Schwarm at 125. Schwarm picked up an early takedown, but his opponent Eric Barnett reversed him. Schwarm picked up a quick reversal of his own and rode Barnett for over a minute before locking him in a cradle and earning the pin with 43 seconds left in the first period.
The pin was his 15th pin on the season and 14th over a Division I opponent. He moves into sole possession of the top spot in the NCAA for pin falls this season.
After Schwarm's pin put the Panthers up 6-0, the Badgers responded with a 16-0 technical fall by defending national champion Seth Gross at 133.
At 141, Michael Blockhus grabbed four takedowns and a ride time point to earn a 9-4 decision over No. 4 Tristan Moran to give UNI a 9-5 lead after three bouts.
At 149, Triston Lara wrestled for Max Thomsen against No. 15 Cole Martin and battled from the opening whistle. Lara led 4-1 early and 4-2 heading into the third, but Martin battled back with two takedowns in the third to earn the 10-8 win. UNI held on to a 9-8 lead after two bouts.
At 157, Drew Scharenbrock topped Derek Holschlag 7-2 to give Wisconsin an 11-9 lead heading into the break.
No. 4 Evan Wick topped Austin Yant 16-4 at 165 to extend the Wisconsin lead 15-9, but the next three bouts would belong to the Panthers.
Bryce Steiert earned a 9-1 major decision with three takedowns to cut the deficit to 15-13. Taylor Lujan grabbed a first-quarter takedown and four-point near-fall on the way to a 12-2 major decision. The win put UNI up 17-15 with two bouts to go.
At 197, Patton entered the dual with a 0-5 record on the year and a 0-3 mark in duals, but his first win of the season may be arguably the biggest of his career. He met Taylor Watkins and the two wrestlers went through the first period without a score. Watkins got on the board first with an escape in the second, but Patton responded with an escape of his own in the third.
In sudden victory, neither wrestler gained an advantage, sending the bout to a tiebreaker. Watkins didn't score in his choice of the first tiebreaker but got on the board with a penalty point in the second half of the tiebreaker. Patton earned an escape to send it to SV2. Another scoreless sudden victory session led to another tiebreaker session. Patton picked up an escape in TB3 and rode out Watkins in the second half of the final tiebreaker to pick up the win and give UNI the 20-15 lead.
Carter Isley went toe-to-toe with No. 5 Trent Hilgar but fell 3-0 after making it through two periods with no score. The Badger win cut the final score to 20-18, but it wouldn't be enough to overcome the five-point deficit.
The win gives UNI a final dual record of 8-4 on the year, the best record since going 11-3 in the 2016-17 season.
125: JaySchwarm (UNI) over Eric Barnett (WISC) (Fall 2:19)
133: Seth Gross (WISC) over Jack Skudlarczyk (UNI) (TF 16-0 5:00)
141: Michael Blockhus (UNI) over Tristan Moran (WISC) (Dec 9-4)
149: Cole Martin (WISC) over Triston Lara (UNI) (Dec 10-8)
157: Drew Scharenbrock (WISC) over Derek Holschlag (UNI) (Dec 7-2)
165: Evan Wick (WISC) over Austin Yant (UNI) (MD 16-4)
174: Bryce Steiert (UNI) over Jared Krattiger (WISC) (MD 9-1)
184: Taylor Lujan (UNI) over Tyler Dow (WISC) (MD 12-2)
197: Isaiah Patton (UNI) over Taylor Watkins (WISC) (TB-3 3-2)
285: Trent Hillger (WISC) over Carter Isley (UNI) (Dec 3-0)
The Panthers next head to the Big 12 Championship in Tulsa, Okla., March 7-8. Seven Panthers are now ranked in various polls and the Panthers will look to make some noise in Tulsa.