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  #1  
Old 6 Days Ago
Bukowski Bukowski is offline
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Favorite Fighting Illini Matches

My excitement for some great matches over the next week at Fargo got me thinking about some of my favorite Fighting Illini NCAA, not Fargo, matches of all time. I thought I’d list some of my favorites. I would love to hear some of your favorites because I know I left some great ones out.

All-time favorite: 8th seeded Carl Perry upsetting returning champ and No. 1 seed Doug Schwab in the 141 lbs. quarterfinals of the 2000 NCAA tournament.

Very close runner-up to my all-time favorite: Kyle Ott getting past Nick Simmons 3-1 in overtime in the 2005 NCAA semifinals. Here’s a link. They switch to the Ott match at about the 10:10 mark. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsBvFcQz2TU

Steve Marianetti’s incredible upset over Lincoln McIlravy at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in 1995. Wish there was a better video of this match online. Marianetti just dominated the match from start to finish to the amazement of the crowd. Even the ESPN announces didn’t believe it. They kept saying things like “and here comes Mcilravy” or “now the comeback begins”.

Just one match later in 1995 Ernest Benion winning his national title over Dan Wirnsberger from Michigan State and celebrating by dancing across the mat as the final seconds ticked off.

I-Mar’s tiebreaker (best 2-out-of-3) win over Jason Nolf in the 2016 NCAA finals.

Alex Tirapelle over Scott Owen with a 5-1 victory in the NCAA Semifinals in 2003.

Tirapelle would lose his 2003 championship match to Ryan Bertin, but at the next weight up, who could forget Matt Lackey’s “foot sweep heard round the world” to defeat Troy Letters in overtime for his NCAA title.

Pat Quirk over returning NCAA champ Brad Vering 8-4 in the quarterfinals of the 2001 NCAA tournament.

Speaking of 2001 at Carver Hawkeye, John Lockhart and Adam Tirapelle had huge wins over Minnesota Golden Gophers in the semis. Lockhart beat Olympic Bronze Medalist Garrett Lowney and Tirapelle beat Jared Lawrence, avenging his Big Ten finals loss.

Michael Poeta avenging his 2008 NCAA finals loss to Jordan Leen by defeating him in the 2009 semifinals only to run into some other guy named Jordan in the finals.

Eric Siebert winning his 1998 NCAA title at 150 lbs. with torn cartilage in his ribs.

Even though it was a loss for the Illini, Ernest Benion’s 9-8 loss to Joe Williams in the 1996 158 lbs. finals was a classic. Benion had what looked to be the match winning takedown with no time left but the officials ruled there was no two.

What are some others I missed?
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  #2  
Old 4 Days Ago
Gantry Gantry is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 95
Great list!!!

How about when Illinois beat Iowa in a first time in a dual like 10 years ago. Came down to the last match, want to say 157. Was it Griff Powell who won it? Or is my memory completely failing me?

Griff beating Yoshi Nakamura in the first round of NCAAs was a good one as well.

Poeta beating Gregor Gillespie in maybe what was maybe the Southern Scuffle finals was one of the most talked about matches in that era.

God my memory sucks...
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  #3  
Old 4 Days Ago
goodwrestling goodwrestling is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gantry View Post
Great list!!!

How about when Illinois beat Iowa in a first time in a dual like 10 years ago. Came down to the last match, want to say 157. Was it Griff Powell who won it? Or is my memory completely failing me?

Griff beating Yoshi Nakamura in the first round of NCAAs was a good one as well.

Poeta beating Gregor Gillespie in maybe what was maybe the Southern Scuffle finals was one of the most talked about matches in that era.

God my memory sucks...
Awesome matches. Gillespie has recently had a lot of success in the UFC (12-0 MMA).

Poeta vs. Gillespie
https://www.flowrestling.org/video/5...-mike-poeta-il

Poeta vs. Burroughs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ci375A3558I

Last edited by goodwrestling; 1 Day Ago at 04:29 PM.
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  #4  
Old 2 Days Ago
IlliniinIowa IlliniinIowa is offline
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The Benion-Williams match was amazing even if the bad guy won. Another great match with a bad outcome was Durlacher-Wittmer for the 1997 NCAA title.

Those were my two favorite guys to watch. I'd watch Benion/Durlacher wrestle anybody.
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  #5  
Old 1 Day Ago
jay31 jay31 is offline
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Just to throw in a random match not from NCAAs how about Steve Rodrigues beating Shakur Rasheed immediately after Imar loses to Nolf by fall for the first time ever. 1/23/16 Huff Hall. The place was in shock. I had to go back and look up the details but he was down 6-0 and won 10-9.
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