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Preview of the ILLINI versus Iowa State

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I have a preview of this interesting dual up at The ILLINI Wrestling Blog and Forum and Beyond. I'm interested in hearing what Iowa State fans have to say about this match. It looks like the Cyclones have been decimated by injuries at the lower weights, but they are steel-rod-reinforced-concrete strong at the upper weights. 

In any event, here's a sample from the award-winning preview:


197.  ZAC BRAUNAGEL (#17, 19-5) versus YONGER BASTIDA (#7, 13-2)

This will be a marque matchup for the fans. The thirty-five-year-old Cuban freestyler has had a great year so far with some incredible upsets and wins. But so has Zac. Yonger got pinned by Nebraska's Silas Allred and lost a close match to Pitt's Nino Bonaccorsi. But so did Zac. 

Bastida is not that big for a 197er, and is very quick. But the same goes for Zac Braunagel. The key for the ILLINI is to defend the quick single from the Cuban, and either get the takedown himself in the first period, or reach the second period scoreless. 

The ISU kid has learned folkstyle by now--he finished fifth at the Big Dance last year--but I'd still like to see him underneath the Brawlnagel in the tie-breakers. Yonger is 3-2 against top twenty wrestlers this year with wins over Wisconsin's Braxton Amos, Oklahoma State's #19 Luke Surber, and Cornell's #17 Lewis Fernandes, as well as losses to Nino Bonaccorsi and Max Dean. 

Zac will need to defend Bastida's underhooks, and be ready when he selects neutral. His claw ride isn't that good yet, so Brawny should be able to escape. Can the Cyclone? PREDICTION: Tossup, slight edge to ISU.




It is Saturday, February 3, 1940.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton is born. Glenn Miller is high on the charts with his hit In the Mood. You still have to wait seven more days for the first-ever Tom and Jerry cartoon called Puss Gets the Boot. Gone with the Wind is still in theaters, while Pinocchio--Disney's second feature-length film--opens in a week. 

Russia's war with Finland is heating up; Nazis pilots sink the Norwegian ship Tempo

But in the United States, at least, good triumphs over evil as the Fighting ILLINI beat the Iowa State Cyclones in a wrestling dual by the score of 14.5 to 13.5. This is part of ILLINOIS' all-time 7-3 winning record against that dreadful team. This is what the Washington, D.C. Evening Star reported the next day:



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1 hour ago, ILLINIWrestlingBlog said:

I have a preview of this interesting dual up at ...

This will be a marque matchup for the fans. The thirty-five-year-old Cuban freestyler ...


Thiught he was yonger.  🤔

Edited by ionel
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The ISU and UNI dual last night will impact the dual on Sunday. The Cyclones, who have a Cardinal as a mascot, had to travel back home and will need to make weight again in less than 48 hours. Here is the box score from that ISU/UNI dual:

No. 3 Iowa State 19, No. 14 Northern Iowa 12
125: Kyle Gollhofer (UNI) dec. Ethan Perryman (ISU), 8-6
133: Zach Redding (ISU) dec. Kyle Biscoglia (UNI), 4-2
141: Cael Happel (UNI) dec. Casey Swiderski (ISU), 4-3
149: Paniro Johnson (ISU) dec. Adam Allard (UNI), 3-1
157: Derek Holschlag (UNI) dec. Jason Kraisser (ISU), 4-1
165: David Carr (ISU) maj. dec. Austin Yant (UNI), 20-6
174: MJ Gaitan (ISU) dec. Lance Runyon (UNI), 9-5
184: Parker Keckeisen (UNI) dec. Marcus Coleman (ISU), 7-5
197: Yonger Bastida (ISU) vs. Kalob Runyon (UNI) or Wyatt Voelker (UNI)
285: Sam Schuyler (ISU) vs. Tyrell Gordon (UNI)


Scuttlebutt on the internet is that Mikey Carr will be able to take off from Medical School to make Jason Kraisser's Sunday a bad one. That's good news for ILLINI fans because Anthony Federico might could beat Jason Kraisser, Carr certainly can, and he might earn the team a bonus point. 

Iowa State has a ton of good wrestlers at 174. Well, not quite a ton, just five (or 870 pounds) of them. The thing is, unless Kevin Dresser wants to take MJ Gaitan's redshirt off, last night was MJ Gaitan's fifth and final dual of his true freshman year. I think Dresser should (unless he's an orange) because I'd love to see Gaitan go upper-body with Edmond Ruth. America deserves it. 

I believe the ISU favorites are more heavily favored than the ILLINI favorites, and I also believe that they have the more likely opportunities for bonus points. 

125  MAXIMO RENTERIA versus Caleb Fuessley, Ethan Perryman or Conor Knopick.  Wrestlestat.com picks Renteria, and so do I. This is close to a tossup, but Maximo has started to see the light. 

133.  LUCAS BYRD versus Zach Redding. Byrd is the Wyrd here. Bonus? 

141.  DANNY PUCINO versus Casey Swiderski. Pucino favored by wrestlestat.com. I favor him as well, but not for a major like Andre's algorithm. Pucino might have problems with the stronger guys at the weight, but Swiderski is dealing with an injury and having to make weight twice within 48 hours. 

