Streaking Illinois moves into Top 25; Princeton takes first Ivy title in 34 years
Manheim, Pennsylvania — Record-setting crowds and broken streaks were the theme of the week as the NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll was released on Tuesday. The tightest match between Top 10 teams over the weekend was third-ranked NC State’s 19-14 win over rival and eighth-ranked North Carolina 19-14 in Raleigh. The dual set an NC State home attendance record as 4,383 came into Reynolds Coliseum on Friday night in the first meeting ever between the schools as Top 10 programs. The Wolfpack lead Division I in dual met wins with 13 and remain unbeaten.
Top-ranked Iowa improved to 11-0 with a convincing 27-9 win at No. 22 Michigan. The highlight match there saw Michigan’s Mason Parris pin Iowa’s Tony Cassioppi in the dual’s final bout. Second-ranked Penn State improved to 10-2 after road wins at then-No. 9 Wisconsin 29-10 and No. 13 Minnesota 31-10. Fourth-ranked Nebraska raised its record to 9-3 after road wins over No. 14 Purdue 31-9 and Indiana 35-6. Fifth-ranked Arizona State (12-1) topped Little Rock and No. 24 Missouri on the road, while Ohio State, Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh all had little trouble in dual action over the weekend.
The only stunner came as then-No. 9 Wisconsin was upended a home by unranked Michigan State. It was the Spartans’ first win over Wisconsin since 2009. Wisconsin dropped out of the Top 10 for the first time all season, slipping three spots to No. 12. Illinois moved into the Top 25 for the first time all season. The Fighting Illini beat Rutgers 25-6 in New Jersey, giving Jim Heffernan to his 100th victory as the Illinois head coach. It was also Illinois’ fifth straight win and fourth dual win over a ranked team this season.
Cornell’s 92-match Ivy League win streak was snapped on Saturday as Princeton upended the Big Red 19-13 and won its first Ivy League title since 1986. Princeton topped Columbia at home a day prior to improve to 6-4 and move up two spots to No. 14. The Princeton win also snapped a 32-match losing streak to Cornell.
Ranked Duals This Week: On Friday, it’s a pair of Top 10 ACC tilts as No. 8 North Carolina hosts No. 9 Pittsburgh, while No. 7 Virginia Tech faces off with No. 3 NC State in Raleigh. No. 4 Nebraska hosts No. 22 Michigan in the Big Ten. On Saturday, it’s a highly anticipated dual between No. 6 Ohio State and No. 2 Penn State, with most of the eyes of the country on the 141-pound matchup between a pair of unbeatens – No. 1 Luke Pletcher of Ohio State and No. 2 Nick Lee of Penn State. No. 13 Minnesota will face top-ranked Iowa at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. On Sunday, North Carolina will head north to face No. 17 Cornell, No. 15 Purdue is at No. 23 Illinois, No. 16 Northern Iowa heads over to Ames to face No. 19 Iowa State, while No. 22 Michigan will head to Madison to face No. 12 Wisconsin.
Methodology: The NWCA Division I Wrestling Coaches Poll is voted on by two coaches from each Division I wrestling conference. Each first-place vote is worth 25 points, 24 points for a second-place vote, 23 for a third-place vote and so on through to one point for a 25th-place vote. The poll is based on dual meet results.
NWCA Division I Coaches Poll
February 11, 2020
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