Tony Cassioppi (top) and Trent Hillger in the 2022 dual (photo courtesy of Mark Lundy; LutteLens)
The Big Ten dual schedule is in full swing, and that means plenty of Friday and Sunday duals. Last night, No. 2 Iowa ran over No. 10 Nebraska, while No. 18 Wisconsin coasted past Purdue. The recovery time will be limited for both squads as they meet on Sunday in Madison. The following is a weight-by-weight preview of the match.
125: No. 1 Spencer Lee (Iowa) vs. No. 6 Eric Barnett (Wisconsin)
The competition ticked up for the three-time NCAA champion recently, but the results remained basically the same. Lee surrendered a pair of takedowns and eight back points against No. 10 Matt Ramos (Purdue) but stormed back for the fall. He then faced off against No. 4 Michael DeAugustino (Northwestern) and finished with yet another first-period fall. On the season, Lee is undefeated through nine matches with six falls and all his wins coming with bonus points.
Barnett rebounded from an early season sudden-victory defeat against Kysen Terukina (Iowa State). After the loss, he went on a 12-match winning streak and won the Midlands tournament. The stretch included an impressive win over No. 7 Brandon Courtney (Arizona State). However, his momentum was stopped last weekend against No. 23 Jack Medley (Michigan) where he dropped a 12-6 decision. Barnett lost last night to No. 10 Matt Ramos (Purdue), as well.
The question with Lee will always be how he holds up in a longer match against top competition. Unfortunately for his opponents, he is still a prodigious scorer, and he has no issues putting people away early. Somewhat surprisingly Barnett and Lee have never faced off in college before. If Barnett can slow it down early, he will have a chance to make some late noise, but that is a big if.
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