149.  JAKE HARRIER versus Paniro Johnson. Wrestlestat calls for a major for the Cyclones. I don't see it. Harrier just beat a solid kid in Peyton Omania of MSU, and although he's undersized here, Johnson beat the UNI backup 3-1 last night. 

157.  MIKEY CARR versus Jason Kraisser. Wrestlestat.com was picking Kraisser to beat Carr, but that's changed now to a Carr win. That's what I think, and it could be bonus. 

165.  DANNY BRAUNAGEL versus David Carr. Carr is special, but he missed out on a tech against the #11 Austin Yant because of a Boston-Strangler-type move he tried in the waning seconds. Little Brawny will have to work hard to avoid a tech here. 

174.  EDMOND RUTH versus 870 Pounds of Cyclone (see above). ILLINI favored. 

184.  DYLAN CONNELL versus Marcus Coleman. Wrestlestat.com considers this a regular decision for ISU. Connell will need to fight for that result. Coleman is legit. One of my favorite matches from the NCAA tournament last year happened in the second round:



197. ZAC BRAUNAGEL versus Yonger Bastida. This could be the dual. Wrestlestat.com favors Bastida, but the Brawlnagel has come up big many times this year. 

285. MATT WROBLEWSKI versus Sam Schuyler. Schuyler is the universal heavy favorite. However, he will find it hard to score a bonus point against WroboCop. 

Perryman has only wrestled two duals, so he is still available at 125. Perryman is now 9-3 on the year, but he seemed a little gassy in his UNI dual loss. How would he be making weight and wrestling again in less than 48 hours? The Cyclones have 750 pounds of 125-pound wrestlers, but two of them are injured and out for the ILLINOIS dual. Dresser could also go with Caleb Fuessley, the guy who's started most of the duals since Terukina's injury, or 7-3 (2-2 against D1) Conor Knopick, who got crushed by the #133 wrestler from Wyoming in that dual, yet gave Oklahoma's Joey Prata a very good match recently. 

If ILLINOIS is to have any chance to win this dual, Maximo Renteria will need to pick up a win at 125, and Pucino will need one at 141.


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ESPN:  we've got split screen IL v ISU wrestling and CMU v ISU women gymnastics with music no audio announcing.  Who are these fans of either sport who want to watch the other much less both with half screen size at same time? Don't think this grows fan base of either sport. 😞

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3 minutes ago, flyingcement said:

haha although there is a graphic on the right side of the screen which has something to do with vaults and bars 

Pucino scored a 4.75 on the foot kickout

Split screen again ... NO!!!

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Not a fan of Beauty and the Beast when I have to watch tiny humans in a split screen on my phone. But I would give David Carr a 3.7 for the backflip.

By the way, David Carr did a backflip after beating the ILLINI backup 149-pounder by major. Make that make sense.

ILLINOIS needed wins at 125 and 141 and lost them both. Still, a respectable 13-21 loss to the Cyclones, whose mascot is a Cardinal.

Byrd with a brutal major. He is merciless. Ruth with a win--Broderson did everything he could to run from Ruth's under hooks but they always getcha. Carr was a surgeon in the first period, kinda gassed after that.

Bigger Brawlnagel beat Yonger the Older by following my plan. 0-0 after the first period, ride him hard after that. He is gonna be dynamite in somebody's bracket.

One of the balance beam ladies had country music playing during her routine. Doesn't she know that country music belongs in honky tonks and at cousin-cousin weddings?

As for David Carr, he was a gracious dude in the handshake line. I'll root for him after Little Brawlnagel.


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26 minutes ago, Gus said:

Zach Braunagel can beat anyone on any given day. He has wins over two AA's from last season this year. He also take loses that he shouldn't...

I have a couple theories about 197 this year. First, any of the top thirty could AA, and it would not be shocking. Last year, three double-digit seeds stood on the podium. This year, the weight is even more balanced.

Second, the guys at this weight remind me of that old TV show called BattleBots. You had three main types of BattleBot, the rammer, the high-powered blade, and the big hammer. 

At 197, you have the monsters who are strong and have technique (for conversation purposes, Braxton Amos, Luke Stout, Gavin Hoffman, Trumble), then you have the slightly smaller monsters who rely more on speed and technique (Bastida, Brawlnagel, Caffey, Allred). Finally, there's the combo beast with some size but also speed and technique (Bonaccorsi, Warnerov, maybe Dean, but I haven't seen him wrestle as much, and he does look a tad small).

To make it far in the bracket, you're likely going to have to be able to beat two or all three of those types. 

Who has shown an ability to do that?

And to keep my homer cred, let me note for the record that Coach Poeta believed that Zac could wrestle up at 197 because he had an epic track record against the bigger 184-pound wrestlers, and he beat national finalist and Minnesota Storm wrestler Brett Pfarr at The Rumble on the Rooftop.


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