No. 6 Badgers fall to No. 1 Iowa 32-3 in Big Ten wrestling opener
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No. 6 Badgers fall to No. 1 Iowa 32-3 in Big Ten wrestling opener


IOWA CITY, Iowa — The pregame billing between the University of Wisconsin and Iowa had everything a wrestling fan would want.

Two teams highly ranked in the polls— Iowa at No. 1 and UW No. 6.

Five bouts between ranked opponents.

As it turned out, the Sunday night showdown turned into a letdown.

Iowa won the first seven matches — and nine of 10 total — to earn a 32-3 victory over the Badgers before a crowd of 10,603 at Hawkeye-Carver Arena.

UW entered its Big Ten Conference opener undefeated at 6-0 and coming off a resounding victory over No. 18 Utah Valley on Nov. 23. But the Badgers were not able to generate momentum against the Hawkeyes (3-0, 1-0).

Iowa won all five matchups between ranked wrestlers:

  • At 133 pounds, No. 2 Austin DeSanto beat No. 1 Seth Gross 6-2. It was Gross’ first loss at 133 since the 2017 NCAA finals.
  • At 141, No. 9 Max Murin edged No. 10 Tristan Moran 3-2.
  • At 149, No. 3 Pat Lugo defeated No. 17 Cole Martin 5-3.
  • In a battle of All-Americans at 165, No. 2 Alex Marinelli tipped No. 3 Evan Wick 4-2.
  • At 285, No. 12 Tony Cassiopi upended No. 2 Trent Hillger 3-2. Hillger is the reigning Big Ten Wrestler of the Week.

“When you look at 133, 165, and heavyweight, that’s a lot of fun for a lot of fans in here,” said Iowa coach Tom Brands, who earned his 100th Big Ten victory.

UW’s lone win came at 184 pounds when Johnny Sebastian defeated Cash Wilcke 7-5 in a second sudden victory.

Iowa also won matches at 125, 157, 174 and 197.

“It makes the season fun when you have got No. 6-ranked Wisconsin coming in,” Marinelli said.

125 pounds: Lee (I) technical fall over Cullen, 16-0. 133: DeSanto (I) dec. Gross, 6-2. 141: Murin (I) dec. Moran, 3-2. 149: Lugo (I) dec. Martin, 5-2. 157: Young (I) dec. Model, 12-6. 165: Marinelli (I) dec. Wick, 4-2. 174: Kemerer (I) pinned Krattinger, 5:47. 184: Sebastian (W) dec. Wilcke, 7-5. 197: Warner (I) dec. Watkins, 5-2. 285: Cassioppi (I) dec. Hillger, 3-2.



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