Lots of question marks about both lineups, neither squad wants to give out much info.
125lbs: #13 Austin Assad (UM) vs. Darian Cruz (LU). Cruz owns a couple of bonus point wins over Assad already. I’ll take Cruz with bonus points in front of a home crowd. If Assad is out will Coach McFarland pull a redshirt off or insert Volyanyuk. In any case I see Cruz with a tech fall.
133lbs: #2 Stevan Micic (UM) vs. #3 Scott Parker (LU). Micic was a better wrestler than Parker last year. One of the showcase matches of the night. Does Parker’s last second win over Brock do something for Parkers confidence? If yes does it improve his wrestling ability enough to go deep with Micic? I like Micic’s style and technique. People call it European but I think of it as Freestyle. I think that Micic is better from neutral: meaning his setups and angles of attacks are at a higher level than Parker’s. I’m a fan of both these guys. I think Micic wins by 4 points but if it’s close late don’t rule out the bump to Parker’s confidence making a difference.
141lbs: Sal Profaci (UM) vs. #20 Luke Karam (LU). Can the Lehigh freshman get it done in this critical match? Profaci has had one more year than Karam but hasn’t progressed as much as Karam. Profaci will be competing in front of lots of friends and family (NJ native) but does the travel affect him? I’ll take Karam. He’s gotten D1 strong over and his ability to slow guys down from top might make the difference. I think its close but more than a 1 point decision.
149lbs: #22 Malik Amine (UM) vs. #22 Cortland Schuyler (LU). Amine was injured last week. Speculation was a concussion, will he wrestle? School protocol aside it’s early season and missing practice time is critical. Edge Schuyler. Back up Zac Hall owns a close win over Schuyler. Toss up
157lbs: #7 Alec Pantaleo (UM) vs. #20 Ian Brown (LU). Pantaleo is much better than Brown in his best position-neutral. Can Brown keep it to a regular decision? I think that if Pantaleo could get to bonus by takedown/let him up. Does he have the gas tank this early in the season?
165lbs: #3 Logan Massa (UM) vs. #15 Gordon Wolf (LU). Massa is polished in all three positions. His attacks are on a different level than Wolf form neutral and top. The Wolf can be a wild man is it possible for him to catch Massa? I don’t think so but he has a puncher’s chance. I’m taking Massa and bonus points.
174lbs: #4 Myles Amine (UM) vs. #6 Jordan Kutler (LU). This is another showcase match for the Grace Hall faithful. Kutler, up two weights hasn’t looked as dominant from the top positions as last season. Will the results of this match influence where Kutler and Preisch wrestle the NCAA tourney? I think so. Amine was 4th last March, about where I thought that Kutler would have placed at 157. Both guys have slick attacks from neutral and are fun to watch. Kutler usually has the best mental game/confidence on the mat. I’m taking Kutler at home but it’s really a toss up.
185lbs: #5 Domenic Abounader (UM) vs. #7 Ryan Preisch (LU). Yet another great match for the fans. Preisch is up a weight class and doesn’t appear as physically superior as he did last season. I think that these guys are evenly matched up. Abounader is coming off an injury year and Preisch didn’t finish the season the way he wanted to at the NCAA’s. This match is full of March seeding implications as well. I’m sure that Preisch could drop to 174 if he wants to and this toss up match will help him figure out where he is in the pecking order. Toss up edge Abounader.
197lbs: #15 Kevin Beazley (UM) vs. Jake Jakobsen (LU). Beazley is on a different level than Jokobsen. The real question is how many bonus points. If Michigan is missing Assad at 125 bonus points here could turn the match.
285lbs: #2 Adam Coon (UM) vs. #15 Jordan Wood (LU). Coon could seal the deal for Michigan, he’s #6 on the active pinner list. Wood is a stud in his own right but is opening his freshman campaign on trial by fire mode. Again it’s not fair to Wood but the match may come down to him.
This has all the makings of a great dual check back for highlights.